Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s recording of Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest has been nominated for a prestigious Grammy Award.
The Grammy Awards recognise musical excellence in all genres, and in being nominated for the prize BCMG join an elite group of international musicians. Also included in the 2016 nominations are such diverse artists as Andris Nelson with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Bob Dylan, Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.
Gerald Barry’s zany operatic setting of The Importance of Being Earnest was first performed in a concert setting by BCMG in 2012, initially at the Barbican Hall in London and then in Symphony Hall, Birmingham.
The Grammy-nominated recording was made at BCMG’s Barbican Hall performance, and was released at the end of 2014 by NMC Recordings. Conducted by Thomas Adés, the recording features world-class vocalists Barbara Hannigan, Katalin Karolyi, Peter Tantsits, Joshua Bloom, Hilary Summers, Benjamin Bevan and Alan Ewing as a gender-confused Lady Bracknell.
At the time, The Guardian reviewed the recording as showing ‘sheer virtuosity…[with] expert performances by the singers and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’. Opera Now magazine referred to the work as a ‘contemporary classic…This riotous recording by BCMG under Thomas Adés is sure to help its fame and popularity to spread.’
Gerald Barry’s The Importance of Being Earnest has also been performed as a staged opera in Los Angeles and at the Royal Opera House, London.
Stephen Newbould, Artistic Director of BCMG, commented: ‘What an end to 2015! We are over-the-moon at this Grammy nomination and our congratulations of course extend to Gerald Barry for his extraordinary score, to Thomas Adés for his masterful conducting and to NMC Recordings for having to foresight to record and release the work for us all to enjoy. For Birmingham Contemporary Music Group to be listed amongst prestigious artists gives genuine recognition to the quality of our work on an international stage.