September 16, 2016

Warner Classics wins Label of the Year at the 2016 Gramophone Awards

The label also claimed awards in the Best Opera and Best Concerto categories at last night's London ceremony.

We are proud to announce that Warner Classics has been crowned Label of the Year at the prestigious Gramophone Awards in London. Now in its 39th edition, the Gramophone Awards are known as the ‘Oscars of classical music’. Warner Classics and its sister label Erato were also recipient of three category wins this year including the Opera , Recital, Concerto Awards. The Lifetime Achievement Award went to the legendary German singer Christa Ludwig, the favourite mezzo-soprano of Karajan, Böhm and Bernstein, for a career spanning over 45 years.

Label of the Year winner, Warner Classics, was represented by the label’s President, Alain Lanceron and Head of Classics UK, Patrick Lemanski, who collected the trophy from Gramophone’s Editor Martin Cullingford. In their citation, James Jolly and Martin Cullingford said: “Nurturing new artists, showing complete belief in them and giving them the devoted commitment they need to become tomorrow’s greats; honouring recording’s heritage with beautiful presentation and bringing it alive for a new generation; and continuing that golden tradition in our own day, with a no-expense-spared studio opera drawing on the talents of today’s leading artists: these are three facets of Warner Classics that come together to make them a worthy winner of our 2016 Label of the Year Award.”

Alain Lanceron accepted the award and commented: “Who would have thought in 2012, when the catalogues of EMI and Virgin were sold to Warner in an unstable climate, that four years later the label Warner Classics would receive the prestigious and coveted accolade of Gramophone Label of the Year? It is the proof that the guiding principles that led us to revive this label, with important new signings alongside deep catalogue exploitation, has borne fruit and that Warner Classics today holds a place in the hearts of classical music lovers all over the world. Thank you to Gramophone for this recognition and to all our artists and the Warner Classics team who make the label what it is today."

Patrick Lemanski, Head of Warner Classics UK, added: “I am absolutely delighted to celebrate together with all my UK Warner Classics team,  the prestigious Label of the Year Award from Gramophone. It has been a fantastic year, ranging from ambitious frontline projects such as Pappano’s Aida to the magnificent legacy boxes honouring the talent of music icons like Yehudi Menuhin or Itzhak Perlman. I’m really pleased and proud to see all these efforts recognised and acknowledged by the fair judges at Gramophone magazine.”

Other big winners on the night included Sir Antonio Pappano for his studio recording of Verdi’s Aida (“Grand Opera doesn’t get grander than this,” opined the Gramophone critics). The Music Director of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia accepted the award on stage: “I want to thank Stephen Johns (producer) and Jonathan Allen (engineer), and the vision of Alain Lanceron and his Warner Classics team. Thank you Alain for your continued believe in me and our Santa Cecilia Orchestra and in the power of Giuseppe Verdi who will always knock us dead, every time!”

Concerto category winner Vilde Frang played Tárrega’s Recuerdos de la Alhambra live in front of a captivated audience before accepting her award for the critically acclaimed Korngold and Britten album on Warner Classics (Frankfurt Radio Orchestra, James Gaffigan).


Conductor Raphaël Pichon accepted the Recital Award on behalf of his wife and artistic collaborator, French soprano Sabine Devieilhe, for their Mozart & the Weber Sisters album on Erato.

For the first time, the Gramophone Awards ceremony was streamed live by medici.tv, with parallel streams on classicfm.com and gramophone.co.uk. A celebratory Awards CD featuring full tracks from each of the winning recordings is available at Amazon.co.uk.