Grammy Awards 2012: Gustavo Dudamel, L.A. Philharmonic win
Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic won a Grammy Award on Sunday for their recording of Brahms' Fourth Symphony. It marked the first Grammy win in Dudamel's career.
No single album dominated the classical categories this year, but the list of winners featured a few major names, including composer John Adams, singer Joyce DiDonato and the group Eighth Blackbird.
The classical awards were handed out Sunday afternoon as part of a pre-show ceremony at Staples Center that was broadcast online.
The L.A. Philharmonic's album of Brahms' Fourth Symphony was released last year by Deutsche Grammophon. The recording was part of the orchestra's Brahms Unbound series last season at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Dudamel and the L.A. Philharmonic are currently on a concert tour in Venezuela and were not present to accept their award.
Naxos' recording of the opera "Elmer Gantry," composed by Robert Alridge and based on the Sinclair Lewis novel, won two Grammys: contemporary classical composition and engineered classical album.
DiDonato won in the vocal solo category for her album "Diva Divo." Earlier in the afternoon, the American mezzo-soprano serenaded the Grammy audience and received a standing ovation.
"Thank you for letting an opera girl come into this," she said on accepting the award. In her speech, she urged people to support arts education. "We need more Whitney Houstons, rest in peace," she said.
The group EighthBlackbird won in the category of small ensemble performance for its recording of Steve Mackey's "Lonely Motel." The group premiered a version of the piece at the Ojai Festival two years ago.
Other classical winners included percussionist Christopher Lamb's "Schwantner: Concerto for Percussion & Orchestra" for solo instrumental album, and the album "Light & Gold" for choral recording.
Judith Sherman took home the Grammy for producer of the year. In her acceptance speech, she thanked her labels for being "understanding ... which in the classical world is not a given."
-- David Ng
Photo: Gustavo Dudamel conducting the L.A. Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times