Gustavo Dudamel, L.A. Phil and UCLA choir score Grammy classical nominations

Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic on stage at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Gustavo Dudamel conducting the Los Angeles Philharmonic through Ives’ First Symphony on Feb. 20 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
(Genaro Molina/Los Angeles Times)

Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic brought the symphonies of American composer Charles Ives to vivid life this year with performances that Times music critic Mark Swed called “a milestone ... for both the conductor and the startlingly great orchestra.”

On Tuesday the Recording Academy signaled its agreement by rewarding Dudamel and the L.A. Phil’s “Ives: Complete Symphonies” with two Grammy nominations — one for best orchestral performance and one for best engineered classical album.

In the former category, Dudamel and the L.A. Phil will compete against the San Francisco Symphony (nominated with outgoing Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Copland’s Third Symphony), Oregon Symphony, Iceland Symphony Orchestra and Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

A win would secure a third Grammy for Dudamel and the L.A. Phil, which won its first Grammy in 2012 for a recording of Brahms’ Fourth Symphony. The second Grammy came this year for a recording of composer Andrew Norman’s “Sustain.”


In the classical album engineering category, Ives engineers Alexander Lipay and Dmitriy Lipay will compete against a recording with some other L.A. talent behind it: composer Richard Danielpour’s “The Passion of Yeshua.”

Danielpour, a professor at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music, scored a nomination for best contemporary classical composition with “Yeshua.” The album also is up for best choral performance, and if it were to win, the Grammy would be shared by a team that includes the UCLA Chamber Singers — an ensemble of about three dozen undergraduate and graduate students studying music performance, education, composition and conducting.

“Place” by composer Ted Hearne, a professor at USC’s Thornton School of Music, earned nominations for chamber music/small ensemble performance and contemporary classical composition. In the latter category, Hearne competes against Danielpour and also part-time L.A. resident Thomas Adès, nominated for his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Adès conducts Kirill Gerstein and the Boston Symphony Orchestra in that recording, also nominated for best instrumental solo; another recording, “Ades Conducts Ades,” is up for best classical compendium.


The Grammy nominations in classical categories:

Best engineered album, classical

An engineer’s award. (Artists in parentheses.)

Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua. Bernd Gottinger, engineer (JoAnn Falletta, James K. Bass, Adam Luebke, UCLA Chamber Singers, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra & Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus)

Gershwin: Porgy and Bess. David Frost & John Kerswell, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (David Robertson, Eric Owens, Angel Blue, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra & Chorus)


Hynes: Fields. Kyle Pyke, engineer; Jesse Lewis & Kyle Pyke, mastering engineers (Devonté Hynes & Third Coast Percussion)

Ives: Complete Symphonies. Alexander Lipay and Dmitriy Lipay, engineers; Alexander Lipay and Dmitriy Lipay, mastering engineers (Gustavo Dudamel and Los Angeles Philharmonic)

Shostakovich: Symphony No. 13, “Babi Yar.” David Frost and Charlie Post, engineers; Silas Brown, mastering engineer (Riccardo Muti and Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

Producer of the year, classical

Blanton Alspaugh


David Frost

Jesse Lewis

Dmitriy Lipay

Elaine Martone


Best orchestral performance

Award to the conductor and to the orchestra.

Aspects of America — Pulitzer Edition. Carlos Kalmar, conductor (Oregon Symphony)

Concurrence. Daníel Bjarnason, conductor (Iceland Symphony Orchestra)

Copland: Symphony No. 3. Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor (San Francisco Symphony)


Ives: Complete Symphonies. Gustavo Dudamel, conductor (Los Angeles Philharmonic)

Lutoslawski: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 3. Hannu Lintu, conductor (Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra)

Best opera recording

Award to the conductor, album producer(s) and principal soloists.

Dello Joio: The Trial at Rouen. Gil Rose, conductor; Heather Buck and Stephen Powell; Gil Rose, producer (Boston Modern Orchestra Project; Odyssey Opera Chorus)


Floyd, C.: Prince of Players. William Boggs, conductor; Keith Phares and Kate Royal; Blanton Alspaugh, producer (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra; Florentine Opera Chorus)

Gershwin: Porgy and Bess. David Robertson, conductor; Angel Blue and Eric Owens; David Frost, producer (the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra; the Metropolitan Opera Chorus)

Handel: Agrippina. Maxim Emelyanychev, conductor; Joyce DiDonato; Daniel Zalay, producer (Il Pomo D’Oro)

Zemlinsky: Der Zwerg. Donald Runnicles, conductor; David Butt Philip and Elena Tsallagova; Peter Ghirardini and Erwin Stürzer, producers (Orchestra of the Deutsche Oper Berlin; Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin)


Best choral performance

Award to the conductor and to the choral director and/or chorus master where applicable and to the choral organization/ensemble.

Carthage. Donald Nally, conductor (The Crossing)

Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua. JoAnn Falletta, conductor; James K. Bass and Adam Luebke, chorus masters (James K. Bass, J’Nai Bridges, Timothy Fallon, Kenneth Overton, Hila Plitmann and Matthew Worth; Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus and UCLA Chamber Singers)

Kastalsky: Requiem. Leonard Slatkin, conductor; Charles Bruffy, Steven Fox and Benedict Sheehan, chorus masters (Joseph Charles Beutel and Anna Dennis; Orchestra of St. Luke’s; Cathedral Choral Society, the Clarion Choir, Kansas City Chorale and the Saint Tikhon Choir)


Moravec: Sanctuary Road. Kent Tritle, conductor (Joshua Blue, Raehann Bryce-Davis, Dashon Burton, Malcolm J. Merriweather and Laquita Mitchell; Oratorio Society of New York Orchestra; Oratorio Society of New York Chorus)

Once Upon a Time. Matthew Guard, conductor (Sarah Walker; Skylark Vocal Ensemble)

Best chamber music/small ensemble performance

One award to the ensemble and one award to the conductor, if applicable.

Contemporary Voices. Pacifica Quartet


Healing Modes. Brooklyn Rider

Hearne, T.: Place. Ted Hearne, Steven Bradshaw, Sophia Byrd, Josephine Lee, Isaiah Robinson, Sol Ruiz, Ayanna Woods and Place Orchestra

Hynes: Fields. Devonté Hynes & Third Coast Percussion

The Schumann Quartets. Dover Quartet


Best classical instrumental solo

Ades: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Kirill Gerstein; Thomas Adès, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)

Beethoven: Complete Piano Sonatas. Igor Levit

Bohemian Tales. Augustin Hadelich; Jakub Hrůša, conductor (Charles Owen; Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks)

Destination Rachmaninov — Arrival. Daniil Trifonov; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor (the Philadelphia Orchestra)


Theofanidis: Concerto for Viola and Chamber Orchestra. Richard O’Neill; David Alan Miller, conductor (Albany Symphony)

Best classical solo vocal album

American Composers at Play — William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, John Musto. Stephen Powell (Attacca Quartet, William Bolcom, Ricky Ian Gordon, Lori Laitman, John Musto, Charles Neidich and Jason Vieaux)

Clairieres — Songs by Lili & Nadia Boulanger. Nicholas Phan; Myra Huang, accompanist

Farinelli. Cecilia Bartoli; Giovanni Antonini, conductor (Il Giardino Armonico)


A Lad’s Love. Brian Giebler; Steven McGhee, accompanist (Katie Hyun, Michael Katz, Jessica Meyer, Reginald Mobley and Ben Russell)

Smyth: The Prison. Sarah Brailey and Dashon Burton; James Blachly, conductor (Experiential Chorus; Experiential Orchestra)

Best classical compendium

Ades Conducts Ades. Mark Stone and Christianne Stotijn; Thomas Adès, conductor; Nick Squire, producer

Saariaho: Graal Theatre; Circle Map; Neiges; Vers Toi Qui es si Loin. Clément Mao-Takacs, conductor; Hans Kipfer, producer


Serebrier: Symphonic Bach Variations; Laments and Hallelujahs; Flute Concerto. José Serebrier, conductor; Jens Braun, producer

Thomas, M.T.: From the Diary of Anne Frank & Meditations on Rilke. Isabel Leonard; Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Jack Vad, producer

Woolf, L.P.: Fire and Flood. Matt Haimovitz; Julian Wachner, conductor; Blanton Alspaugh, producer

Best contemporary classical composition

Ades: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Thomas Adès, composer (Kirill Gerstein, Thomas Adès and Boston Symphony Orchestra)


Danielpour: The Passion of Yeshua. Richard Danielpour, composer (JoAnn Falletta, James K. Bass, Adam Luebke, UCLA Chamber Singers, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus)

Floyd, C.: Prince of Players. Carlisle Floyd, composer (William Boggs, Kate Royal, Keith Phares, Florentine Opera Chorus and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra)

Hearne, T.: Place. Ted Hearne, composer (Ted Hearne, Steven Bradshaw, Sophia Byrd, Josephine Lee, Isaiah Robinson, Sol Ruiz, Ayanna Woods and Place Orchestra)

Rouse: Symphony No. 5. Christopher Rouse, composer (Giancarlo Guerrero and Nashville Symphony)


The Jan. 31 ceremony will be held amid what will likely be an unabated deadly pandemic, so Grammy organizers hoping for a less knee-buckling show than last go-round may have to wait until 2022.