The Latvian Radio Choir has been nominated for the prestigious British periodical Gramophone Classical Music Award for their album John Cage. Choral Works (2022, Ondine). In the classical music world, the annual Gramophone awards are akin to the Oscars and the Grammy awards. The awards have been held since 1977 and reflect the tastes of musical professionals and critics.
The albums of the Latvian Radio Choir that have been recorded with the Finnish label Ondine have been repeated guests to the Gramophone monthly round-ups, but the 2016 album lead by conductor Sigvards Kļava of Valentyn Silvestrov music, titled To Thee We Sing was also nominated for the Gramophone Classical Music Award. So far, the Latvian Radio Choir has released 22 albums with the recording label Ondine. In 2020, the choir earned the International Classical Music Award in the choral music recordings category with their album of Tchaikovsky’s sacred music which contained the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and Nine Sacred Chants.
The Latvian Radio Choir and conductor Sigvards Kļava’s album John Cage. Choral Works has been dedicated to the legendary American composer and pioneer of modern music John Cage, one of the most influential personalities of the 20th century. The album contains Cage’s only two original works for choir: Hymns and Variations and Four2. For the other pieces in this album, the composer has not picked out the performing instruments so the LRK has adapted them for choral performance.
Music critics comment “This is a wonderful album, presenting four late works by John Cage. [..] It's music that is grave, yet full of light, and is sung with perfect dedication by the Latvian Radio Choir, directed by Sigvards Kļava” (Cambridge University Press).
“You can’t but be stunned by the fearless skill of Sigvards Klava’s choir as they navigate the most jagged, fragmented notes and pitches – the musical equivalent of climbing Mount Everest just with your hands and feet.” (BBC magazine)
Winners will be announced on October 4, 2023.