Oberlin College and Conservatory alumni brought home awards in several categories across seven different recordings at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, held April 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Singer and multi-instrumentalist Rhiannon Giddens ’00 and collaborator Francesco Turrisi won the Grammy for Best Folk Album for their Nonesuch Records release They’re Calling Me Home. The 12-track album explores the music of the artists’ native and adoptive countries of America, Italy, and Ireland. It was recorded over six days in a small studio on a working farm in Dublin.
The Grammy is the second for Giddens, who also won in 2011 for Best Traditional Folk Album as a member of the Carolina Chocolate Drops. Since 2020, she has served as artistic director of Silkroad.
Violinist Jennifer Koh ’97 was honored in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category for Alone Together, a collection of 40 new commissioned works for solo violin created in response to the coronavirus pandemic and the financial hardship it placed on so many artists and musicians. The inventive project incorporated the works of 20 established composers who donated a 30-second micro-work, while also recommending a freelance composer to write their own 30-second solo violin work on paid commission from the artist-driven nonprofit ARCO Collaborative.
Jazz pianist Jake Silverman '14 and his writing partner and bandmate Charlie Rosen won the Grammy for Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella for “Meta Knight's Revenge,” recorded by Silverman's 8-Bit Big Band.
Percussionist Adam Sliwinski '01, a member of Sō Percussion and commissioning partner for the Grammy-winning piece, performed with the ensemble alongside Dawn Upshaw and Gilbert Kalish on the title piece from composer Caroline Shaw’s 2021 album Narrow Sea, which won Best Contemporary Classical Composition.
Amy Oshiro-Morales ’95, a second violinist in the Philadelphia Orchestra since 2008, performed on the orchestra’s recording of Florence Price’s first and third symphonies, which garnered the award for Best Orchestral Performance. It marked the ensemble’s first-ever Grammy win.
The Grammy for Best Choral Performance went to Mahler: Symphony No. 8, “Symphony of a Thousand,” performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, Los Angeles Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale, and National Children’s Chorus. The numerous Oberlin alumni of the philharmonic include Principal Clarinet Boris Allakhverdyan ’06, Assistant Principal Viola Ben Ullery ’04, Solo English Horn player Carolyn Hove ’80, Associate Principal Oboe Marion Arthur Kuszyk ’88, and Bass Trombone John Lofton ’77. The Los Angeles Master Chorale includes President and CEO Jean Davidson ’91 and mezzo-soprano Adriana Manfredi ’01. Pacific Chorale Artistic Director Emeritus John Alexander ’65 built the chorale into what it is today over the course of his remarkable 45-year tenure from 1972-2017.
The Metropolitan Opera earned the "Best Opera" Grammy for their recording of Philip Glass' Akhnaten. The award went to the conductor, producer, lead soloists, orchestra, and chorus and included two Oberlin alumni: Laura McGinnis ’83, a violinist in The Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and Rosalie Sullivan ’99, an alto in The Metropolitan Opera Chorus.
This article was updated on April 20, 2022.
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