Guitar duo the Grigoryan Brothers have won the award for Best Independent Classical Album at this year’s AIR Awards, presented by the Australian Independent Record Labels Association, for their chart-topping Bach Concertos album on ABC Classic. The Award was presented last night at the Freemasons Hall in Adelaide.

Grigoryan BrothersLeonard and Slava Grigoryan

The album, recorded with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Benjamin Northey, features concertos by JS Bach in arrangements for two guitars by the brothers’ father, Edward Grigoryan. It has been a critical and popular success, receiving a four and a half star review from Limelight. The win follows the brothers’ AIR Awards nomination last year for Songs Without Words, and Slava Grigoryan’s nomination for his Bach Cello Suites Volume II, and his win the year before for Bach Cello Suites Vol I. Last year’s Best Independent Classical Album went to the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s collaboration with Jonny Greenwood, Water/Night Music, also on the ABC Classic label.

“This is very exciting to win this award,” said Leonard Grigoryan. “This is actually our very first award of any kind as a duo, so it’s very special for us.”

“We’d love to thank our friends at the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra,” said Slava Grigoryan. “Especially the musicians who recorded this project with us, and our great friend and wonderful conductor Ben Northey. And most importantly our dad, who painstakingly arranged all the music on this very special project for us – this award is his.”

“I am beyond thrilled that Slava and Len have won this award,” said Hugh Robertson, label manager of ABC Classic. “They are two of the finest musicians in the country – and two of the hardest working – and they thoroughly deserve every accolade coming their way.”

“This win proves that the Grigoryan Brothers have a direct line to the heart of audiences – and award judges – when it comes to Bach,” Robertson said. “They play with such clarity, and beauty, that you can’t help but be swept away. Special mention needs to be made of their father, Edward, who spent countless hours arranging these works for guitar duo – listening to this album, you would never know that these pieces weren’t written for guitar, they sound so natural and perfect. Congratulations also to Benjamin Northey (the hardest working man in show business?) and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, who took to this project with their trademark tremendous enthusiasm and consummate musicianship. And to receive this award from AIR, fearless champions of independent record labels, makes it all the more special.”

The Grigoryan Brothers’ Bach album was up against the Australian Chamber Orchestra’s Heroines album with soprano Nicole Car, the ACO Collective’s album with the Hush Foundation, Collective Wisdom, and Gurrumul’s Djarimirri, which took out Best Independent Album or EP with Courtney Barnett’s Tell Me How You Really Feel.