Bates, Sparr among classical Grammy winners

Mason Bates’ “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs,” introduced at the Santa Fe Opera, has won a Grammy Award as Best Opera Recording. The opera by the Richmond-bred composer, the most popular contemporary opera with audiences in Santa Fe’s history, was recorded during its summer 2017 run and released last year on the Pentatone label.

D.J. Sparr, the Maryland-born composer-guitarist who was composer-in-residence with the Richmond Symphony Youth Orchestra from 2009 to 2011, is one of the artists featured on a Naxos disc, conducted by JoAnn Falletta, music director of the Virginia Symphony Orchestra, of works by Kenneth Fuchs that won a Grammy for Best Classical Compendium.

This year’s Grammy Awards for classical performances:

* Best Orchestral Performance: Shostakovich: symphonies Nos. 4 and 11 (“The Year 1905”), Boston Symphony Orchestra, Andris Nelsons conducting (Deutsche Grammophon). (The set also won in the Best Engineered Album, Classical category.)

* Best Opera Performance: Mason Bates: “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” – Santa Fe Opera, Michael Christie conducting (Pentatone).

* Best Choral Performance: Lansing McLoskey: “Zealot Canticles” – The Crossing, Donald McNally directing (Innova).

* Best Chamber/Small Ensemble Performance: Laurie Anderson: “Landfall” – Laurie Anderson, vocals; Kronos Quartet (Nonesuch).

* Best Classical Instrumental Solo & Best Contemporary Classical Competition: Aaron Jay Kernis: Violin Concerto – James Ehnes, violin; Seattle Symphony, Ludovic Morlot conducting (Onyx).

* Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: “Songs of Orpheus: Monteverdi, Caccini, D’India & Landi” – Karim Sulayman, tenor; Apollo’s Fire, Jeannette Sorrell conducting (Avie).

* Best Classical Compendium: Kenneth Fuchs: Piano Concerto (“Spiritualist”), “Poems of Life,” Electric Guitar Concerto (“Glacier”), “Rush” – Jeffrey Biegel, piano; Aryeh Nussbaum Cohen, countertenor; Tim Hugh, cello; Timothy McAllister, alto saxophone; D.J. Sparr, electric guitar; Christine Pendrill, English horn; London Symphony Orchestra, JoAnn Falletta conducting (Naxos).

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