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(Front row f.l.t.r.): David Garrett, Anna Netrebko, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, (Back row f.l.t.r.): Dickon Stainer (President DECCA), Ute Fesquet (Vice President A&R DGG), Kleopatra Sofroniou (Director Domestic Marketing DGG), Eric Schulz, Rolando Villazón, Piotr Beczala, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Frank Briegmann (President Central Europe Universal Music und Deutsche Grammophon), Costa Pilavachi (Senior Vice President Classical A&R Universal Music Group International), Mark Wilkinson (President DGG)
Photo: © Hoederath / Universal Music

The year’s most successful classical artists were honoured yesterday at the 2014 ECHO Klassik gala award ceremony, held at the Philharmonic Hall in Munich. Deutsche Grammophon artists triumphed in a total of eight categories, including the four most prestigious of all, with Anna Netrebko named Female Singer of the Year, Piotr Beczala Male Singer of the Year and Yannick Nézet-Séguin Conductor of the Year. Meanwhile, victory again this year in one of the much-coveted Newcomer categories vindicated not only the outstanding artistic achievements of young pianist Daniil Trifonov (Newcomer of the Year – Piano) but also the investment in and commitment to new talent on the part of both UNIVERSAL MUSIC classical labels – Deutsche Grammophon and DECCA, who together outperformed all their competitors on the night. The gala event was hosted by Nina Eichinger and star tenor Rolando Villazón, and broadcast on German channel ZDF that evening.  

This year’s other Deutsche Grammophon prizewinners were as follows: Anne-Sophie Mutter with the Berliner Philharmoniker conducted by Manfred Honeck (Concerto Recording of the Year – 19th-century music), Martha Argerich with the Orchestra Mozart conducted by Claudio Abbado (Concerto Recording of the Year – music up to and including the 18th century), Eric Schulz’s Karajan – The Second Life (Music DVD Recording of the Year) and Robert Lepage’s Thomas Adčs – The Tempest (Music DVD Recording of the Year).

Deutsche Grammophon artists also provided the high points of the event, with live appearances from prizewinners Piotr Beczala, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Anna Netrebko and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who conducted all gala performances.

The ECHO Klassik awards are among the most sought-after accolades in the classical music world. Conferred annually by the Deutsche Phono-Akademie, the German record industry’s cultural organisation, they honour both artistic excellence and commercial success.

Mark Wilkinson, President Deutsche Grammophon: “This is a record-breaking Echo year for our winners and performers, with this world-class awards ceremony providing a ringing endorsement for their creative excellence and artistic vitality.”

Frank Briegmann, President Central Europe UNIVERSAL MUSIC and Deutsche Grammophon: “First and foremost I’d like to congratulate all our prizewinners. Their creativity and the delight they take in embracing innovation mean that classical music continues to be a dynamic, exciting and, in the best sense of the word, surprising, genre. This year’s results also show that our two classical labels, Deutsche Grammophon and DECCA, have maintained their place in the Champions League as far as both established superstars and the stars of tomorrow are concerned. Finally, I’d like to thank hosts Nina Eichinger and Rolando Villazón, and our long-term media partner ZDF, for staging this sensational gala event.”