10th Anniversary of ICMA – What the winners write

10th Anniversary of ICMA – What the winners write

Today, the 10th ICMA Award Ceremony and Gala Concert was to take place in Seville. A microscopic virus prevented this. This should not let us to forget that we have winners in 2020, a brilliant list of outstanding artists and recordings. Moreover, the tenth anniversary is the occasion to think of all the winners we had since 2011. Ten years, that’s almost 300 Awards given to a broad spectrum of musicians from all genres, from the most well-known artists to the young ones who are at the very beginning of their career.

The International Classical Music Awards were created in 2010. In fact, this jury was the successor of what was called MIDEM Classical Awards and before Cannes Classical Awards. When the MIDEM organization cancelled the collaboration with the jury, we decided to continue on our own under a new name. Since then, the jury has been completely independent and became, with new members, bigger and more international. Its strength is today quite exceptional. There is no similar organization in the musical world.

Artists tell us the independence of our jury is the main strength of the Awards. They tell us, that we considerably help them in their artistic path. They tell us that we encouraged them to go further in their approach of the art, und especially the younger ones say that they have the feeling that we give them “visibility” in the musical world.

All our ten Gala Concerts were exceptional events and we have a lot of good memories of all of them. After the first Gala in Tampere, Finland, we went to Nantes in France with the Orchestre des Pays de la Loire and it was the first concert conducted by John Axelrod. The following we were with LaVerdi in Milan, again with John. Then came Warsaw, where we were invited by Elzbieta Penderecka at the Beethoven Festival. In 2015 the Gala was hosted by the Bilkent Symphony in Ankara, in 2016 we were in San Sebastian with the Euskadi Orchestra, in 2017 in Leipzig at the Gewandhaus in 2018 in Katowice with the Polish National Radio Orchestra and in 2019 in Lucerne at the KKL with the Lucerne Symphony.

And here are all the messages that we received in the past weeks.

Charles Adriaenssen, Outhere
I’m proud and honoured by the ICMA awards received by Outhere labels over the years.And this year, the recognition of Jérôme Lejeune’s lifelong contribution to the renaissance of ancient and Baroque repertoires under the Ricercar label gives me great joy.
ICMA is particularly relevant to us because the jury represents diversified cultures and sensitivities and its choices are a more objective token of quality than national awards. They are also important disseminators of genuine culture in difficult times when business interests prevail everywhere and the arts are marginalised.

The classical music scene waits in excited anticipation every year for the announcement of the nominations and then of the laureates of the ICMA. The international jury of experts ensures that a compass of the highest quality is put together here through the extensive and diverse CD and DVD market. We “amarcords” are beyond happy that our album « Zu S Thomas », a world premiere recording of one of the most important medieval choral manuscripts, has just been awarded an ICMA 2013. From the music city of Leipzig, we send our heartfelt congratulations for the anniversary!

John Axelrod
The International Classical Music Awards is an institution of great value to our classical music industry, and in particular to the artists, orchestras, theatres, producers and labels that present and produce the very art that sustains not only our creativity, but for many, our humanity. That the ICMA is the only critically determined award given for excellence, recognition and achievement in our field, and that represents the international milieu of classical music journalism, is a statement unto itself and is testimony for the unique value of this awards gala and concert event. Recognizing this special foundation of the ICMA, and the media and critical exposure on a global print and broadcast basis the awards offer to the hosting orchestra and city, I have been fortunate to have been able to host and conduct the ICMA in 3 different cities: Nantes, Milan, and Seville. These experiences have not only been as rewarding musically as any programmed concert, but more importantly, it offers the extraordinary opportunity to perform with some of the greatest musical legends of our time, with the in-demand soloists of today, and the upcoming stars of tomorrow. It makes the ICMA once in a lifetime. And that means for both public and musicians honored with the award, a not to be missed event of a lifetime. Thank you ICMA for blessing my life in such a special way.

ICMA president Remy Franck and the jury established these outstanding awards with great conviction, enthusiasm and expertise. For many years the ICMA have belonged to the most sought-after awards in the classical music scene: The numerous jury from many different countries, made up from professional music critics only, ensures diversity and quality; the general set up of the ICMA makes the jury independent from institutions and organizations. And the winners’ lists of ten years prove both, the expertise of the selections, and the valid instincts of the jury for the discovery of new talents. The ICMA jurors really listen to the music, to the core of music productions, unimpressed by glittering publicity, mainstream stardom or social media hype, giving every artist the same chance – with and without shiny celebrity at the moment of their judgement. And this is what we at audite value so much, that the ICMA manifest quality guidelines, being symbols of quality so to speak, which is so important in this changing and overwhelming musical world.
Congratulations to the 10th anniversary and our sincere thanks for ten years of thorough and successful work, great gala events and – not to be neglected – lots of fun, which is also always included at ICMA!

Andrea Bacchetti
A great honor to take part to ICMA’s 10th anniversary party, together with great musicians who have made history in these years. Music is my life: it started when I was 5 years old. I have collected advice from musicians such as Karajan, Berio, Magaloff, Richter. The excitement of the CD made at the 1996 Lucerne Festival with the Strings Festival conducted by Baumgartner. Then concerts, with the dream of seeing my tireless research rewarded; the desire to discover unpublished, unknown scores; between tradition and modernity. The 2014 Award for the Sony CD « The Scarlatti Restored Manuscript » was the crowning glory of this dream; the prize for tireless work; a stimulus to continue with intensity and enthusiasm.
Severe critics, demanding audiences listened to the album and this was a unique opportunity to make me better known, to grow artistically and humanely. Thank you everybody.

Robert von Bahr, BIS
As it’s obvious from the conception of ICMA, consisting of a gathering of media from several countries, it is the one truly international Award given to worthy classical music productions in the world today. This obliterates any suspicion that local consideration is given to local Awards. The « validity » of the ICMA Awards is further heightened by the fact that the labels do not nominate recordings for the different Awards – the reviewers of the different magazines independently do it. For BIS, having been honoured several times during these 10 years, incl. a Label of the Year Award, the importance in a very competitive market is hard to exaggerate and we are very proud, on behalf of our recording teams and, of course, the artists, of having been thusly adorned. We do hope ICMA is here to stay.

Numa Bischof Ullmann
ICMA has a very important role today by pointing out the talents of the next generation and by paying tribute to those who have shaped today’s classical music world. I send our best compliments from Luzern to ICMA Awards for its 10th anniversary.

Gabor Boldoczki
Contemporary music forms a significant part of my repertoire. It is a great honour that ICMA awarded my album “Oriental Trumpet Concertos” in 2017. I was very pleased that Maestro Krzysztof Penderecki and Fazil Say dedicated their music to me and it was a pleasure to record these wonderful concertos.
I would like to thank ICMA for their kind cooperation and their support!

Danish Chamber Orchestra
The Danish Chamber Orchestra is extremely honoured to achieve the ICMA 2020 of the category “Symphonic Music” for our recording of the complete Beethoven Symphonies.
The International Classical Music Awards are one of the finest distinctions that musicians can aspire to, because they are assigned by an independent and very competent jury and are as thus an undeniable quality stamp.
For the Danish Chamber Orchestra, this award is the crowning achievement of our first 5 years as an independent, musician-owned orchestra. Going from a stately financed institution to an independent structure has been an exciting challenge and we are very happy to have the chance to continue our 20-year-long collaboration with Ádám Fischer as our chief conductor. It is extremely rewarding to experience that the achievements of this work
are appreciated internationally.

Eva Gevorgyan
I am Eva Gevorgyan and I was honored to be ICMA Discovery Award winner in 2019. It was one of the most wonderful and important day in my life. With all my heart I congratulate ICMA on its 10th anniversary and want to thank everyone who works for this wonderful prize and especially the President and inspirer Mr. Remy Franck! Music unites the world and I am happy to be a part of ICMA family. Warmest congratulation!!!

Gewandhaus Orchestra
ICMA is particularly important to us because the jury distinguishes a high level of professional competence and the selection of the prize-winners is not guided by extra-musical interests. The quality of all the recordings that are nominated is therefore exceptionally high, and our own work must compete with that of other artistically outstanding competitors. We are therefore particularly proud that the Gewandhaus Orchestra has received several ICMA awards in this demanding competition.

Günter Hänssler
I clearly remember when the International Classical Music Awards started. And now it turns 10!
Congratulations to ICMA and its jury members under the baton of Remy Franck!
ICMA is the leading international classical music award – and the classical music industry
Is grateful and enriched with this authority of competent and independent critics of the leading music magazines, radios and web sites worldwide since 10 years. Thank you so much and happy birthday!

David Kadouch
Receiving the prize of the classical breakthrough in 2010 was a huge deal for me. I was around 25 years old, and having just won some competitions.
It meant that people in music took notice of me, that my name was being somehow whispered around in concert halls and among music critics.
It encouraged me to go further in my approach of the art, giving me assurance that some people might notice what I do and would care about my artistic voice. It gave me « visibility » and made my performances possible in places that were still unknown to me.
I deeply thank the ICMA for this wonderful prize that still to this day makes me very proud.

Dmitrij Kitajenko
In 2012, my recording of Stravinsky’s Firebird with the Moscow Philharmonic won an ICMA Award in the category Historical Recording. In 2016, the opera Iolanta was a winner in the Opera category and in 2019 my recording of the Second Symphony by Sibelius won in the Symphonic category. In 2015 I was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award. So, I have to be extremely thankful for this invaluable recognition by an international and independent jury like the ICMA. But I have to point out also that this Jury, for all its decisions, has proven expertise in constantly scrutinizing the musical world in order to find the best recordings wherever they are made by whatever label, be it a small one, and by musicians from various backgrounds and among them many young artists at the beginning of their career.
In 2020, when the ICMA celebrate their 10th birthday, I can only congratulate the whole jury and wish it a secure and long-lasting future.

Andrzej Kosendiak
The National Forum of Music appreciates the ICMA distinctions that have been awarded to our ensembles: NFM Wrocław Philharmonic (Arvo Pärt – The Symphonies under the direction of Tonu Kaljuste, iss. by ECM) and Wrocław Baroque Orchestra (17th-Century Sacred Music in Wrocław under the direction of Stephen MacLeod, iss. by Claves). Both albums were recorded in the NFM Main Hall highly acclaimed for its wonderful acoustic. The prestigious awards have encouraged us to host future nominated artists and jury and to organise an ICMA Gala in 2023.
Thank you and see you in Wrocław!

Andrey Krichevskiy, CEO of Melodiya
I am very pleased to congratulate ICMA and the Jury led by Remy Franck on this important date. ICMA has become a reputable voice in the realm of music: your verdict is recognized, and your awards are valued around the world. Both, young musicians and honored masters – soloists, conductors, orchestras, representatives of the record labels – consider it the greatest honor to receive the ICMA Award, regarding it as the recognition of their mastery and artistic inspiration.
I am grateful to ICMA for its support. The judgement of the highly professional and independent jury is extremely important to us. Over the ten years of the existence of the ICMA Awards, Firma Melodiya has won quite a number of victories. Last year, nine Melodiya releases were nominated for the awards, and it was an all-time high for our company. We take it as unconditional recognition of the importance of Russian music and the Russian performing school all over the world.
Today ICMA remains the most prestigious international award in the field of recording and publishing of classical music. We wish you continuous development, prosperity and new discoveries – for the benefit of musical art!

Felicity Lott
Congratulations to ICMA on your tenth birthday! I was so surprised and honoured to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016, and to appear on this distinguished list of musicians. I have had a wonderful life thanks to music, our truly international language, and it was an added and unexpected bonus to be recognised in this way. Thank you, and I hope to send another message of congratulations for your tenth birthday. With every good wish from Felicity Lott

Lionel Meunier
The ICMA we, Vox Luminis, received back in 2012 was in fact the first significant « international award » we ever received. I remember so clearly the call I received from Michelle Debra (Crescendo Magazine) in a copy shop in Namur (busy copying scores for a upcoming project), inviting me to the ceremony in Nantes for which my father came along, proud but also making me feel more comfortable and not alone. I had to give a speech in front of so many important people, I basically knew nobody, a new world was opening. I was 30 and, like many of my colleagues, busy with many other ensembles. This album was our 3rd for our historical label « Ricercar » and Jérôme Lejeune who (rightly so!) is awarded a lifetime achievement award this year. Lot of people ignore it, but we were considering stopping at this moment and had a couple of months before a « crisis meeting », where we realized we all loved the ensemble but wondered if it was reasonable to continue. Life, then, showed us that we were meant to continue and the ICMA was a very strong sign and message to us. The fact that so many journalists from so many countries agreed to award us, on a complete independent way, gave such a strong value to the prize. International as in fact our group is, so many people saw that a magazine from their own country had voted! There was a before and an after 2012 for Vox Luminis, at that time we had about 10 concerts a year… Now we are touring the world and performing about 70 times a year and recording very regularly. Other prizes followed, that helped us as well, but I think this was a moment that made me realise we could maybe have a more international career that I didn’t even dare to dream about. It was a key moment, a moment you always remember. The ICMA keeps developing and since added even more people in the jury, and is definitely a well-established organization that the world of music follows. We were nominated this year and I realise I was excited to maybe receive it again, which shows what it means to me/us. We didn’t manage, but therefore it gives even more value to the one we received, the “Musikalische Exequien” of Heinrich Schütz. This isn’t a prize we got because we were famous, it’s the opposite, an award that helps us building our career and living our dream; so, thank you and long live ICMA!

Joseph Moog
The International Classical Music Awards celebrate their 10th anniversary and I would like to congratulate this remarkable institution sincerely. From the first edition onwards, the ICMA jury and its president Remy Franck stood out as insightful, international, forward-looking and above all, truly independent. These are crucial qualities for award associations; however, they are rarely found within today’s global music scene.
The ICMA honour and support the diversity setting classical music apart from other genres. They look for quality and genuine artistic innovation and these features make them one of the best ambassadors for the endangered tradition of this art form. Music cannot survive without economic structures, but the power of commerce is a danger that must be taken seriously.
The ICMA take responsibility and it is an honour to have been their Awardee in 2012 and 2014.

Robert Neumann
The ICMA are for me first of all an incredible platform, where I established many contacts in these few years and learned to know some new, now close, friends of mine! It’s more than a society, than a foundation, than a clan, it is a family. And I’m really grateful to be part of and to stand in a row with great musicians having come before me and coming after.
But much more important than what ICMA means to me is what it means to the international academic music world – ICMA are conserving values that let us know and make us ensure what our art is for and why we have to care for these values. Thank you so much!

Florian Noack
The International Classical Music Awards came as a very special distinction for a project that was very dear to me: the further recording of the piano music by Sergey Lyapunov. As a prize, it helped me reaching the two underlying goals of this projects : firstly and most importantly, to spread the music of a neglected, underrated, and most often simply ignored composer, to give a sort of place and « legitimity » to this music, among our piano repertoire. I hope it might encourage pianists and audience to search for those hidden treasures, which are countless.
Secondly, of course, it also helped me personally. Such awards help also in receiving trust and support from different actors of the classical music world (labels, managements, and organizers), a trust and a support, which are necessary for going forward in the life as musician, and to carry similar or different projects onwards.
Lastly, it’s also simply a personal joy to know that those projects, in which we invest ourselves in all possible ways, are being noticed, appreciated and recognised. I would like to seize the chance for thanking the members of the International Classical Music Award for this distinction.

Sophie Pacini
For me, the International Classical Music Award is the most important measure of independence and free spirit in the sense of the music that really takes centre stage here.
This prize and the circle of jurors and supporters who value the arts is one of the most valuable anchors that always gives us musicians the strength to stand up tirelessly to the various winds of the music business and to stay with ourselves, in the spirit of our elixir of life, art and mediation, day in, day out. Thank you for giving you all the best for the ICMA, this generous family of choice.

Javier Perianes
Winning the International Classical Music Award ‘Artist of the Year’ 2019 was a great honour and privilege and I’m thrilled with the recognition. It was also very special sharing the stage and the ceremony at the KKL in Lucerne with an artist whom I have always admired, Nelson Freire – who received the Lifetime Achievement Award – and with my friend and colleague Tabea Zimmermann, who was ICMA Artist of the Year 2017, that was also part of the ceremony, so it really was a beautiful experience. I can only be delighted and honoured with this distinction.

Erica Piccotti
I am extremely honored to have been chosen for the prestigious award Icma as Young Artist of the Year. I consider a privilege being part of a list of names among which stand out international’s fame artists.
This award is an important recognition towards my career as musician and I am even happier to celebrate it together with the 10th anniversary of ICMA.
Happy 10th anniversary ICMA!!

Marina Rebeka
Receiving this award is a great recognition of my work, it is indeed an honour and a motivation to continuing pursuing my art.

Yury Revich
I am happy to be part of ICMA family. It’s a big honor to receive the award from ICMA, which means recognition by high level music specialists, who can appreciate great music and work artists invest their whole lifes into.
I congratulate ICMA on the first decade and wish them a great inspiration for many more years to come!

Annette Schumacher (Ars Produktion)
Dear ICMA friends, dear jury members!
The International Classical Music Awards are celebrating this year their 10th anniversary. We are happy to be a part of it and received the highly esteemed « Label of the Year » award. It was a great experience and encouragement for us to continue in these difficult times of the classical music business. We are very grateful that our work is particularly valued and honoured in this way.

Philipp Schupelius
ICMA to me means: incredible musicians, inspiring experiences, unforeseen possibilities, important exchange. At ICMA you get in touch with music and people from all over the world. But first and foremost it is the greatest celebration of the magic of music! And I am incredibly proud and grateful to be part of the ICMA family.

Christoph Sietzen
Choosing the path of becoming a soloist in classical music usually comes with a lot of passion, engagement and enthusiasm. However, that doesn’t mean that there are no obstacles and no doubts on the long way a young musician needs to walk in order to establish him- or herself on the music scene.
Therefore, having an international organization of renowned and independent journalists recognize ones work in this early stage of the career is very precious. In the case of the ICMA even more as they are giving their prize winners the platform of the awards ceremony and concert, including the possibility of meeting other musicians and further members of the industry, which is all very valuable.
So I want to thank Remy Franck and his colleagues and congratulate for the first 10 years, hoping for many more!

Paul Smaczny (Accentus Music)
Accentus Music and the International Classical Music Awards not only share the year of their founding and celebrate both their 10th anniversaries in 2020. We also share the firm belief that there is still an inherent need for discovery in a world where the unlimited availability of music has all but destroyed the poetry of the encounter. The ICMA awards have become a synonym for highest artistic quality, for the passion, excellence and diligence that go into the making of outstanding audio and audio-visual productions. We at Accentus are deeply honored to have been awarded with the ICMA trophy so many times over the last ten years and as Label of the Year in 2015. All the best for the next 10 years!

Matko Smolčić
I wish ICMA a blissful 10th Anniversary and many more years of promoting, uplifting and encouraging musicians of all ages to keep on going creating music and courageously follow their artistic path! To be given an ICMA award is a really big step and a push forward, especially for young artists, as myself. To be acknowledged for your work is a big spark for one’s further creativeness and exploration. I wish ICMA a colourful and successful future full of prizes, recognitions, concerts and amazing music!

Krassimira Stoyanova
I wish ICMA happy Birthday – 10 years!!! I wish you many more birthdays and be all healthy! Let the love of true opera be always alive through your awards.

Yuan Yu
Winning the Discovery Award was a complete surprise! Later I came to realise how valuable such prizes are. It is so hard for young musicians to find an audience, so the recognition of this prize and the opportunity to play in the Gala Concert in Poland with such an amazing orchestra were really important to me.
I feel I have entered a wonderful new family with the ICMA. In particular, Remy Franck’s mentorship has helped me in so many ways. I’m still at the very start of my career, but the ICMA will always have a place in my heart.

Tabea Zimmermann
Congratulations to ICMA’s 10th anniversary!
The 2017‚ artist-of-the -year award started and pushed a very important phase of artistic freedom in my career! It means a lot to me to feel the support and appreciation of the ICMA music journalists!
All the best for the next 10 years.