October 10, 2020
The Philadelphia Orchestra was honored as Ochestra of the Year for the first time during the Gramophone Classical Music Awards this week.
The awards, run by United Kingdom-based classical music magazine Gramophone, are considered among the highest honors in the classical music industry.
The organization hands out 10 recording awards each year, as well as eight special awards. This year's ceremony was held virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
While almost all of the honors are voted on by members of the classical music world, Orchestra of the Year is the only award voted on by the public.
Voters chose from a pool of 10 world-renowned orchestras, which had been selected the magazine's editors. More than 40,000 people participated in this year's voting process, judging the orchestras b "looking at each ensemble's artistic merit and body of work over the past year."
"It is an extraordinary honor to be named Gramophone Orchestra of the Year," The Philadelphia Orchestra's music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, said, "particularly during this moment in time, when the connection to our fans is more important than ever"
He added, "The Philadelphia Orchestra has remained resolute, resilient, and responsible throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we are proud to have kept music alive at a time when people need it more than ever. As music migrated to the digital universe, we have felt the presence of our fans with us, around the world, and it has inspired us every day. Now, we begin to make music together again, safely, but with all the joy and beauty that is at the heart of The Philadelphia Orchestra."
The Philadelphia Orchestra is 120 years old and the Gramophone Classical Music Awards began in 1977. Watch the winning announcement and Nézet-Séguin's acceptance speech below.
The Philadelphia Orchestra received an avalanche of praise on social media after winning the award, including from Mayor Jim Kenney.
Congratulations to @philorch on this amazing honor. The Philadelphia Orchestra is one of our city’s many cultural gems. Thrilled to see them recognized by music lovers from around the world. https://t.co/zic8AG9LR6— Jim #MaskUpPHL Kenney (@PhillyMayor) October 6, 2020
A full playlist of the Philadelphia Orchestra, compiled by Gramophone, can be listened to on Apple Music. The symphony orchestra's fall season is being conducted virtually due to the public health crisis.