Faculty and Alumni Win GRAMMYs

Mason Bates, composer

This past December, several SFCM faculty and alumni, including Mason Bates, Aaron Jay Kernis, Julian Lage, and others, were nominated for GRAMMYs in multiple categories. On Sunday, it was announced at the 61st GRAMMY Awards that both Mason Bates and Aaron Jay Kernis won awards.

Mason Bates, the composer of wildly popular opera The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs, won for Best Opera Recording. The work was also nominated for Best Contemporary Classical Composition and Best Engineered Album, Classical.

Alumnus and Pulitzer Prize winner Aaron Jay Kernis ’78 won in two categories: Best Classical Instrumental Solo and Best Contemporary Classical Composition, both for his Violin Concerto.

Additionally, alumnus Nahuel Bronzini '14, who engineered Fantastic Negrito's "Please Don't Be Dead," won in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category.

SFCM faculty, alumni, and friends had been nominated in many categories stretching classical, jazz, contemporary, and engineering. The full list of SFCM nominees are below:

Best Orchestral Performance

  • "Schumann: Symphonies Nos. 1-4"
    • Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (Performed by the San Francisco Symphony)

Best Opera Recording

  • "The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs" (WINNER)
    • Michael Christie, conductor; Sasha Cooke, Jessica E. Jones, Edwards Parks, Garrett Sorenson & Wei Wu; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer (Performed by the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra)

Best Contemporary Classical Composition

  • "The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs"
    • Mason Bates, composer; Mark Campbell, librettist
  • "Great Scott"
    • Jake Heggie, composer; Terrence McNally, librettist
  • "Violin Concerto" (WINNER)
    • Aaron Jay Kernis, composer

Best Classical Instrumental Solo

  • "Violin Concerto" (WINNER)
    • Aaron Jay Kernis, composer

Best Engineered Album, Classical

  • "The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs"
    • Mark Donahue & Dirk Sobotka, engineers; Mark Donahue, mastering engineer (Performed by Michael Christie, Garrett Sorenson, Wei Wu, Sasha Cooke, Edwards Parks, Jessica E. Jones & Santa Fe Opera Orchestra)

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

  • “All About that Basie”
    • The Count Basie Orchestra, directed By Scotty Barnhart

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album

  • “Modern Lore”
    • Julian Lage

Best Chamber Music / Small Ensemble Performance

  • “Blueprinting”
    • Aizuri Quartet (Ariana Kim '03, violin)

Best Contemporary Blues Album

  • Fantastic Negrito: “Please Don't Be Dead” (WINNER)
    • Nahuel Bronzini '14 (engineer)
    • Mia Pixley '18 (cello)


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