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November 25, 2020

CIM Alumni and Friends Win Multiple GRAMMY Nominations


Sergei Babayan and Daniil Trifonov stand side by side on stage, in front of a piano.
Daniil Trifonov (right) with Sergei Babayan in CIM’s Mixon Hall for a March 2020 duo recital | Photo by Robert Muller

Several notable Cleveland Institute of Music alumni and friends and countless members of orchestras and choruses around the world were honored with nominations for 2021 GRAMMY Awards, presented by the Recording Academy®. The ceremony will be broadcast on January 31, 2021.

Pianist Daniil Trifonov (AC ’13, AD ’15, Babayan) earned a nomination for Best Classical Instrumental Solo for the album Destination Rachmaninov – Arrival, recorded with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Trifonov, Musical America’s Musician of the Year in 2019, won a GRAMMY in 2018 for Best Solo Instrumental Album, for Transcendental.

Jason Vieaux (BM ’95, Holmquist), who is also Co-Head, Guitar at CIM, got the nod in Best Classical Solo Vocal Album for American Composers at Play – William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, John Musto, recorded with baritone Stephen Powell, Charles Neidich and the Attacca Quartet. Vieaux won a Best Solo Instrumental Album GRAMMY in 2015, for Play.

Violinist Austin Hartman (BM ’02, Weilerstein) was nominated for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance for the Pacifica Quartet’s recording Contemporary Voices. The Quartet won a 2009 GRAMMY in the same category for its album Elliott Carter, Quartets Nos. 1 and 5; in 2017, they were appointed to lead the Center for Advanced Quartet Studies at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

The Dover Quartet’s recording, The Schumann Quartets (Azica), was nominated for Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance. Azica Records’ Alan Bise (BM ’94, Knab), audio recording faculty and CIM’s Director of Recording Arts & Services, and faculty emeritus Bruce Egre produced and engineered this album. Azica has released six GRAMMY-nominated classical albums, and Bise and Egre won for Jason Vieaux’s Play and the Jennifer Higdon Harp Concerto, recorded by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and CIM’s Yolanda Kondonassis (BM ’86, MM ’89, Chalifoux) on the album American Rapture.

In addition to these notable alumni, CIM Orchestra Artistic Advisor JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus were nominated for Best Choral Performance, for Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshuah. Falletta won her first individual GRAMMY in 2019, adding to her collection of awards including two other GRAMMYs from 2008.

2020 Honorary Doctor of Musical Arts recipient Michael Tilson Thomas received two nods, one for Best Orchestral Performance for Copland: Symphony No. 3, and one for Best Classical Compendium for From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke. Both were recorded with the San Francisco Symphony, and the latter features MTT’s first and most recent compositions for voice with orchestra. MTT has been nominated for 38 GRAMMY awards, and has won 11.

In addition to individual artists, the GRAMMYs recognize the achievements of the world’s finest orchestras, choruses and chamber ensembles. CIM alumni hold positions in nearly every large ensemble nominated for a 2020 GRAMMY, including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Nashville Symphony, Oregon Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony.