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Great success for UNIVERSAL MUSIC artists with ECHO Klassik 

(f.l.t.r.): Jan Lisiecki, Aida Garifullina, Camille Thomas, Frank Briegmann (President & CEO Central Europe UNIVERSAL MUSIC und Deutsche Grammophon), Ksenija Sidorova, Clemens Trautmann (President Deutsche Grammophon), Daniel Hope, Kleopatra Sofroniou (Vice President Marketing Deutsche Grammophon), Ute Fesquet (Vice President Artists & Repertoire Deutsche Grammophon), Stephan Steigleder (Senior Director Digital Media Deutsche Grammophon) © Stefan Hoederath

The Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg hosted the 24th award ceremony for the Echo Klassik Awards. The artists and productions of both UNIVERSAL MUSIC classic labels Deutsche Grammophon and Decca scored successes in eight categories. As in previous years, the evening was presented by famous TV host Thomas Gottschalk. ZDF was the media partner again this year, and broadcasted the ECHO Klassik Awards ceremony.

Star violinist Daniel Hope demonstrates his skill on his album “For Seasons“, which ranges from Vivaldi’s baroque music to the most exciting composers around today, Max Richter and Chilly Gonzales. The ECHO Klassik was awarded to Daniel Hopes in the category “Klassik ohne Grenzen [Classical Music Beyond Boundaries]“, recognising not just his unique artistic performance but also his courage to discover a new repertoire and present it to his audience in his usual brilliant way. His success also confirms the sustainable commitment of Deutsche Grammophon to contemporary works which it successively adds to its musical portfolio.

The pianist, conductor and known Chopin specialist Maurizio Pollini won his third ECHO Klassik in the category “Instrumentalist, Piano” for “Chopin: Late works opp. 59-64“, after previously receiving the award for his life's work in 2002 and for best pianist in 2007.

Further awards went to the at least equally talented soloists Ksenija Sidorova (instrumentalist, accordion) for “Carmen”, Daniil Trifonov (soloist recording, 19th century music, piano) for “Transcendental”, and Aida Garifullina (soloist recording, vocals, arias/recitals) for “Aida Garifullina”.

Again, the artists and productions of UNIVERSAL MUSIC were also very successful in the ensemble categories. ECHOs were also awarded to the Boston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons (ensemble, orchestra) for the Grammy-winning recording “Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 5/8/9” and for “Chopin: Works for Piano & Orchestra“ (concert recording, 19th century music) with Jan Lisiecki and the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester conducted by Krzysztof Urbanski and “Mozart: Le nozze di Figaro” (opera recording, opera up to and including the 17th/18th centuries) e.g. with Christiane KargSonya YonchevaThomas Hampson and Rolando Villazón and the Chamber Orchestra Of Europe conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin.

The musical highlights of the festive gala were provided by Aida Garifullina with Puccini’s O mio babbino caroDaniel Hope with L’inverno/1. Satz from Vivaldi’s Vier JahreszeitenMaurizio Pollini with Chopin’s Nocturne 62/1 as well as Ksenija Sidorova and Camille Thomas with their Fantasy of Carmen (arr. J. Schmeisser).

 Clemens Trautmann, President of Deutsche Grammophon: “First of all, I would like to give a special thanks to our artists. They are the ones who make classical music come to life through their inspired interpretations and who turn every concert and every recording into an unforgettable experience. Also thank you to the label teams whose work ensures that classical music remains popular, and that our artists - as demonstrated by the classical and even the pop charts - remain extremely well positioned. And not least thank you to the audience, whose continued enthusiasm for classical music turns this genre into an attractive future market which we can dynamically develop further together with our artists and partners.”

 Frank Briegmann, President & CEO of Central Europe UNIVERSAL MUSIC and Deutsche Grammophon: “Congratulations to our winners for their awards and of course especially for their excellent recordings. Thank you to the teams at the two labels Deutsche Grammophon and Decca, who are doing all that is possible to expand the artistic and business range, explore new paths regarding the repertoire and marketing, and address ever new audiences. Tonight is also your success. And thank you also to our host Thomas Gottschalk and our long-term media partner ZDF for this spectacular gala.”

 The ECHO Klassik is one of the world’s ost important and most well-known music awards and this year is awarded for the 24th time. The German Phono Academy – the cultural institute of the Federal Association of the Music Industry (BVMI) – has honoured excellent and successful performances by national and international artists with the ECHO Klassik every year since 1994. A jury consisting of respected industry experts chooses the winners. In addition to honouring special productions, the ECHO Klassik is also aimed at supporting young talent with this renowned award and of demonstrating the fascination and diversity of classical music to a wider audience.