The brilliant performers who brought the house down in 2011, as chosen by Limelight readers.

More than 4,000 classical music lovers voted in the 2011 Limelight Awards to let us know which recitals, operas, recordings and music personalities impressed them the most this year (1 September 2010 – 1 September 2011). The winners in 12 categories were announced on December 15, in a ceremony hosted by Guy Noble at the Sydney Opera House.

This year’s awards celebrate the debut of an all-star Australian orchestra; a Russian conductor we have welcomed as our own; a composer who overcame tragedy to create a masterpiece… We proudly present the Limelight Award winners – the performers who brought the house down in 2011.

Music Personality of the Year
Best Orchestral Performance
Best Chamber Performance
Best Solo Performance
Best Opera Production
Best Performance in an opera (new category)
Best Classical Recording
Best World Music recording
Best Jazz recording
Best New Composition
Best Event/Festival
Best Newcomer

Music Personality of the year

Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor

Also nominated:

Cheryl Barker, soprano
Brett Dean, composer/violist
Paul Dyer, conductor/harpsichordist
Elena Kats-Chernin, composer

Best orchestral concert

Australian World Orchestra/Simone Young
Wagner: Tannhäuser Prelude and Venusberg Music
Sculthorpe: Earth Cry
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 6

Also nominated:
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Jakub Hrusa
Orff: Carmina Burana
Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No 1 (Simon Trpceski)

Sydney Symphony/Vasily Petrenko
Shostakovich: Symphony No 7 Leningrad
Brahms: Double Concerto (Alban Gerhardt, Karen Gomyo)

West Australian Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Verbitsky
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No 4
Glinka: Valse Fantaisie
Mozart: Piano Concerto No 23 (Ingrid Fliter)

YouTube Symphony Orchestra/MichaelTilsonThomas
Grand Finale

Best chamber music concert

Synergy Xenakis Pleiades (City Recital Hall)

Also nominated:

Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr
The Brandenburg Concertos (Perth International Arts Festival)

The Australian String Quartet/Li-Wei Qin
Shaker Dances (national tour)

Choir of Trinity College Cambridge/Stephen Layton (Musica Viva)
Alina Ibragimova/CédricTiberghien
Beethoven, Janácek, Stanhope, Schumann (Musica Viva)

Best solo performance

Fiona Campbell (mezzo-soprano)
Haunting Handel

Australian Brandenburg Orchestra

Also nominated:

Martin Fröst (clarinet)
Glittering Fröst

Australian Chamber Orchestra

TeddyTahu Rhodes (baritone)
Australian Chamber Orchestra

Lara St John (violin)
Carmen Fantasy

Adelaide Symphony Orchestra

Thomas Adès (piano)
Utzon Music Series

Best opera production

Der Rosenkavalier (Opera Australia)

Also nominated:

Albert Herring (Victorian Opera)
L’anima del filosofo (Pinchgut Opera)
Moby Dick (State Opera of South Australia)
Notes from Underground (Sydney Chamber Opera)

Best Performance in an opera (new category)

Teddy Tahu Rhodes (baritone), Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro

Also nominated:

Cheryl Barker (soprano), the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier
Rachelle Durkin (soprano), Olympia/Giulietta/Antonia in Tales of Hoffmann
Anthony Dean Griffey (tenor), Lennie in Of Mice and Men
Emma Matthews (soprano), Partenope in Partenope

Best classical recording

Mozart Violin Concertos Vol 2
Australian Chamber Orchestra/Richard Tognetti (BIS)

Also nominated:

Baroque Duets: Fiona Campbell, David Walker, Ironwood (Vexations840)
Mad RushSally Whitwell (ABC Classics)
Mills: Pages from a Secret Journal: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Mills (ABC Classics)
Mahler: Song of the Earth: Stuart Skelton, Lilli Paasikivi, Sydney Symphony/Ashkenazy (SSO Live)

Best world music recording

Grigoryan, Slava & Leonard; Tawadros, Joseph & JamesBand of Brothers (ABC Classics)

Also nominated:

Arrebato Ensemble: Absoluciòn (Sound Planet)
Dva: Anticipation
Gurrumul: Rrakala (Skinnyfish Music)
Shaolin Afronauts: Flight of the ancients (Freestyle)

Best Jazz Recording

The Idea of North: Extraordinary Tale (ABC Classics)

Also nominated:

The Drip Hards: This is Dripping (Jazzgroove)
Sarah McKenzie: Don’t Tempt Me (ABC Classics)
Sandy Evans Sextet: When the Sky Cries Rainbows (ABC Jazz)
Shannon Barnett Quartet: Country (Which Way Music)

Best new composition

Nigel Westlake
Missa Solis: Requiem for Eli

Also nominated:

Matthew Hindson: Double Piano Concerto
Alan John: How to Kill Your Husband
James Ledger: Processions and Transitions
Jack Symonds: Notes from Underground

Best event/festival

Musica Viva Festival, 2011

Also nominated:

Australian Festival of Chamber Music, 2011
Festival Baroque Australia, 2011
Festival of Voices, 2011
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven Festival

Best Newcomer

Zane Banks, guitarist

Also nominated:

Nicole Car, soprano
Andrew Jones, baritone
Sarah McKenzie, pianist/singer
Sally Whitwell, pianist

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