Mason Bates’ opera The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs was among the winners of the 61st annual Grammy Awards, announced Feb. 10 by the Recording Academy. Though the ceremony was telecast live on CBS, most of the winners were announced before the broadcast.
With music by Bates, former Mead Composer-in-Residence of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and a libretto by Mark Campbell, the opera explores the spiritual evolution of Apple co-founder Jobs. A co-production with San Francisco Opera and Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, it was recorded live in July 2017 at Santa Fe Opera, where it received its world premiere and was subsequently released in May 2018 by Pentatone. One of the featured vocalists was Sasha Cooke, a recent soloist in this season’s run of Handel’s Messiah.
Several artists scheduled for this season’s Symphony Center Presents series also received gold statuettes. The Soweto Gospel Choir, which appeared in an SCP Special Concert in Nov. 16, won Best World Music Album for “Freedom” (Shanachie). Roots artist Chris Thile, host of the traveling variety show “Live from Here,” which stopped Jan. 26 at Symphony Center, took the Best Folk Album prize with his group Punch Brothers for “All Ashore” (Nonesuch).
Rising talent Cécile McLorin Salvant, performing April 12 with the Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour 60th Anniversary lineup, triumphed in the Jazz Vocal Album category with her album “The Window” (Mack Avenue). The legendary Wayne Shorter, scheduled for a SCP Jazz concert June 7 with his quartet, picked up his 10th Grammy for “Emanon” (Blue Note) in the Best Jazz Instrumental Album category.
Other winners in the classical-music categories:
Best Contemporary Classical Composition : Aaron Jay Kernis, Violin Concerto, recorded by James Ehnes and the Seattle Symphony, conducted by Ludovic Morlot
Best Classical Compendium : Kenneth Fuchs, Spiritualist piano concerto, and other works, recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by JoAnn Falletta
Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: Tenor Karim Sulayman, accompanied by Apollo’s Fire, in Monteverdi, et al., “Songs of Orpheus”
Best Classical Instrumental Solo : James Ehnes in Kernis’ Violin Concerto
Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: Laurie Anderson and the Kronos Quartet, “Landfall”
Best Choral Performance : The Crossing, conducted by Donald Nally (now on the faculty at Northwestern University) in Lansing McLoskey, “Zealot Canticles”
Best Orchestral Performance : Shostakovich, Symphonies Nos. 4 and 11, Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Andris Nelson
Producer of the Year, Classical : Blanton Alspaugh
Best Engineered Album, Classical: Shostakovich, Symphonies Nos. 4 and 11, engineers Shawn Murphy and Nick Squire, and mastering engineer Tim Martyn
TOP: A scene from The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs during its world-premiere run at the Santa Fe Opera in 2017. | Photo: Santa Fe Opera.