Adams Big Winner at 47th GRAMMY Awards



John Adam’s On The Transmigration Of Souls
Best Classical Contemporary Composition, Best Classical Album, and Best Orchestral Performance

Love ‘em, hate ‘em, or find them largely irrelevant, the 47th Annual GRAMMY® Awards were presented last night. The jazz and classical categories never figure prominently in the televised portion of the little gold statuette distribution, but the artists and labels behind the production of these discs get their share of honors as well.

John Adams cleaned up on the classical side of the aisle. Best Classical Contemporary Composition, Best Classical Album, and Best Orchestral Performance all went to the Nonesuch release of Adams’s On The Transmigration Of Souls, as performed by New York Philharmonic, Brooklyn Youth Chorus, and New York Choral Artists under the baton of Lorin Maazel.

Adams is the first-ever living composer to have won Best Classical Contemporary Composition three times, having previously won in 1989 for his opera Nixon in China and again in 1998 for his orchestral composition El Dorado. Samuel Barber also won three, but two of those were awarded posthumously which is not unusual in the classical categories.

On The Transmigration Of Souls is also only the second piece ever to win both a GRAMMY and a Pulitzer (the first was Samuel Barber’s Piano Concerto), and only the second recording ever to win three different classical GRAMMYs in one year. (The first was for Benjamin Britten conducting the recording of his War Requiem which won Best Classical Album, Best Classical Contemporary Composition, and Best Choral Album in 1963.)


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Maria Schneider’s Concert In The Garden
Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

David Frost picked up the Producer Of The Year award in the classical division and Jack Renner got an engineering nod for his work on Jennifer Higdon’s City Scape. (You can get a glimpse of David Frost at work in the recording studio with John Corigliano in this month’s issue of NewMusicBox.)

Among the jazz honorees, Bill Frisell’s Unspeakable won for Best Contemporary Jazz Album. Noteably, Maria Schneider’s web-only ArtistShare release, Concert In The Garden, picked up the Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album award.

André Previn’s Violin Concerto Anne-Sophie/Bernstein: Serenade with the conductors’ wife Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist was honored as Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra). Susan Graham won Best Classical Vocal Performance for her Ives: Songs and Southwest Chamber Music under Jeff von der Schmidt picked up Best Small Ensemble Performance for Carlos Chávez—Complete Chamber Music, Vol. 2.


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Los Angeles Guitar Quartet’s Guitar Heroes
Best Classical Crossover Album

The Broadway musical Wicked composed and produced by Stephen Schwartz and released on Decca Broadway won for Best Musical Show Album. The Lord Of The Rings—The Return Of The King composer Howard Shore got a nod for Best Score Soundtrack Album For A Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media as well as the Best Song for same alongside songwriters Annie Lennox and Fran Walsh.

The Los Angeles Guitar Quartet’s Guitar Heroes won for Best Classical Crossover Album.