Boston cleans up at the Grammys

Boston cleans up at the Grammys


norman lebrecht

February 16, 2016

Andris Nelsons’ DG debut with Shostakovich 10th won best orchestral performance. Seiji Ozawa (in Japan) won best opera recording.

Full winners’ list here.

Andris Nelsons


  • Olassus says:

    Seiji’s disc was recorded in 2013 and 2009.

    The Grammy awards are weird, mostly political. No prestige.

  • Joel says:

    Did I calculate correctly that only one of the Classical Grammy winners is a non-American (Seiji Ozawa) ? Apparently the European artists and orchestras are no match for the Americans ?

    I googled “Stephen Paulus”, he is apparently an American composer that died a bit over a year ago. Might that explain why he got two Grammys this year ?

    Just throwing questions….

    • Marc-Antoine Hamet says:

      Shostakovich, Ravel, Dutilleux… all non American music!

      • Joel says:

        Which part of my comment did you not understand? “Apparently the European ARTISTS and ORCHESTRAS are no match for the Americans ?”

        Shostakovich by BOSTON orchestra, Dutilleux by SEATTLE symphony… That’s what I’m talking about.

        In fact, as an example, I was just checking the Grammy Award for Best Orchestral Performances, here’s the list:

        2016: Boston
        2015: St Louis
        2014: Minnesota
        2013: San Francisco
        2012: Los Angeles
        2011: Nashville
        2010: Boston
        2009: Chicago
        2008: Nashville
        2007: San Francisco
        2006: Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks (WOW! this was probably a mistake?)
        2005: New York
        2004: Wiener Philharmoniker (!!)
        2003: San Francisco
        2002: Chicago
        2001: Berliner Philharmoniker (!)
        2000: San Francisco
        1999: Chicago
        1998: Cleveland
        1997: San Francisco
        1996: Cleveland
        1995: Chicago
        1994: Chicago
        1993: Berliner Philharmoniker (!)
        1992: Chicago
        1991: Chicago
        1990: New York
        1989: Atlanta
        1988: Chicago
        1987: Chicago
        1986: Atlanta
        1985: St Louis
        1984: Chicago
        1983: Chicago
        1982: Chicago
        1981: Chicago
        1980: Chicago

        In 35 years only 4 European orchestras have won the Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance !

        To win a Grammy for Best Orchestral Performance you need to have an American orchestra !

        • Emil Archambault says:

          Yes, just like you need to be an American film to win an Oscar (de facto, if not de jure). Nothing new there.

    • Olassus says:

      Well, the Grammies (Grammys?) are not the Oscars. They do not at all represent a world standard.

      The following are equally prestigious, and two or three of them more so. In essence, each market favors its local artists:

      Austria — Flötenuhr
      Belgium — Prix Caecilia
      Britain — Gramophone Award
      Canada — Prix Mondial du Disque
      France — Diapason d’Or
      France — Grand Prix du Disque
      France — Orphée d’Or
      Germany — Echo Prize
      Holland — Edison Award
      Italy — Premio della Critica Discografica
      Japan — Record Academy Prize
      Spain — Gran Premio del Disco
      United States — Grammy
      United States — International Record Critics Award

    • Janet Horvath says:

      Stephen Paulus was an esteemed American composer especially of choral music. He died suddenly and tragically and was only in his 60’s. I performed a lot of his music including the transcendent To Be Certain of The Dawn which we MN Orch recorded. Have a listen. His music most certainly deserves the recognition.

  • cherrera says:

    Are classical musicians even invited to the Grammys ceremony? (Or do they get their awards in the mail?)

    I know I spotted Seiji Ozawa at the after party hanging with Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar.

  • John says:

    Anyone know who actually is part of the juries????? No one seems to know this.

  • Halldor says:

    Not even Nelsons’s best Shostakovich disc – though certainly his best with a US orchestra.

  • Itsjtime says:

    Most impressive if nelson’s form. He really looks like he has a feel for America’s national pastime.
    Bravo Andris

    P.S. Let’s stop calling these people maestro (or maestra)
    Oddly enough autocorrect on my Mac doesn’t register maestra!

    • Nick says:

      Cannot agree more about the massive overuse of the term “maestro/maestra” It has now got so out of hand that almost every orchestra however big/small, professional/amateur, international/local uses it to describe whoever mounts their podia. There are in my view very few who actually deserve the title “master”. NL’s 1991 book title aptly sums up the present ridiculous situation – “The Maestro Myth”!

      • Jaybuyer says:

        I repeat the story of Barenboim leaving after a dinner party in London and saying :”Thank you all for a wonderful evening, but particularly for not calling me ‘maestro’ ” (Love ‘podia’ btw

  • Greg says:

    Like the US political system, Grammy voting is swayed by money, lobbying, and trendiness. I wonder how many of the nominees even get a fair listen before votes are cast.

  • Milka says:

    What a sad commentary -the so called “classical ” world of music gets a well gnawed
    bone thrown them at the end of the table & it results in headline,Boston Cleans Up…..
    99 9/10 % of people watching haven’t the slightest interest in the Boston symphony.
    Is that truly Nelsons with the baseball …how pathetic… can the next thing be the wife
    singing the national anthem while he throws out the first ball …………….

    • Holly Golightly says:

      You’re just so sad. Bitter and misanthropic. Is there absolutely no other way for you to get any attention at all?

  • Christy says:

    Why the hate?

    Congratulations to the Boston Symphony, as well as all of the other classical Grammy winners. Some true gems were spotlighted and it was a joy to see the Takacs Quartet perform (and win).

    • Jaybuyer says:

      Did you actually see the Takacs perform at an awards ceremony? Nothing on my TV in the UK. We are too busy crucifying Stephen Fry for making a joke at the BAFTAS.

  • Peter says:

    Classical Grammys are irrelevant. Only a fraction of a years recordings are even entered, mostly by local American labels of course.
    Nobody really knows who is actually voting and how. Totally intransparent.
    They might as well throw a dice.
    What a joke.