Wigmore Hall Live - the first live label to scoop the Gramophone Award for Label of the Year
Wigmore Hall, widely regarded as among the best - if not the best - of all recital halls, attracts many of the greatest classical artists and is home to the largest chamber and song series in the world. Artists repeatedly name it as their favourite performance platform and talk of its intimate atmosphere, the excellence of its revered acoustic, and the warmth of the audience.
In 2005 Wigmore Hall invested in state-of-the-art recording equipment to capture its finest live performances to share with audiences around the world. At the time Gramophone declared: “ Few concert venues possess the magic ingredient to play host to such a project.” In just six short years the label has already acquired a roster of internationally renowned artists covering a wide range of repertoire.
The past year alone has seen the release of many critically lauded vocal and instrumental recitals, including cycles from Alina Ibragimova and Cédric Tiberghien with their complete Beethoven violin sonatas:
“One of the most delicious of all the label's offerings, bold in its concept and backed up by first-class musicianship.” Gramophone
“…Ardent, impulsive, intensely 'lived' performance… should be heard by anyone who loves this cycle.”
The Hall has also opened its doors to Indian classical music for the first time and released a 2010 Wigmore Hall recital by the distinguished sarod virtuoso Amjad Ali Khan in advance of his forthcoming residency.
In giving this Award, Gramophone talked of the ‘truly seismic’ implications of the launch of the label: “The business model at Wigmore Hall was unique. But more than that, the creative implications were massive.”
John Gilhooly, Wigmore Hall's Director, comments: “It is a great honour for Wigmore Hall Live to be named Gramophone Label of the Year only six years into its life. Our aim is to continue to attract the very best classical artists of today, and this Award gives a tremendous boost to our plans for the years ahead.”
Press Release by Samantha Holderness, Albion Media
Watch the highlights video from The Gramophone Awards: