February 8, 2015
The top classical-music Grammys turned out to be a battle of the John Adamses. John Luther Adams won a Grammy on Sunday for best contemporary classical composition for the Seattle Symphony-commissioned “Become Ocean,” already recipient of the Pulitzer Prize for music. The SSO performed its world premiere at Benaroya Hall and played it at Carnegie Hall last spring, where it was met with critical acclaim.
Composer John Adams, also a Pulitzer winner, won the best orchestral performance Grammy — a category the SSO was also nominated in for its recording of “Become Ocean.” John Adams and the St. Louis Symphony took home the prize for his “City Noir.”
Seattle’s symphony was nominated for four other classical Grammys, but did not win: best instrumental solo, best engineered performance (for “Become Ocean” and for a recording of works by Henri Dutilleaux) and SSO’s recording engineer, Dmitriy Lipay, was nominated for producer of the year.
Other local winners: Stephen Stubbs, founder of the Seattle early-music company Pacific MusicWorks, won a Grammy for best opera recording for conducting with Paul O’Dette on “Charpentier: La Descente D’Orphee aux Enfers.” Vocal group Seattle Pro Musica performed on the best new age album, “Winds of Samsara.” And the honor for best packaging went to the team behind Pearl Jam’s “Lightning Bolt,” which included band member Jeff Ament.