grammy_header1.jpg

Grammy Winners Include S.F. Bay Area Artists

Janos Gereben on February 11, 2019

Basic fact No. 1 about the Grammys: Grammy is not an acronym, it’s abbreviated from “Gramophone Award,” now a word meaning “a small statue that is given as an award to someone who works in the business of recording music.”

Fact No. 2: Classical music is not a priority for the Recording Academy, which runs the Grammy Awards.

When you go the website for the 61st Grammy Awards, which were given out Sunday night in a telecast seen on NBC TV, you need to scroll down to category 73 to see nominations and winners in classical music. There, you’ll find these winners, including some neighbors:

Andris Nelson and the Boston Symphony won two Grammy Awards | Credit: Chris Lee

Best Engineered Album, Classical, An Engineer’s Award (Artist names appear in parentheses): Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 and 11 — [Berkeley-based] Shawn Murphy and Nick Squire, engineers; Tim Martyn, mastering engineer (Andris Nelsons and Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Best Orchestral Performance (Award to the conductor and to the orchestra): Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 and 11 — Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra). Other nominees included local favorite Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1–4 — Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony).

Best Opera Recording: The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs (Mason Bates) — Michael Christie, conductor; Sasha Cooke, Jessica E. Jones, Edward Parks, Garrett Sorenson and Wei Wu; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer (The Santa Fe Opera Orchestra) Co-commissioning San Francisco Opera has the production scheduled in the summer of 2020.

Winner in the Best Chamber Music category

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: Landfall — Laurie Anderson and Kronos Quartet

Best Classical Instrumental Solo: Aaron Jay Kernis: Violin Concerto — James Ehnes; Ludovic Morlot, conductor (Seattle Symphony)

Best Contemporary Classical Composition: Aaron Jay Kernis: Violin Concerto — Aaron Jay Kernis, composer (James Ehnes, Ludovic Morlot and Seattle Symphony)

Composer Aaron Jay Kernis and violinist James Ehnes received awards for the Kernis Violin Concerto | Credit: Seattle Symphony

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: Songs of Orpheus — Monteverdi, Caccini, D’India and Landi — Karim Sulayman; Jeannette Sorrell, conductor; Apollo’s Fire, ensembles

Best Classical Compendium: Fuchs: Piano Concerto “Spiritualist”; Poems of Life; Glacier; Rush — JoAnn Falletta, conductor; Tim Handley, producer (with SFO Adler Fellow Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen)

In related categories, there are these winners:

Best Musical Theater Album: The Band’s Visit — Etai Benson, Adam Kantor, Katrina Lenk and Ari’el Stachel, principal soloists; Dean Sharenow and David Yazbek, producers; David Yazbek, composer and lyricist (Original Broadway Cast)

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: Black Panther — Ludwig Göransson, composer

Best Instrumental Composition: “Blut und Boden” (Blood and Soil) — Terence Blanchard, composer

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or a Cappella: “Stars and Stripes Forever” — John Daversa, arranger (John Daversa Big Band Featuring DACA Artists)

Best Album Notes: Voices of Mississippi: Artists and Musicians Documented by William Ferris — David Evans, album notes writer (Various Artists)

In other categories, S.F. Bay Area winners include:

H.E.R. (Gabriella Wilson) from Vallejo won Best R&B Performance for her feature on Daniel Caesar’s song “Best Part,” and also won Best R&B Album for her self-titled project H.E.R. She was nominated for five total awards.

Oakland’s Fantastic Negrito (Xavier Amin Dphrepaulezz) won the award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for his second full-length album Please Don’t Be Dead.

Oakland-based metal band High on Fire won Best Metal Performance for Electric Messiah.

Did you enjoy the article?

Sign up to our weekly newsletter to receive the latest articles every Tuesday