Winners of 2017 BBC Music Magazine Awards announced

Impressive line-up of winners includes harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani, the Choir of St John's College, Cambridge and pianist Beatrice Rana

BBC Music Magazine Awards 2017
Published: April 19, 2017 at 7:58 pm

The winners of the 12th annual BBC Music Magazine Awards have been announced, with Vasily Petrenko and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra topping a starry list. The Russian conductor and his players won both Recording of the Year and the Orchestral Award for their performance of Tchaikovsky's Symphonies Nos 1, 2 and 5.


• Read more: Vasily Petrenko and the RLPO win Recording of the Year

The winners in seven categories were chosen by the magazine's readers, who voted in their thousands. Two revelatory interpretations of great classical masterpieces won awards in the other publicly voted categories. Conductor Teodor Currentzis, orchestra MusicAeterna and a top-notch cast won the Opera Award for their daring performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, recorded in Perm, Russia. In the Instrumental category, harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani offered an equally original reading of JS Bach’s Goldberg Variations. This is his second award, after being named Newcomer of the Year for his debut disc just two years ago.

The Smetana Trio also made a return visit to pick up their second Chamber Award, this time for Martinů’s complete piano trios. 'For us this is not only an award for our interpretation but a fantastic compliment for Czech music,' says pianist Jitka Cechová in an exclusive interview in the May issue of BBC Music Magazine.

• Listen: podcast on Martinů’s piano trios

Cellist Nicolas Altstaedt, Arcangelo and Jonathan Cohen topped the vote in the Concerto category with scintillating CPE Bach, while the Vocal Award went to baritone Matthias Goerne, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Synergy Vocals and conductor Josep Pons for their dazzling disc of Berio’s orchestral arrangements of Mahler’s early Lieder and Berio’s Sinfonia.

• Listen: podcast on CPE Bach's cello concertos

Two British composers came to the fore this year. Jonathan Harvey was the focus of the winning Choral disc, performed by the Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge. And in the first of three jury prizes, Julian Anderson was given the Premiere Award for his violin concerto In lieblicher bläue and choral-orchestral Alleluia, performed by violinist Carolin Widmann, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vladimir Jurowski.

The jury gave the DVD Award to Zurich Opera’s production of Berg’s Wozzeck, in which baritone Christian Gerhaher makes an unmissable title role debut. Newcomer of the Year was pianist Beatrice Rana, who impressed the jury with her recording of Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos.

• Read more: Beatrice Rana signs to Warner Classics

• Listen: podcast on Beatrice Rana's debut concerto disc


‘This year’s BBC Music Magazine Award-winners are a treasure trove of musical discoveries and riveting performances. Each recording, voted for my our readers, will surely be a life-long listening companion,' says Oliver Condy, BBC Music Magazine's editor.


Rebecca Franks
Rebecca FranksJournalist, Critic and former Managing Editor of BBC Music Magazine

Rebecca Franks is the former Managing Editor of BBC Music Magazine and a regular classical music critic for The Times. She is currently writing her first children's book.

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