MIDEM Classical Awards 2009


The International Music and Discography Market (MIDEM) has been held annually in Cannes, France, for more than 40 years. This is the meeting place for all professionals in the field, who come together to share their good moves and become familiar with new trends.

MIDEM Classical Awards is one of the most significant musical events that take place during MIDEM. In 2005 it replaced Cannes Classical Awards, and since then has become an exceptional launch pad for all the winning artists. MIDEM Classical Awards sets a mission to discover creativity, innovation of repertoire and artistic excellency for CDs and DVDs of classical music. For this occasion, a prestigious international jury made up of the leading music professionals from different types of mass media come together to recognise the top artists and recordings of the year.

midemclassicalawards.com was the official site for the MIDEM Classical Awards.
Content is from the site's 2009 - 2010 archived pages and other outside sources.


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About MIDEM Classical Awards

Founded in 2005 as the successor of the Cannes Classical Awards, the MIDEM Classical Awards 2010 recognize creativity, innovation of repertoire and artistic excellency for CDs and DVDs of classical music.

For this occasion, a prestigious international Jury made up of the leading specialist magazines, radios and organisations, has come together to recognise the top artists and recordings of the year.

The strong presence of professionals from the classical sector during MIDEM, combined with the wish of Jury members to encourage the distribution and promotion of the Award winners, make the MIDEM Classical Awards an exceptional launch pad for all the winning artists.

The general categories are:

  • CD: Early Music: Music of any genre composed before 1600
  • CD: Baroque Music: Any genre between 1600 - 1750
  • CD: Vocal Recitals: Music for 1 – 4 voices with orchestra, Lied, melody, opera
  • CD: Choral Works: Music for more than 4 voices with or without instrumental music
  • CD: Opera: Including also operetta and zarzuela
  • CD: Solo Instrument: From any period for 1 instrument
  • CD: Chamber Music: Music from 2 – 10 instruments
  • CD: Concertos: Work for 1 or more soloists with an ensemble CD: Symphonic Works: Any work with more than 10 players – without soloist
  • CD: Contemporary Music: Music not older than 25 years or from a living composer
  • CD: First Recording: First recording of a musical work
  • CD: Historical: First commercial CD release of a recording older than 25 years
  • DVD: Opera / Ballet
  • DVD: Concerts
  • DVD: Documentaries

The special categories are:

  • Lifetime Achievement Award Classical Download
  • Artist of the Year
  • Label of the Year
  • Recording of the Year
  • Outstanding Young Artist, (IAMA Award)
  • Jury Nomination Award
  • Classical Download Award
  • Special Chopin Award (only 2010)  


In The Show: As the media reviewer for ShowBlitz I covered this event with live camera feeds and a recorded version consisting of taped sections pulled from the feeds for US viewers. Unfortunately, there was a well publicized scandal involving a couple of the jurors arrested for being drunk and disorderly, something they deny happened and there are no police reports to support the claim. Yet this story hit the rumor mills and spread like wildfire. It was not welcome news for us. But to see that story at the top of the search for MIDEM awards in Google was stunning and disheartening. Google was helping to smear our name by associating us with a tabloid story that turned out not to be true. Apparently this is a well known problem w/ Google. Our PR guys started talking about getting an seo guru to manipulate the search results to get rid of the problem. We could not afford it and ended up living with it - not sure it mattered in the long run. The show was regal and delightful and many had a wonderful evening enjoying the talen. But everyone is annoyed to say the least, with Google.


Midem Classical Awards: and the winners are ...

BY MARC ZISMAN | qobuz.com | JANUARY 21, 2009
Philippe Jaroussky, Christoph Prégardien, Julia Fischer, Adam Walker and Murray Perahia are among the winners of the 2009 Midem Classical Awards .

French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky and German tenor Christoph Prégardien are among the winners of the 2009 Midem Classical Awards , announced at Cannes on the occasion of the 43rd edition of the Midem (International Discography and Music Publishing Market) on 20 January.

Jaroussky was awarded the title of "Best Baroque Recording" and "Lyric Artist of the Year". Prégardien is distinguished in the categories "singing recital" and "best recording of the year".

A vibrant tribute was paid to the famous Italian tenor Carlo Bergonzi , world renowned for his phenomenal career (alongside Maria Callas and Herbert von Karajan) and especially for his interpretations of the Verdian repertoire. During this ceremony, he received from the hands of the young German tenor Jonas Kaufmann, who came for the occasion, a special Midem Award for his entire career. Some archive footage of a representation of the Masked Ballhe had given in Tokyo in 1967 allowed the audience of the Palais des Festivals to hear Bergonzi again sing one of his favorite tunes Ma for me perderti and to reserve him a moving ovation standing. On the program of this evening of Midem Classical Awards 2009 , the captivating timbre of Jaroussky , in Porpora's famous Alto Giove , but also the great Finnish cellist Anssi Karttunen in an interpretation of Etincelles de Saariaho. French pianist Lise de la Salle offered her reading of the finale of Mozart's "Jeune Homme" Concerto while Prégardien proposed that of Haydn's opera aria d' Anima del Filosofo . 

Sabine Meyer, German clarinetist, made the audience a surprise for her performance by playing the Andante of the Clarinet Concertoof Mozart and finally, the Sony Masterworks label, named "Label of the Year", was represented by American guitarist Sharon Isbin. 

This evening will have also discovered one of the hidden talents of Lise de la Salle who presented the evening alongside James Jolly at the Debussy auditorium of the Palais des Festivals.

On their side, British flautist Adam Walker was crowned "revelation" and German violinist Julia Fischer"instrumental soloist of the year".

The international jury of this 5th edition of the Midem Classical Awards , composed of journalists and professionals, distinguished a total of 36 disks and 9 DVDs.

The 2009 winners are as follows:
• Early Music: Monteverdi - Fifth Book of Madrigals , Ensemble La Venexiana (Glossa).
• Baroque music: Carestini - History of a castrato , Jaroussky (Virgin / EMI).
• Recital of singing: Schubert - The beautiful miller , Christoph Prégardien (Challenge Records).
• Choral Music: Handel - The Messiah , The Sixteen, Harry Christophers (Coro).
• Solo instrument: Bach - Partitas 2, 3 and 4 , Murray Perahia (Sony).
• Chamber Music: Janacek and Haas - String Quartets , Pavel Haas Quartet (Supraphon).
• Opera: Janacek - Mr. Broucek's Travels , JiÅ™í BÄ›lohlávek (DG / Universal).
• Contemporary Music: Saariaho - On Light Notes, Orion, Mirage , Christoph Eschenbach (Ondine).
• Historical Music: Fritz Busch - Complete recording of Dresden (1923-1932) , Busch (Profile).
• Concertos: Bach - Organ Concertos op. 4 , Richard Egarr (Harmonia Mundi).
• Symphonic Music: Mozart - Symphonies 38 to 41 , Sir Alan Charles Mackerras (Linn).
• First recording: Wellesz - String Quartets No. 3, 4, 6 , Vienna Artis Quartet (Nimbus).
• DVD (opera / ballet): Adams - Doctor Atomic , directed Peter ellars (Opus Arte).
• DVD (concerts): Mahler - Symphony No. 3 , Claudio Abbado (EuroArts).
• DVDs (documentaries): Karajan - Maestro For The Screen (Arthaus).
• Lyric artist of the year: Philippe Jaroussky (counter-tenor).
• Instrumental Soloist of the Year: Julia Fischer (violin).
• Special prize for his entire career: Carlo Bergonzi (tenor).
• Label of the year: Sony Masterworks.
• Revelation of the year: Adam Walker (flute).
• Jury Prize: Beethoven - Sonatas for violin, vol. 5 , Michael Korstick (Oehms).




The Jury of the MIDEM Classical Awards

President of the MCA Jury Rémy Franck (Pizzicato)

President of the MCA Jury Rémy Franck (Pizzicato)

All entries that meet the conditions of participation will be reviewed by Reed MIDEM and then submitted to an international Jury.

The international Jury is composed of 15-20 members. The core of the Jury is the so called MCA Jury Board which is elected by jury members and consists of five of the members. The Jury members have been selected by Reed MIDEM.

The Jury members IMZ and IAMA will participate at the voting of the special categories. For the general CDs and/or DVDs categories, IAMA will participate only in the final round. IMZ will participate for the DVD categories from the beginning, for the CD categories only in the final round.

The following pre-selection and final selection processes will apply depending on category being judged.
The Jury will base their decisions upon criteria able to define creativity, without limitation, such as:

  • Innovation of repertoire
  • Artistic excellency
  • Packaging
  • Technology

If there is any imbalance between the number of CDs and/or DVDs competing in a particular category, or for any other reason identified by the Jury, the Jury reserves the right not to nominate a winner for each category.

The pre-selection and selection Jury’s decisions are final and without appeal. By entering the competition, the submitting entrants agree not to challenge the pre-selection and/or selection Jury’s decisions on any ground. 


The process of voting for MIDEM Classical Awards

  1. The Jury will be judging the entries by taking into account the above mentioned criteria.
  2. There will be three rounds of voting, one corresponding to the pre-selection of a maximum of 10 CDs and/or DVDs in each category, the second one corresponding to the selection of a short list of 5 CDs and/or DVDs in each category and a third and last one corresponding to the final selection of 3 nominations and 1 winner in each category.
  3. For each round, each Jury member will rate each CD or DVD and score it on a Judging Form, approved by Reed MIDEM:
  4. In the first two rounds, the Jury members nominate 10 respectively 5 CD/DVD productions without giving points. In the third round a CD or DVD can earn between 1-5 points (5 being the maximum rate) taking into account the criteria as mentioned above.
  5. Pre-selection: at the end of the first round, Reed MIDEM will collect and tabulate all judging forms for the respective categories. The 10 most nominated CDs and/or DVDs will reach the second round.
  6. Selection: at the end of the second round, Reed MIDEM will proceed as for round 1, it is specified that only the 5 most nominated CDs and/or DVDs will reach the final round. In this final round, the 3 CDs and/or DVDs with the maximum total points will be the nominations whereas the CD and/or DVD with the maximum points will be the winner of the category (hereafter the “winner” or collectively “winners”).

The companies whose CD and/or DVD titles are selected by the MIDEM Classical Awards 2010 International Jury will be notified of their award by Reed MIDEM, by mail during the course of December 2009 and invited to participate at the Awards Ceremony which will take place in Cannes, on
Tuesday, 26th January 2010.

Please note that accommodation, flights and expenses on site are to be paid for by the winners. Winning one of the MIDEM Classical Awards does not give complementary entry to the MIDEM exhibition area. However, winning artists will be granted accommodation (stay of 1 night for one person only, extras excluded) and a complementary entry to the MIDEM exhibition area.

The winners may be asked to supply additional information about their company and/or artists such as photographs, logo, company profile, etc for promotional purposes. It being recalled that MIDEM is a communication and promotion forum for the music industry, the entrant hereby authorizes the MIDEM and their representatives and guarantees that it has been authorized to that end by right holders, to directly or indirectly record the MIDEM Classical Awards 2010, and to reproduce and communicate the same
to the public by any means, and on all media for the purposes of communicating on the MIDEM Classical Awards 2010, especially on the www.midem.com website. The entrant accordingly authorizes MIDEM to use his/her name and likeness and if so, that of its representative present during the MIDEM Classical Awards. To the same end, the entrant also guarantees that MIDEM is authorized to freely use any of the logos, trademarks, title, extracts and other intangible rights and promotional items related to the CDs and/or DVDs. Shall be also made broadcasts of excerpts of the CDs and/or DVDs lasting less than three minutes during regional or national radio programs, or on the website.



Lise de la Salle presenting MCA 2009

The Ceremony of the 5th Midem Classical Awards will take place on January 20th 2009 at 8pm in the Theatre Debussy and will be hosted by the famous French pianist Lise de la Salle and the James Jolly from Gramophone, UK.

Born in Cherbourg, France in 1988, Ms. de la Salle was surrounded by music from her earliest childhood. She began studying the piano at the age of four and gave her first concert at nine in a live broadcast on Radio France. At 13, she made her concerto debut with Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 2 in  Avignon.  After an impressive series of first prizes Lise de la Salle was awarded the Young Concert Artist International Auditions in New York 2004, which gave her the opportunity to debut in New York and Washington. She performed in Japan and on several festivals in Europe. Her recording of works by Bach and Liszt was selcted as The Gramophone's recording of the Month in August 2005. The first recording with works by Ravel and Rachmaninov also received critical acclaim. Further, Lise de la Salle recorded the piano concerts No 1 by Shostakovich, Liszt and Prokofiew. The recording was awarded CD of the Month and Editor's Choice in the Gramophone April 2008 edition. Her most recend disc, with works by Mozart and Prokofiev, also was selected Gramophone's Editor's Choice, August 2007 and BBC Music Magazine Choice.



Gazing the future of the record industry

by Kornél Zipernovszky / Feb 10 2009
There was much talk about the general fallback of the recording industry, and last year recession has hit the whole of the world economy. There was not really too much optimism preceding the biggest international fair of the industry, Midem, although the whole of the sector experienced tendencies dating back much earlier than 2008.
This year professionals were not asking questions about the most effective means of fighting piracy, but rather, how to best utilise the new channels of digital music distribution, including downloading on the internet.
Midem participants were running around with bags sporting the logo of Napster while Midemnet emancipated as a fair on its own. Often the figure was quoted that the new service of Nokia in some countries includes five thousand song titles, and similar services are being worked out by Sony Ericsson and Orange, and iPhone would loose its capital P and would become a common noun, it was predicted.
There were still some examples of what major record companies excelled in getting wrong over the years: the life achievement award and a national award from France was given to the British bard, Donovan, who certainly deserves respect from everywhere, however his heyday lays back many-many generations. Charles Aznavour is still chique, no word about that, however there is some discrepancy between his being loudly celebrated at the Midem and the 21st century goals the industry thrives to achieve. I was not too optimistic about the prospects of the Russian pop stars, who were featured at the opening party to conquer the European market, either, because some of them were not even trying to be original.
I gathered a much favourable impression at both jazz concert series of the Midem. One presente established performing artists and the other introduced up and coming talents. The non-professional part of the audience in the club of the Majestic as well as professionals were happy to experience truly new voices and a fresh approach. British pianist David Stapleton, who played the Budapest Jazz Festival last year, and the extremely talented Australian pianist Sean Foran, who is not as fully fledged yet as his British colleague, or the Swedish sax player, Magnus Lindgren who has just now teamed up with Brazilian percussionists have all really deserved to have been selected, just like the New Cool Collective from Holland, who have played in Hungary many times, and the Belgrade-born Paris resident, pianist Bojan Z.
That the CD era is not over yet, is mostly an argument heard from classical and jazz labels (and not only due to nostalgia, as for instance a Coltrane Blue Note re-issue on CD sold 400 thousand copies) because they still consider the sales of albums to be vital, as opposed to the pop music publishers, who, selling single tracks, cater for the youngest audience using various digital media. The sale of physical carriers in France, considering the total music industry, has fallen back by 60 over the last six years. In the USA the share of classical and jazz issues has also dramatically dropped between 2001 and 2006 (from 3,2% to 1,9%, and respectively 3,9% 2%). Figures of 2007 provide some hope: the share of classical music has regained 0.4, while that of jazz has regained 0.6 percent. The pressure to diversify sales channels has also brought about the change that smaller and independent labels have gained more respect in artistic terms, and a somewhat bigger share on the market. The representatives of the independent labels Thirsty Ear from the US, and the British Kudos have agreed at a round-table discussion that the successful marketing of the small record companies must utilise all kinds of internet-based channels of promotion, however they should not be led by their nose by what technological development dictates.
(Mr. Zipernovszky is a freelance coumnist residing in Budapest Hungary.)




2010 Edition

The MIDEM Classical Awards Jury announced the first Special Awards for the 2010 edition. The winners are Italian soprano Mirella Freni, Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt, Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, German baritone Christian Gerhaher and the label Naïve.



The MIDEM Classical Awards Jury announced the first Special Awards for the 2010 edition. The winners are Italian soprano Mirella Freni, Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt, Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca, German baritone Christian Gerhaher and the label Naïve.
The four artists and Naïve will be honoured as part of the MIDEM Classical Awards 2010 ceremony on January 26th, in the Palais des Festivals, Cannes.
The “Lifetime Achievement” award goes to the Italian soprano Mirella Freni. The singer became enormously successful in 1963 when she conquered the audience at the Scala in Milan as “Mimi” in Franco Zeffirelli's and Herbert von Karajan's legendary “ La Bohème.” This production became one of the most popular opera films of all times.
In Cannes, the Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt will receive the “Instrumentalist of the Year” award. Hewitt is a proven specialist of Johann Sebastian Bach's music and is just as successful with Chopin, Beethoven or Schumann. In 2005, she launched the Trasimeno Music Festival held annually in Magione.
For the category “Singer of the Year,” the MIDEM Classical Awards Jury decided to honour two artists: the mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca and the baritone Christian Gerhaher. Born into a musical family in Riga, Elina Garanca made her international breakthrough in 2003 at the Salzburger Festival when she sang “Annio” in a production of Mozart's “La Clemenza di Tito,” conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt. She has since established herself as one of the world’s most renowned singers.
Considered one of the most talented interpreters of our time, the German baritone Christian Gerhaher also caught the Jury’s attention. He took part in Helmut Deutsch’s “lied class” and participated in the master-classes given by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf and Inge Borkh. In 1998 he won the Prix International Pro Musicis in Paris/New York and subsequently debuted at Carnegie Hall in New York and the Schubertiade Feldkirch.
Finally, by electing Naïve as “Label of the year”, the Jury has acknowledged the energy deployed by the label in the music industry and its capacity to explore a large and rare catalogue including a range of first choice articles.



First 2010 Midem Classical Awards winners named

by James Jolly16th Dec 2009/ www.gramophone.co.uk/

The Midem Classical Awards 2010 will be held during the record industry’s annual trade fair in Cannes in late January. At a gala event, to be co-hosted by the Canadian mezzo Marie-Nicole Lemieux and Gramophone’s Editor in Chief James Jolly, on January 26, awards will be made for a host of recordings (over many categories) and to a handful of major international stars. Jacek Kaspszyck will conduct Sinfonietta Cracovia.

The Awards have been voted for by an international jury comprising magazines (including Gramophone), websites and artist management organisations. A special award is being made to coincide with “Chopin Year” (the great Polish composer and pianist was born 200 years ago, in 1810).

Among the recipients of the special artist awards are the Italian soprano Mirella Freni who is receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award and the Canadian pianist Angela Hewitt, voted Instrumentalist of the Year. Two singers are receiving the Singer of the Year, the Latvian mezzo Elina Garanca and the German baritone, Christian Gerhaher.

The Label of the Year has been chosen: it goes to the French independent, Naïve.

The record categories to be awarded are: Early Music, Baroque Music, Vocal Recitals, Choral Works, Opera, Solo Instrument, Chamber Music, Concertos, Symphonic Works, Contemporary Music, First Recording, Historical DVD (Opera & Ballet), DVD (Concerts) and DVD (Documentaries).

Voting partners at the Midem Classical Awards are: Crescendo, Fono Forum, Gramophone, IAMA. IMZ, Klassik.com, MDR-Figaro, ORF, Pizzicato, Orpheus, ResMusica.com and Scherzo.