Archives for 2020

BIG BIG TRAIN, London Hackney Empire 02/11/19

“Seldom does a show generate such a high level of expectation – an audio/visual adventure into the unknown. Such was the sense of wonderment as the rarely-seen live cadre of core and contributing musicians entered to enthusiastic applause. This final performance on a UK mini-tour fitter perfectly into the purview of the group’s cultural preservation of all things British. In retrospect, it was made the more poignant as I took my seat next to original Fairport Convention singer, Judy Dyble, who’d just completed an album with (lead singer, front man) David Longdon. Chatting with them both at the after-show is now even more memorable, given Judy’s passing. The show itself was magnificent tour de force of progressive movements and moments. Many rate and treasured memories were captured in one magical evening.” Paul Davies


The award – from one of the oldest and most prestigious classical music magazines in the world – is a supreme honour for the label, and is especially encouraging during this time of crisis. Alpha Classics has been championing quality music-making for more than 20 years: rare repertoire that is frequently off the beaten track, and recorded in the best possible conditions by artists of all generations and from all walks of life. New talent also remains a top priority for the label. Firmly rooted in Baroque music since its beginning, Alpha has opened its doors to more diverse repertoire and adventurous programming since the arrival of Didier Martin at its head six years ago.

Three further Gramophone Awards were presented this year to Alpha Classics artists or recordings:

  • Recital category: SI J’AI AIMÉ by Sandrine Piau (soprano), Le Concert de la Loge, Julien Chauvin (in collaboration with the Palazzetto Bru Zane).
  • Chamber Music category: VERESS BARTÓK recorded during the Lockenhaus festival by its artistic director Nicolas Altstaedt (cello), with Vilde Frang & Barnabás Kelemen (violin), Lawrence Power, Katalin Kokas (viola), Alexander Lonquich (piano).
  • A Special Award within the context of the «Beethoven 250» celebrations to Martin Helmchen for his recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 5 with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, under the direction of Andrew Manze.

“I am proud and happy that our flagship label has received this prestigious award. It is a tribute to all the artists who have chosen to join us and to the work of a superb team. It also confirms that there is a place for those who champion culture and quality in the face of the deluge of commercial nonsense. The public, whether established or new, deserves only the best!”

~ Charles Adriaenssen, President of Outhere Music

Didier Martin, Director of Alpha Classics and CEO of Outhere Music, added: “It is more than an honour to receive this award. It is a particularly joyous gift that motivates us to keep going and stay on course. It’s also a huge encouragement for all the Alpha and Outhere teams who work tirelessly and passionately. In this moment of global pandemic – which comes on top of an ongoing crisis within the cultural sector – it is more urgent and crucial than ever to put our heads together and unite to save musical diversity. A high quality press is essential, and ever more important in the digital world.”

BBC Music Magazine awards 2020


Concerto Award

Dvořák * Martinů

Dvořák: Piano Concerto in G minor; Martinů: Piano Concerto No. 4, ‘Incantation’

Ivo Kahánek (piano); Bamberg Symphony Orchestra/Jakub Hrůša