Every year we stop the clock and look back over 12 months’ worth of new releases, and from the vast array of riches we select 10 that we consider out of the ordinary. And we’ve doing this each year since 1977. The Gramophone Classical Music Awards take place in the autumn and have grown into a major date in the classical music diary – broadcast live by Medici TV for the past three years, and 2018’s event saw some 95,000 music lovers tune in either live or via catch-up. This year will be no exception and on October 16 (6.30pm UK time) we’ll be handing out the awards to the winners and will also be enjoying some live music-making by some of the most exciting artists on the planet.

Before we narrow the lists down to those 10 winners we have a couple of rounds of voting to get through, and this digital magazine reveals the 60 recordings that provide the nominations for the Second Round (the initial round reduced a list of about 200 recordings to six in each category). Any critic on the Gramophone panel can opt in to vote and they then spend the summer months engaged in the, I hope, enjoyable task of listening to some magnificent music and great music-making. And here’s your chance to follow in their footsteps and do the same.

This year, we’re presenting the awards with Apple Music and if you click on the sleeves (with a very few exceptions) you will be whisked off to listen to the albums. You can sign up for a free trial with Apple Music and sample the extraordinary riches of its catalogue.

And while at Apple Music, have a listen, too, to the nominations for our Orchestra of the Year Award, a category that anyone can vote in. We’ve selected 10 ensembles whose work has particularly impressed through their recordings this year. But be quick – voting closes at midnight on September 7.

And from the 60 recordings whose reviews follow, one will be singled out as Recording of the Year – join us at Medici TV on October 16 and find out which triumphed! And, as is customary, there will be full coverage of the 2019 Gramophone Classical Music Awards in our special Awards issue, published on October 17. James Jolly, August 2019


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