Joseph Calleja wins top classical music award
Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja is set to add yet another trophy to his already hefty cabinet tonight when he will be named Gramophone Artist of the Year 2012, The Times has learnt.
The international star saw off competition from nine other classical music nominees to win the award, which is voted for by members of the public.
Calleja will be officially announced as the winner of this prestigious prize during a gala ceremony at London’s Dorchester Hotel this evening, which is set to be hosted by soprano Danielle de Niese.
Calleja is unable to be present due to a singing engagement in Vienna. However, he has sent the audience a message and told The Times he is thrilled to have scooped the award.
“The other nominees are all great artists, so I am very honoured to have won this. It has been a great month for me personally and I would like to thank everyone who voted for me from the bottom of my heart.”
Every year, the Gramophone classical music awards celebrate an artist at the height of their fame.
Members of the public have been able to vote for their favourite performer from a shortlist of 10 artists. Musicians are shortlisted for having contributed something special to classical music throughout the past year.
Calleja will join a host of legendary classical music figures who have won the award in the past, such as tenor Luciano Pavarotti, conductor Simon Rattle, violinist Hilary Hahn and cello virtuoso Yo-Yo Ma.
The award caps off what has been hugely successful period for Calleja. The tenor headlined the BBC’s Last Night of the Proms to universal acclaim at the beginning of September, becoming the first tenor to headline the night in 30 years, and released a new album earlier this month, Be My Love, which is a tribute to Mario Lanza.
He is not about to slow down, with several engagements to come across the world including a long-awaited debut at Milan’s La Scala opera house in February – the only theatre of note where he has not yet sung.