2009 Grammy Award Highlights

John Corigliano received his third Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Composition for the song cycle Mr. Tambourine Man which was released on Naxos American Classics CD in a performance by soprano Hila Plitman—who also received a Grammy nod for Best Classical Vocal Performance—and the Buffalo Philharmonic conducted by JoAnn Falletta. Best Instrumental Composition, a composer’s award for an original composition (not an adaptation) first released during the eligibility year, was awarded to John Williams for “The Adventures Of Mutt” from the soundtrack album for Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heights, the first Broadway musical to thoroughly integrate the sound of Latin music, received Best Musical Show Album. James Newton Howard and Hans Zimmer shared the honors for Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media for their score for the film The Dark Knight.

Other classical winners in the 51st Annual Awards ceremony, held in Hollywood on February 8, 2009, include the Pacifica Quartet, which earned the award for Best Chamber Music Performance for a recording of Elliott Carter’s 1st and 5th String Quartets, also on Naxos American Classics. And pianist Gloria Cheng’s recital disc, featuring works written expressly for her by Steven Stucky and Esa-Pekka Salonen as well as solo piano music by Lutoslawski, received the award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra).

Among the jazz winners are: Terence Blanchard for “Bebop”, a track featured on the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars’ Live At The 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival (Best Jazz Instrumental Solo); Chick Corea and Gary Burton for The New Crystal Silence (Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group); The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra for Monday Night Live At The Village Vanguard (Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album); and Cassandra Wilson for Loverly (Best Jazz Vocal Album). One of the stranger wins is legendary jazz percussionist Jack DeJohnette chalking up a Grammy for Best New Age Album, for the album Peace Time. For a complete list of 2009 Awardees, visit the Grammy website. —FJO