SFCM Alliance Celebrates GRAMMY Wins
Edwin Outwater and Mason Bates 'Philharmonia Fantastique' won for Best Engineered Album in the Classical category.
by Alex Heigl
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music family is celebrating after music's biggest night.
Mason Bates' Philharmonia Fantastique: The Making of the Orchestra was awarded the GRAMMY for Best Engineered Album in the classical category for the work of engineers Shawn Murphy, Charlie Post and Gary Rydstrom and mastering engineer Michael Romanowski. SFCM Music Director Edwin Outwater, who conducted the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for the recording, wrote of the project on Instagram, "It was recorded in the middle of the pandemic with the orchestra divided into five separate groups recorded over five days. Though this presented its share of challenges, it also gave the engineers amazing control of the individual sections and they definitely made the most of it!"
Opus 3 artists Time for Three scooped up two awards for their record Letters for the Future: Best Classical Instrumental Solo for the title track and Best Contemporary Classical Composition, for "Puts: Contact." Xian Zhang conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra on the recording.
Askonas Holt celebrated wins of its own via Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who was not only the pianist on Renée Fleming's Voice of Nature: The Anthropocene, which won for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album, but conducted the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra on Blanchard: Fire Shut Up In My Bones, which won Best Opera Recording. (Askonas Holt aslo represents the Philadelphia Orchestra.)
Enabled by private support, SFCM acquired New York- and Berlin-based Opus 3 Artists in October 2020 and the Netherlands-based record label Pentatone in May 2022. Along with Askonas Holt, this alliance "promises to advance the cause of music at the highest level across the globe," SFCM President David Stull said in December.
"It will create limitless opportunities for students, provide a creative playground for the world’s finest artists to advance their ideas, expand our capacity to capture and record important work, and allow us all to imagine and create our future together," he continued.