In today’s (2/9) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed reports on the 2009 Grammy Awards, which were announced on Sunday (2/8) at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. “Gloria Cheng, one of L.A.’s leading pianists, won instrumental soloist (without orchestra) for her CD of contemporary scores, including ones by Los Angeles Philharmonic music director Esa-Pekka Salonen and consulting composer for new music, Steven Stucky. Salonen’s name showed up again, this time as conductor (of the Swedish Radio Symphony) for violinist Hilary Hahn, in concertos by Schoenberg and Sibelius, winner of best instrumental soloist with orchestra.” Swed takes issue with some of the nominations, which he describes as “inexplicably selected. In the orchestra performance category, for instance, the great Chicago Symphony was twice nominated. Its competitors were the considerably less impressive Iceland Symphony, Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Hollywood Studio Symphony (whatever that is). The Chicago orchestra won—for Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 4, conducted by Bernard Haitink.” Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahogany featuring conductor James Conlon, the Los Angeles Opera chorus, and Los Angeles Opera Orchestra won the award for Best Classical album. Hila Plitmann, accompanied by JoAnn Falletta and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, won Best Classical Vocal Performance for Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan.

Photo of Esa-Pekka Salonen: Mathew Imaging