An album of music for strings by the Bulgarian-British composer Dobrinka Tabakova has been nominated for a 2014 Grammy award. String Paths, recorded on the ECM label, has been shortlisted in the Best Classical Compendium category, along with recordings of Hindemith orchestral works and Holmboe concertos.
The announcement comes days after the British Association of Composers, Songwriters and Authors came under fire in the Independent for an all-male list of prizewinners in its annual composer awards.
Reacting to the announcement, Tabakova said, ‘It is an extreme honour and privilege to have been nominated in the Best Classical Compendium category of the Grammy Awards. The response to the music and the album has been quite overwhelming for which I am so grateful. The news has hardly sunk in yet, but I am sure my deep happiness is shared by all of my dear friends and musicians, who have been part of this incredible journey.’
The collection of five pieces, including a cello concerto and suite for viola, features violinist Janine Jansen, violist Maxim Rysanov and cellist Kristina Blaumane along with several other individual artists and the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra.
Rysanov, who also conducts on the recording, is a regular collaborator with the composer. Among the pieces she has written for him is the Suite In Old Style that led to her signing with ECM, following a performance of the work at the Lockenhaus Festival in Austria in 2008.
The 33-year old composer came to London from her native Bulgaria in 1991. She attended Alleyn’s school before studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and King’s College London, where she was awarded her doctorate.
She is one of a number of British Grammy nominees this year: others include the late Sir Colin Davis and the LSO for Berlioz’s Grande messe des morts, Harry Christophers with The Sixteen, and a disc of Parry by BBC National Orchestra of Wales under Neeme Järvi in the Best Choral Performance category. Sir Simon Rattle for his Rite of Spring with the Berlin Philharmonic (Best Orchestral Performance). Dame Evelyn Glennie is nominated for Best Instrumental Performance, and there are nominations for Britten’s Rape of Lucretia with Oliver Knussen conducting the Aldeburgh Festival Ensemble and the Met Opera’s production of The Tempest by Thomas Adès. James Mallinson is nominated for Best Producer, Classical, for work including the LSO’s Berlioz release on LSO Live.
ECM is also represented in the Best Choral and Best Classical Composition categories for Arvo Part’s Adam’s Lament. The label’s founder Manfred Eicher is nominated in the Best Producer, Classical category.
One other noteworthy nomination is Osmo Vänskä’s recording of Sibelius first and fourth symphonies with the Minnesota Orchestra (Best Orchestral Performance). The future of the orchestra is in considerable doubt as a result of the continuing lengthy breakdown of relations between musicians and management that led to Vänskä’s resignation as music director of the orchestra in October.
Grammys are awarded annually by the USA industry organisation the Recording Academy for the best music recording work in 82 categories, nine of which are specifically for classical music. The 2014 awards, the 56th, will be presented live on television at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on 26 January.