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 Yearc elebrates collaborative music-making at the highest level.

In the footsteps of the Seattle Symphony (2018’s winner) and the Hong Kong Philharmonic(2019), the contenders for the 2020 Orchestra of the Year Award are:

BBC Symphony Orchestra (UK)

Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra (Norway)

Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Germany)

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (UK)

FreiburgerBarockorchester (Germany)

Orchestre National de Lille (France)

Los Angeles Philharmonic (USA)

musicAeterna (Russia)

NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo (Japan)

Philadelphia Orchestra (USA)

Nomination comes as a result of each ensemble impressing Gramophone’s editors and reviewers by its work on record, and all ten have released magnificent and often thought-provoking new albums over the past 12 months.

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

To support the voting process, Gramophone will be hosting an Orchestra of the Year Online Festival for 10 days from July 24 featuring 10 filmed evening concerts from each of the nominated ensembles in a programme that reflects its individual style and character.

Voting opens at noon on Friday, June 12 and remains live until 8am on 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 ‘This is not a poll to find the “best orchestra in the world”, but rather to shine the spotlight on an orchestra that consistently offers high-quality music-making that is exciting, moving and which demonstrates what a fine ensemble working at the peak of its powers can achieve. Many of these orchestras also highlight the indefinable and unique magic that happens between an inspiring conductor and his or her players. And with the majority of orchestras now silent, we hope this will focus attention on one of the glories of music-making on a grand scale. Just listen and be impressed!’