Belfast Telegraph

Award for flute virtuoso Sir James

Flautist Sir James Galway has been celebrated by the classical music world with a lifetime achievement honour at the annual Gramophone Awards.

The 74-year-old virtuoso, who unusually for a classical musician has achieved a top-three chart hit, was recognised for a career stretching across 50 years in which he has reached a substantial audience.

He collected his award and performed at a ceremony staged by Gramophone magazine at St John's Smith Square in London. It also gave an honorary award to Sir Neville Marriner who recently appeared at the BBC Proms at the age of 90, the oldest conductor to do so.

Belfast-born Sir James, known as The Man With The Golden Flute, has performed with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic and the Berlin Philharmonic as well as Pink Floyd's Roger Waters, for a live concert of The Wall in Berlin.

He went to number three in the singles chart in 1978 with his instrumental version of John Denver track Annie's Song, and during his career is estimated to have sold 30 million discs of his many recordings.

James Jolly, Gramophone's editor-in-chief, paid tribute by saying Sir James "not only put the flute on the musical map in modern times, but has been a powerful advocate for classical music".

"He is a true classical music superstar and his recordings have sold in the tens of millions. His role in music education too is powerful and heartfelt," he added.

Sir Neville was given the outstanding achievement award, which was created especially for him, and presented by the pianist Alfred Brendel.

The Recording of the Year prize went to Riccardo Chailly and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the world's oldest orchestra, for their Brahms symphony cycle. Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos was crowned artist of the year, 23 years since he last won a Gramophone award.

The magazine's awards issue is published today. The main award winners were as follows:

:: Orchestral recording of the year - Brahms Symphonies, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Riccardo Chailly

:: Lifetime achievement - Sir James Galway

:: Outstanding achievement - Sir Neville Marriner

:: Artist of the year - Leonidas Kavakos

:: Label of the year - Delphian

:: Young artist of the year - The Nightingale Quartet

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