For the third consecutive year, the Gramophone Classical Music Awards will be naming an Orchestra of the Year. The only award decided on by public vote, Orchestra of the Year celebrates collaborative music-making at the highest level.

This year, following the hugely successful Lockdown Charity Gala (watched by more than 240,000 people), Gramophone is hosting a 10-day online festival focusing on the 10 nominated orchestras in the running for this year’s Orchestra of the Year Award. Each concert remains online onGramophone’s websiteFacebook page and YouTube channel for 23 hours.

July 24, 7pm (BST)

Freiburger Barockorchester (Germany)
directed by Kristian Bezuidenhout

Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos 1-3

July 25, 7pm (BST)

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Germany)
conducted Robin Ticciati

Rebel Les élémens
Larcher Symphony No 2, ‘Kenotaph’
R Strauss Also sprach Zarathustra

July 26, 7pm (BST)

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Norway)
conducted by Edward Gardner

Ravel Daphnis et Chloé Suite No 2
Grieg Piano Concerto (with Leif Ove Andsnes)
Ørjan Matre Butterfly (from Lyric Pieces)
Sibelius Luonnotar (with Lise Davidsen)
Schoenberg Pelleas und Melisande

July 27, 7pm (BST)

NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo (Japan)
conducted by Paavo Järvi

Rachmaninov Symphony No 2

July 28, 7pm (BST)

Philadelphia Orchestra (USA)
conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin

Habibi Jeder Baum spricht
Beethoven Symphonies Nos 5 & 6, ‘Pastoral’

July 29, 7pm (BST)

Los Angeles Philharmonic (USA)
conducted by Gustavo Dudamel

Programme to be confirmed

July 30, 7pm (BST)

Orchestre National de Lille (France)
conducted by Alexandre Bloch

Mahler Symphony No 7

July 31, 7pm (BST)

BBC Symphony Orchestra (UK)
conducted by Sakari Oramo

Programme to be confirmed

August 1, 7pm (BST)

MusicAeterna (Russia)
conducted by Teodor Currentzis

Medieval to modern – a journey

August 2, 7pm (BST)

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (UK)
conducted by Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

Čiurlionis The Sea
Grieg Peer Gynt – incidental music
(with Klara Ek and the CBSO Chorus)

Gramophone has created 11 Apple Music playlists – one for each ensemble, as well as a dynamic playlist that will be updated throughout the summer, exclusively available to listen to on Apple Music. Listen HERE.

Gramophone has also made two podcasts in which James Jolly talks to two Gramophone contributors, Andrew Mellor and Rob Cowan, about the 10 ensembles. Listen to Part 1 here (Part 2 will be posted on July 24). 

Voting is open and remains live until Monday, September 7. Votes can be cast on Gramophone’s website – The Orchestra of the Year will be revealed on October 6 at the 2020 Gramophone Classical Music Awards.

James Jolly, Editor-in-Chief of Gramophone, says: ‘What we are celebrating with the Orchestra of the Year Award is the extraordinary magic that happens between conductor and players – and the results are inspiring, moving and often thrilling. After the success of the Seattle Symphony in 2018 and the Hong Kong Philharmonic last year, we present – for ten days – a series of concerts that celebrates these magnificent ensembles and ask you to vote for 2020’s Orchestra of the Year.’