The Deutsche Phono-Akademie, which functions as the cultural arm of Germany's Federal Music Industry Association (Bundesverband Musikindustrie, BVMI), handed out its annual ECHO KLASSIK awards at a gala ceremony held last Sunday evening at the Konzerthaus Berlin. The ECHO KLASSIK counts among the most important awards in the field of classical music in the world and was handed out for the 23rd time this year. German talk-show legend Thomas Gottschalk hosted the event, which was broadcast that same evening on the public TV channel ZDF. After the gala, many of the night’s award-winners, presenters and honorary speakers mingled with guests drawn from the worlds of culture, business, politics and society at the ECHO KLASSIK Night held in the foyer of the Konzerthaus on Berlin’s Gendarmenmarkt Square. The ECHO KLASSIK 2016 can be viewed in the online “ZDF Mediathek” as of today.
The list of ECHO KLASSIK 2016 award-winners reads like a who’s who in the classical music world. For example, star soprano Anna Netrebko – who also performed that night – was awarded the ECHO for “Female Singer of the Year” by German entertainer and presenter Barbara Schöneberger. Tenor Andrea Bocelli also provided a taste of his talents and received an ECHO in the category “Classical without Borders”, which was presented to him by boxing legend Henry Maske. Philippe Jaroussky was named “Male Singer of the Year” and received his award from bestselling American author Donna Leon, who gave the speech honouring the young countertenor from France.
“Newcomer” on the saxophone was Asya Fateyeva, who was handed her award by ZDF science presenter Dirk Steffens. The members of German Brass were happy to receive their award in the “Ensemble/Orchestra” category from actor William Cohn, while “Bestseller of the Year” winner, tenor Jonas Kaufmann, received his from host Thomas Gottschalk. The speech honouring Alfred Brendel, who was awarded a Lifetime Achievement ECHO in Berlin, was held by Germany’s Minister of Culture Monika Grütters.
The ECHO KLASSIK 2016 was handed out in a total of 22 categories. Among the other award-winners this year were stars such as violinist Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Sol Gabetta and soprano Olga Peretyatko. German rock singer Campino from the band Die Toten Hosen was honoured together with the Bundesjugendorchester, conducted by Alexander Shelley, for their co-recording of a new, multimedia version of Sergei Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf”. A posthumous ECHO award went to conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt, who died in March, and the Concentus Musicus Wien. In addition to Asya Fateyeva, the award-winners in the “Newcomer” categories included Andrè Schuen, Aurelia Shimkus, Edgar Moreau and Yury Revich. For an overview of all ECHO KLASSIK award winners, please visit http://www.echoklassik.de/fileadmin/echoklassik/upload/pdf/2016/ECHO_KLASSIK_2016_Prize_Winners_161006.pdf.
Among those winners who performed live on stage at the Konzerthaus Berlin were Anna Netrebko and Andrea Bocelli as well as Khatia Buniatishvili, Asya Fateyeva, German Brass, Philippe Jaroussky and Olga Peretyatko.
As BVMI Managing Director Dr. Florian Drücke noted, “There is hardly any other event in the world of classical music that brings together as many great musicians as the ECHO KLASSIK. And, although the gala has a palpable glamour factor, what’s most impressive is the sheer volume and level of musical quality – ranging from up-and-coming young talent all the way to well-established artists – the ECHO attracts on one night at one location. Indeed, we experienced some very moving moments this evening. I’m also quite sure that the unique atmosphere we experienced in the Konzerthaus tonight was felt by audiences at home thanks to the successful production work done by our partners at ZDF. And we’re all the more pleased about this success considering that we’re extending our cooperation with ZDF, which has agreed to be the media partner of the ECHO KLASSIK in the coming two years!“
To view photos of the award-winners, presenters and guests from the show itself as well as from the red carpet and photo call, please visit the press area at http://www.echoklassik.de/en/klassik-presse/.
ECHO KLASSIK – A Gathering of National and International Classical Music Stars
The ECHO KLASSIK is one of the most prestigious music awards in the world. In 2016, it will be handed out for the 23rd time in a row. Each year, a virtual who's-who of the classical music scene attends the glamorous ceremony. This year, the ECHO KLASSIK will be held on 9th October 2016 at the Konzerthaus in Berlin.
The German music-industry body known as the Deutsche Phono-Akademie, the cultural institute of the Bundesverband Musikindustrie (BVMI), has organised the ECHO KLASSIK awards and honoured outstanding performances by national and international artists annually since 1994. The winners are chosen by a jury consisting of prominent industry experts. The key goals of the ECHO KLASSIK are to recognise extraordinary recordings but also to use the prestigious award to foster young talent and bring the fascination and diversity of classical music to a broader audience.
An overview of ECHO KLASSIK 2016 award winners (in alphabetical order):