The Classical Music Awards 1994: Brilliance and brio acclaimed: Robert Maycock describes the talents that drew the approval of the judges

Orchestra of the Year: New York Philharmonic. Under the direction of Kurt Masur - who chose the job in preference to being President of Germany - it has just celebrated its 150th anniversary.

Notable premieres it has given in its time include Dvorak's New World Symphony. Now its home base is Avery Fisher Hall, and in summer it gives free concerts in city parks.

Chorus of the Year: Arnold Schoenberg Chor. Featured for the awards programme not with its namesake's music but in Haydn's great oratorio The Creation. Its repertoire in fact ranges from opera, and large- scale works such as the Brahms German Requiem (one of last year's notable performances) to intricate unaccompanied music.

Based in Vienna, it was founded in 1972 by Erwin Ortner, who is still the artistic director. Most members are graduates of the Vienna School of Music.

Female Singer of the Year: Cecilia Bartoli. Currently inseparable from the name of Rossini, as anyone will know who has heard her combination of brilliant accuracy and musical feeling in the most spectacularly decorative arias.

Last year she made her mark in Mozart opera too, with Don Giovanni at La Scala, Milan, and Cosi fan tutte in Salzburg. Rossini's Barber of Seville took her to Houston and Zurich. She appeared in London with recitals at the Wigmore Hall and the Royal Festival Hall.

Conductor of the Year: Valery Gergiev. The right musician in the right place at the right time - he has been artistic director and principal conductor of the Kirov Opera, St Petersburg, since 1988, and apart from his musical achievements has conceived and brought off a new dimension of activity for his company.

The Kirov has toured widely in Western Europe and last November went to Japan; it has just set up a joint series with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London which will bring Gergiev and Kirov singers to perform an adventurous repertoire of Russian operas in concert.

Opera Production of the Year: Oedipus Rex at the Saito Kinen Festival. This imaginative staging brought together Asian costumes and stage traditions with the ritual of the Greek theatre and the epic score of Stravinsky.

Jessye Norman sang Jocasta, Philip Langridge Oedipus, and Bryn Terfel Creon. The conductor was Seiji Ozawa, who founded this new summer festival in Matsumoto, beneath the mountains of central Japan.

There are prospects of a transfer to Paris; a full video exists but has not yet been screened in Britain.

Composition of the Year: Symphony No 4 by Witold Lutoslawski. A musical masterpiece, predicted the jury, that will quickly become a genuine classic - in which case it will be following in the footsteps of the same composer's Symphony No 3 and a long series of scintillating scores for orchestra in particular.

It was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, first heard there in February 1993, and had its UK premiere at the Proms in August.

Festival of the Year: Tender is the North. At the end of 1992 four London venues, including the Barbican Centre and the Wigmore Hall, put on a 55- concert exploration of the Nordic countries' music alongside drama, art and film.

It included a range of music familiar (Sibelius) and unknown (quite a lot of Grieg, as well as pieces from the active new-music scene). Leading Scandinavian and Finnish musicians appeared, along with British performers. According to Humphrey Burton, itnarrowly escaped being called 'Some like it cold'.

Television Broadcast of the Year: BBC TV's The Vampyr. This was the one that turned opera into soap, presenting the characters of Heinrich Marschner's 1828 cult work (not much seen in opera houses now) as manipulators and victims of modern high finance.

There was an instalment each night for five days, until the vampire met his grisly end - which managed to be thrilling and hilarious at the same time.

Produced by Janet Street- Porter, directed by Nigel Finch, and sung by Omar Ebrahim, Richard Van Allan and Fiona O'Neill among others.

Instrumentalist of the Year: Yuri Bashmet. Has given the viola, once the neglected voice of the string section, a new dimension of solo expression, following the lead of his great predecessor Lionel Tertis. Like him, Bashmet has seen numerous new works into life, particularly in the later days of the Soviet Union - he has had an especially fruitful creative relationship with the composer Alfred Schnittke.

He is a professor at the Moscow Conservatory, where he founded a high-powered touring string ensemble, the Moscow Soloists, in 1992.

Recording of the Year: Symphony No 3 by Henryk Gorecki. What else could it have been? Dawn Upshaw, Paul Daniel and the London Sinfonietta were not the first to record the Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, which was composed nearly 20 years ago. But theirs was the one that caught a public mood.

His appearances at public performances now produce amazing scenes of high emotion and standing ovations, more like a rock concert than a classical event. The recording reached No 6 in the pop album charts and continues to sell in huge numbers.

Chamber Group of the Year: Kronos Quartet. Another case of new-music specialists reaching a big new audience. The quartet tours constantly and is equally well known on disc, but the distinctive feature - apart from user-friendly concert styles - is what it plays.

Repertoire runs right through from the 20th-century classics to Glass and Gorecki and brand-new pieces by young composers, and further still, into classic rock arrangments and collaborations with the music of Africa and Asia. Not afraid of improvising, either.

Newcomer of the Year: Sarah Chang. The 13-year-old violin virtuoso, born in Philadelphia to Korean parents, has just graduated to a full-size violin. But the music-making has been in a league of its own for several years, a fusion of technical prowess and musical instinct that has baffled, thrilled and moved fellow string players and audiences alike.

Began playing at four, made her orchestral debut in 1986, now studying at the Juilliard School in New York. Asked for the Awards what she might be doing in a few years' time, said 'I'm aiming to be a violinist.'

Male Singer of the Year: Thomas Hampson. The baritone styles himself simply 'a singer' and uses his warm- toned natural asset to cast a glow on Bach and Mahler, Stephen Foster and Cole Porter. Studied in America, where he made his debut in 1974, although his first appearance at the Royal Opera in London came only last year, in The Barber of Seville.

During 1993 he gave recitals at Carnegie Hall and Tanglewood, and he has enhanced the CD catalogues by recording Ambroise Thomas's 19th-century French opera, Hamlet.

Also awarded, though not presented at the Royal Albert Hall: Early Music Group of the Year. The winner was the Orchestra of the 18th Century.

In association with Kenwood, supported by BBC Music Magazine and the Independent

(Photographs omitted)

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Feeling all at sea: Barbara's 18-year-old son came under the influence of a Canadian libertarian preacher – and she had to fight to win him back
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Living the high life: Anne Robinson enjoys some skip-surfed soup
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Arts and Entertainment
Doctor Who and Missy in the Doctor Who series 8 finale

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Chvrches lead singer Lauren Mayberry in the band's new video 'Leave a Trace'

music
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Home on the raunch: George Bisset (Aneurin Barnard), Lady Seymour Worsley (Natalie Dormer) and Richard Worsley (Shaun Evans)

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly Come Dancing was watched by 6.9m viewers

Strictly
Arts and Entertainment
NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton

film
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dormer as Margaery Tyrell and Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
New book 'The Rabbit Who Wants To Fall Asleep' by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

books
Arts and Entertainment
Calvi is not afraid of exploring the deep stuff: loneliness, anxiety, identity, reinvention
music
Arts and Entertainment
Edinburgh solo performers Neil James and Jessica Sherr
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
If a deal to buy tBeats, founded by hip-hop star Dr Dre (pictured) and music producer Jimmy Iovine went through, it would be Apple’s biggest ever acquisition

album review
Arts and Entertainment
Paloma Faith is joining The Voice as a new coach

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Dowton Abbey has been pulling in 'telly tourists', who are visiting Highclere House in Berkshire

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Patriot games: Vic Reeves featured in ‘Very British Problems’
TV review
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
    Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

    The Arab Spring reversed

    Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
    King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

    Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

    Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
    Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

    Who is Oliver Bonas?

    It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
    Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

    Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

    However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
    60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

    60 years of Scalextric

    Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones