Musicians from and associated with our Tri-state region were significantly conspicuous among 2024 classical music winners and nominees at the 2024 Grammy Awards.
Composer Jessie Montgomery won the Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition for “Rounds,” her work for piano and chamber orchestra featured on “Stillpoint,” an album showcasing new works by six diverse composers. The recording is a collaboration between pianist/conductor Awadagin Pratt, a cappella ensemble Roomful of Teeth, string orchestra A Far Cry, and composers Montgomery, Alvin Singleton, Judd Greenstein, Paola Prestini, Pēteris Vasks and Tyshawn Sorey.
Pratt recently left his position as professor of piano and artist-in-residence at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music to teach at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. The Art of Piano festival, which he founded here at CCM, will now take place in San Francisco beginning this summer.
“I’m very excited for Jessie Montgomery’s ‘Rounds’ … to have won a Grammy and be acknowledged as the tremendously invigorating, captivating, and essential piece of music that it is,” said Pratt. “I have been privileged to be the exclusive performer of ‘Rounds’ thus far for close to 100 performances since March of 2022. We hope this recognition helps launch it further into the lives of listeners.”
Conductor Teddy Abrams and his Louisville Orchestra took home the Grammy for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for their album “The American Project,” headlined by pianist Yuja Wang.
Imani Winds, coming here March 10 and 12 for Chamber Music Cincinnati, won for “Passion For Bach And Coltrane” in the category of Best Classical Compendium.
Baritone Ryan Speedo Green, who debuted here for Matinée Musicale in 2022, was part of the Grammy-winning cast for Best Opera Recording: “Champion” by Terence Blanchard.
Soprano Julia Bullock and her husband, conductor Christian Reif, won the Grammy for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album. They performed their chamber arrangement of John Adams’ “El Niño” at Music Hall as part of the CSO Proof series on Nov. 30.
Nominees for Best Choral Performance included former and current Vocal Arts Ensemble of Cincinnati music directors Donald Nally and Craig Hella Johnson for their recent albums leading Philadelphia’s The Crossing (“Carols After A Plague”) and Austin’s Conspirare (“The House Of Belonging”), respectively.
And beyond the classical awards, we must mention Cincinnati native and jazz piano legend Fred Hersch who won then Grammy, along with bassist/vocalist Esperanza Spalding for Best Jazz Performance.