Los Angeles’ increasing reputation as a capital for new classical music got further confirmation from the Grammy Awards on Friday night. Five recordings that involve the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Santa Monica new music series Jacaranda, the Piano Spheres pianist Gloria Cheng and the Ojai Festival received a total of seven nominations in five categories.
It is a particularly big year for the L.A. Phil’s conductor laureate Esa-Pekka Salonen. His recording of Witold Lutoslawski’s First Symphony with his former orchestra, released in a Salonen/L.A. Phil set of the late Polish composer’s four symphonies, will be up for best orchestra performance (his L.A. Phil recording of the Lutoslawski Third won a Grammy in 1986).
Meanwhile Salonen’s Violin Concerto, which was commissioned and premiered by the L.A. Phil (although recorded with the Finnish Radio Orchestra), has been nominated for best contemporary classical composition. The concerto’s soloist, Leila Josefowicz, is also nominated for her performance in the best classical instrumental solo.