Now in its second year for the Los Angeles area, SFCV’s annual readers’ poll celebrates a vital music scene by letting you honor your favorite artists and arts organizations. The moniker “Audience Choice Award” reflects the nature of the poll. All nominees and final winners are selected by you — avid listeners and SFCV readers.
As we all know painfully well, this past year in the performing arts was like no other, and SFCV adapted the poll to acknowledge the fact that there have been virtually no live concerts over the past 12 months and that most performances were either livestreamed or prerecorded for online broadcast. Despite the curtailed categories, there was an abundance of rich performances to choose from, and hundreds of you voted for your favorites.
After you’ve had a chance to look at the Los Angeles area awards, please check out the Audience Choice Awards for the Bay Area.
Here’s how you voted:
Best Streaming Series: Delirium Musicum (presented by The Soraya) — MusiKaravan
Delirium Musicum was the runaway winner here. SF Classical Voice wrote about the group’s MusiKaravan project back in September 2020. Since then, violinists Etienne Gara and YuEun Gemma Kim have partnered with The Soraya for a series that’s part performance, part documentary — following the two musicians’ trip across California in a 1971 Volkswagen bus. Find the full series on The Soraya’s website.
Best Streaming Vocal Recital: LA Phil — Sound/Stage Season 1: Episode 4, with Andra Day
Singer, songwriter, and actress Andra Day joined the LA Phil for an early episode in the orchestra’s Sound/Stage series — your favorite solo vocal performance from the past season. Day delivered two of her own R&B hits, “Gold” and “Rise Up,” along with Nina Simone’s protest classic, “Mississippi Goddam.” Soprano Julia Metzler came in a close second place with a performance more strictly classical, her October 2020 recital for Boston Court Pasadena’s Emerging Artist Series.
Best Streaming Instrumental Performance: LA Phil — Sound/Stage Season 1: Episode 9, “Finales”
The LA Phil took the two top spots in the “Instrumental Performance” category, winning with another Sound/Stage episode, “Finales.” Music and Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel led the orchestra in a program of closing movements from Ravel’s Mother Goose, Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, and Corpórea, a 2014 chamber work by Gabriela Ortíz. LA Phil violinists Nathan Cole and Akiko Tarumoto were runners-up for their mini-recital in the orchestra’s “At Home” series.
Best Streaming Opera or Chorale Ensemble Performance: LA Opera — Oedipus Rex
LA Opera welcomed live audiences back to the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with its June 2021 production of Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex. But the company gets the streaming award for its online adaptation of the performance, a hybrid model LA Opera is keeping this upcoming season, with productions both live and livestreamed. Rounding out the category were Angel City Chorale for its online holiday concert (second place) and Pacific Symphony for its virtual La traviata (third).
Best Streaming Dance Performance: LA Dance Project — Solo at Dusk
The tightest race of this year’s awards. LA Dance Project narrowly wins with Solo at Dusk, one of the company’s enigmatic online premieres this past season, only up for 24 hours. With just a couple of votes difference, American Ballet Theatre takes second for Uniting in Movement, an original dance program filmed during the company’s spring residency at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.
Best New Composition: Derrick Skye’s Mind the Rhythm, performed by Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
It was head-to-head between two L.A. composers for “Best New Composition.” Derrick Skye came out on top with Mind the Rhythm, premiering as part of Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra’s Close Quarters online season (Skye is an artistic advisor with LACO). Thomas Kotcheff was runner-up for his piece Obbligato Snare Drum Music No. 1: “The Power of Love,” premiered online by percussionist Michael Compitello.