ALPHA CLASSICS has been named Label of the Year 2020 by Gramophone Magazine.

Published on 07/10/2020

The award - from one of the oldest and most prestigious classical music magazines in the world - is a supreme honour for the label, and is especially encouraging during this time of crisis.

Alpha Classics has been championing quality music-making for more than 20 years: rare repertoire that is frequently off the beaten track, and recorded in the best possible conditions by artists of all generations and from all walks of life. New talent also remains a top priority for the label.

Firmly rooted in Baroque music since its beginning, Alpha has opened its doors to more diverse repertoire and adventurous programming since the arrival of Didier Martin at its head six years ago. Alpha has become a family of artists of international dimension, reinventing themselves through a similar desire for artistic freedom and excellence. This was recognised in 2018 when Alpha Classics won two GRAMMY Awards, for soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan’s Crazy Girl Crazy and violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s Death & The Maiden.

ALPHA is a label of the OUTHERE MUSIC group, founded in 2005 by Charles Adriaenssen. It also includes fellow labels Linn, Ricercar, Phi, Arcana, Ramée, Fuga Libera and jazz label Outnote.

“I am proud and happy that our flagship label has received this prestigious award. It is a tribute to all the artists who have chosen to join us and to the work of a superb team. It also confirms that there is a place for those who champion culture and quality in the face of the deluge of commercial nonsense. The public, whether established or new, deserves only the best!”

~ Charles Adriaenssen, President of Outhere Music

Didier Martin, Director of Alpha Classics and CEO of Outhere Music, added: 

“It is more than an honour to receive this award. It is a particularly joyous gift that motivates us to keep going and stay on course. It’s also a huge encouragement for all the Alpha and Outhere teams who work tirelessly and passionately. In this moment of global pandemic - which comes on top of an ongoing crisis within the cultural sector - it is more urgent and crucial than ever to put our heads together and unite to save musical diversity. A high quality press is essential, and ever more important in the digital world.” 

The label records regularly with: singers Adèle Charvet, Jodie Devos, Barbara Hannigan, Véronique Gens, Kate Lindsey, Sandrine Piau, Anna Prohaska, Eva Zaïcik, Julien Behr, Damien Guillon, Julian Prégardien, Konstantin Krimmel, Georg Nigl and Reinoud Van Mechelen… Instrumentalists Nicolas Altstaedt, Olivier Cavé, Bruno Cocset, Céline Frisch, Olivier Fortin, Nelson Goerner, Amihai Grosz, Marie-Elisabeth Hecker, Martin Helmchen, Juliette Hurel, Filippo Gorini, Victor Julien-Laferrière, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Eric Le Sage, Paul Meyer, Alexei Lubimov, Olga Pashchenko, Tedi Papavrami, Anthony Romaniuk, Justin Taylor, Chouchane & Astrig Siranossian, Anna Vinnitskaya, Jörg Widmann and Sarah Willis… Conductors Giovanni Antonini, Simon-Pierre Bestion, Barbara Hannigan, Alexandre Bloch, Vincent Dumestre, Mikko Franck, Leonardo García Alarcón, Paavo Järvi, François Lazarevitch, Lionel Meunier, Hervé Niquet, Denis Raisin- Dadre, Santtu-Matias Rouvali, Krzysztof Urbanski, Jos Van Immerseel… Chamber ensembles quartets Belcea, Van Kuijk, Voce, the Busch Trio and the Nevermind Ensemble… 


Three further Gramophone Awards were presented this year to Alpha Classics artists or recordings: 

Chamber Music category: VERESS BARTÓK recorded during the Lockenhaus festival by its artistic director Nicolas Altstaedt (cello), with Vilde Frang & Barnabás Kelemen (violin), Lawrence Power, Katalin Kokas (viola), Alexander Lonquich (piano).

Recital category: SI J’AI AIMÉ by Sandrine Piau (soprano), Le Concert de la Loge, Julien Chauvin (in collaboration with the Palazzetto Bru Zane).

A Special Award within the context of the «Beethoven 250» celebrations to Martin Helmchen for his recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos 2 and 5 with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, under the direction of Andrew Manze.


Watch the ALPHA CLASSICS Label of the Year video: