Winners of BBC Music Magazine Awards 2018 announced
An outstanding line-up of Award-winners includes legendary maestro Bernard Haitink, Berlioz conductor extraordinaire John Nelson and remarkable mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton
The winners of the 13th annual BBC Music Magazine Awards were announced this evening at Kings Place in London, with Bernard Haitink and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra taking pole position. The legendary maestro won both Recording of the Year and the Orchestral Award for his blistering interpretation of Mahler’s sublime Symphony No. 3.
The winners across the seven categories were voted for by the public, after a jury of expert reviewers whittled down more than 200 five-star rated discs from the last year to a shortlist of 21. Alongside Haitink’s Mahler 3 was a rendition of another classical masterpiece performed under the baton of a true expert: John Nelson’s interpretation of Berlioz’s Les Troyens, an opera he claims to have conducted more than anyone else. It was for this recording that he that took home the Opera Award.
It has been a successful year for the French, with a disc of Debussy’s chamber work masterminded by violinist Renaud Capuçon and performed by some of the finest Francophone musicians winning the Chamber Award.
The Choral Award was presented to early music ensemble Vox Luminis for its disc celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation.
For the first time in Awards history, a bassoonist has won the Concerto Award. Bram Van Sambeek’s electrifying disc of contemporary bassoon concertos took the public by storm this year, beating the tough competition of discs of Mozart and works by the Bach family.
New music did well elsewhere in the Awards, with violinist Fenella Humphreys winning the Instrumental Award with her crowd-funded disc, Bach2 The Future, featuring companion pieces to solo Bach by Sally Beamish, Adrian Sutton and Sir Peter Maxwell Davies.
The burgeoning careers of two already rising stars were given a boost in this year’s Awards, with mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton winning the Vocal Award with her debut recital album and pianist Julien Brocal being awarded the Newcomer Award for his debut disc of Chopin.
The jury gave a further two awards in addition to the Newcomer Award, with DVD of the Year going to filmmaker Will Fraser for his ambitious set of documentaries exploring composer Max Reger, and a recording of the late works of Elliott Carter awarded Premiere of the Year.
Head to the BBC Music Magazine Awards website to hear extracts from all the winning discs.
Freya Parr is BBC Music Magazine's Digital Editor and Staff Writer. She has also written for titles including the Guardian, Circus Journal, Frankie and Suitcase Magazine, and runs The Noiseletter, a fortnightly arts and culture publication. Freya's main areas of interest and research lie in 20th-century and contemporary music.