[First published in WRTI’s Arts Desk, 1 Feb 2016. Reprinted by permission.]

The recording industry gives out the GRAMMY Awards in two weeks, and WRTI’s Kile Smith looks at the classical categories, which include some local names.


Daniil Trifonov, Grammy nominee for Best Classical Instrumental Soloist

On February 15th the 58th Grammy Awards will honor “artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence.” Ten categories are reserved for classical music, including Producer of the Year and Best Engineered Album awards.

Others are for Orchestral Performance, Opera, Choral, Chamber Music and Small Ensemble, Instrumental and Vocal Solos, Classical Compendium, and Contemporary Composition.

Grammy nominees range from early-music luminaries Paul O’Dette, Stephen Stubbs, and Philippe Jaroussky to contemporary groups Eighth Blackbird and Roomful of Teeth.

Classical stars Cecilia Bartoli, Diana Damrau, Joyce DiDonato, Jonas Kaufmann, and Christian Tetzlaff are up for awards as well as lesser-known but brilliant artists such as Gil Rose, Chen Yi, and Frederic Rzewski.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin appears twice, conducting the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, and also leading the Philadelphia Orchestra with Daniil Trifonov in the Instrumental Solo category. Former longtime Philadelphia resident Marc-André Hamelin enters the lists in the Chamber Music category.

Why would locals be pulling for New York’s Trinity Wall Street Choir and the Bang On A Can All-Stars? Well, they recorded Julia Wolfe’s Anthracite Fields, and it was the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia that commissioned and premiered it last year, garnering it a Pulitzer.

Next week we’ll look deeper into the Grammy categories.