New classical music award to honour young musicians

NEW YORK (AFP) - Warner Music Group has announced the creation of a new US$100,000 (S$128,000) classical award aimed at recognising young musicians at the start of their careers.

A jury of classical musicians and industry figures will select the Warner Music Prize's inaugural recipient, who will be announced in the first half of 2015.

The first award will be presented with New York's Carnegie Hall, although Warner Music said that it planned eventually to collaborate with other leading music venues around the world.

Warner Music Group, one of the three big record company conglomerates, said musicians between ages 18 and 35, regardless of their label, will be eligible for the award, and that recipients will be offered the chance to record on Warner Classics.

"The Warner Music Prize has been created to recognise and reward promising musicians early in their careers, when they need it the most," Stu Bergen, international president of Warner Recorded Music, said in a statement.

The nominees have all performed at Carnegie Hall, and the winner will perform at the venerable venue on Oct 27, 2015, at a concert that will raise money for music-related philanthropic programmes.

The nominated singers are sopranos Sarah Shafer and Jennifer Zetlan; mezzo-sopranos Jamie Barton, Rachel Calloway, Cecelia Hall, Alisa Kolosova and Peabody Southwell; bass-baritones Aubrey Allicock and Evan Hughes, and tenor Dominic Armstrong.

Instrumentalists who received nominations were violinists Augustin Hadelich and Itamar Zorman, cellist Brook Speltz, double bassist Roman Patkolo, harpist Sivan Magen and pianist Behzod Abduraimov.

The Gramophone Awards, presented each year in London, are generally considered to be classical music's most prestigious competition, with other top prizes including the Grammys for classical music.

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