Deutsche Grammophon Takes Top Accolade at 2021 Gramophone Awards
Deutsche Grammophon has been named Label of the Year 2021 by Gramophone. Presented by one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious classical music magazines, the award recognises the famous Yellow Label’s commitment to artistic excellence and technological innovation. Legendary soprano Gundula Janowitz, particularly renowned for her wide-ranging work on Deutsche Grammophon with Herbert von Karajan, was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, while DG also won Orchestral Recording of the Year for Franz Schmidt – Complete Symphonies, a three-disc set featuring the Frankfurt Radio Symphony conducted by Paavo Järvi.
The Label of the Year accolade crowns a remarkable period even by the standards of Deutsche Grammophon’s long and distinguished history. Not only has DG responded to the needs of the day by creating, in an exceptionally short space of time, its own digital concert hall, it has made every effort to champion young musicians setting out on their careers, introduced and promoted new composers and contemporary classical repertoire and, last but not least, continued to garner critical acclaim for recordings of the highest quality.
James Jolly, Gramophone’s Editor-in-Chief, explained the jury’s choice: “Each year we salute a record label that has enriched our musical lives in a way that has demonstrated not just terrific A&R – matching musician and music – but also a clear response to the world around us, taking into consideration the frightening speed at which our consumption of music changes, what music we listen to, how to balance the traditional and the innovative, and how – at the end of the day – to convey the sense of an identity or a brand. Our Label of the Year for 2021 has done all that and more. It personifies what, for many of us, classical music is about. We’re delighted to recognise Deutsche Grammophon, its President Clemens Trautmann and his team in Berlin, and all the people worldwide who ensure we encounter its recordings through whatever medium we choose.”
In accepting the award, Dr Clemens Trautmann thanked Gramophone and praised all DG artists and his entire team for their passion, creativity and hard work. He pointed out that by launching DG Stage and adopting Dolby Atmos sound, the label was staying true to its roots: to the combination of music and technology established in 1898 by its far-sighted founder Emile Berliner, inventor of the gramophone. He also noted that a more recent Deutsche Grammophon tradition – its focus on electronic and minimal music – was currently being reinvigorated by the fresh approach of its New Repertoire division.
“Our artists are our greatest source of inspiration and our aim is to keep supporting their work, meeting their needs and enabling them to realise their aspirations,” he added, before concluding, “We’re thrilled with all the awards given to DG tonight, and are particularly honoured to have been chosen as the Label of the Year.”
This year’s awards ceremony, held at the Voces8 Centre in the City of London and hosted by James Jolly and pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, was streamed on Gramophone’s website, YouTube and Facebook channels, by medici.tv and by Classic FM, and will remain available to catch up for 90 days.
Details of the award-winners:
Deutsche Grammophon Label of the Year
Gundula Janowitz Lifetime Achievement Award
Franz Schmidt: Complete Symphonies Orchestral Recording of the Year Frankfurt Radio Symphony Paavo Järvi