Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen wins Gramophone Award
Under the direction of Paavo Jarvi, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie has won the prestigious Orchestra of the Year prize.
Under the direction of Paavo Jarvi, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie has been named Orchestra of the Year 2023, one of the one most prestigious awards in classical music.
It's a special year for the Gramophone Classical Music Awards: The British classical music magazine Gramophone, which awards the prize, is celebrating its 100th anniversary.
But beyond the special anniversary, a German orchestra was also in the spotlight at the award ceremony held on October 4 in London: The Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen (Bremen Chamber Philharmonic) was awarded the Orchestra of the Year 2023 prize.
One of the most prestigious accolades in classical music, the prize has been awarded annually since 1977. It honors orchestras that have produced outstanding recordings in the past year. The winner is selected by the public, through online voting.
The 'Oscars' of classical music
The award recognized the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen's interpretation of the "London Symphonies" by Joseph Haydn, conducted by Paavo Jarvi.
Nine other top international orchestras — including the Berlin Philharmonic, the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris — were also in the run for the award, seen as the "Oscar" of classical music.
The nominations were based on the orchestras' recordings from the past 12 months and covered a wide repertoire, from George Walker to Franz Schubert and from Igor Stravinsky to Dmitri Shostakovich.
"We are thrilled and extremely happy about the award," said chief conductor Paavo Jarvi. "This once again confirms our work and how our energetic style of playing is perceived worldwide. This is a special award for special musicians who are extraordinary, passionate and courageous. As former Federal President Gauck once said, there is 'no other orchestra of this kind in Germany.'"
Paavo Jarvi brought the Bremen orchestra to world fame
The Estonian-born Paavo Jarvi has been the artistic director of the Kammerphilharmonie Bremen since 2004. He is one of the world's most successful conductors.
Under his leadership, the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen established its international reputation.
A 10-year Beethoven project set high standards.
It was followed by a Schumann cycle, which also received worldwide recognition.
From 2015 onwards, the ensemble focused on a Brahms project and achieved international success — including a celebrated performance of the "Requiem" at the Bremen Cathedral and the award-winning documentary "The Brahms Code."
During the COVID pandemic, the musicians played in smaller ensembles and presented their interpretation of Haydn's London symphonies in autumn 2021. This unique project began in Vienna and took them on a tour of Asia. In spring 2023 they released the first CD with two of Haydn's London symphonies to great success. The orchestra has now received the award for this recording.
Selected by the public
The selection of the Orchestra of the Year prize has been open to the public for the past six years.
Voting takes place via Gramophone magazine's website.
To properly introduce the nominees and make it easier for voters to choose among them, Gramophone has created exclusive Apple Music playlists for each ensemble.
In addition to the Orchestra of the Year award, other important prizes were also presented at the event. The French soprano Veronique Gens was honored as Artist of the Year and the US violinist Stella Chen won the Young Artist of the Year recognition. English opera singer Felicity Lott received a lifetime achievement award. Sweden's BIS Records won the Label of the Year accolade .
Recent winners of the prestigious Gramophone Award include the Budapest Festival Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Hong Kong Philharmonic and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.