January 18, 2010
The Guarneri String Quartet was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Chamber Music Performance this year for our Hungarian Album on RCA Red Seal. The CD consists of Ern? Dohnányi’s Quartets Nos. 2 and 3, and Zoltán Kodály’s Quartet No. 2, three works of striking beauty.
The Grammy Awards (originally called the Gramaphone Awards) are presented annually by the National Academy of Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the music industry.
We have received Grammy nominations before, and thinking about them reminded me of an encounter I had some time ago with a colleague. We had just been introduced and the ensuing conversation went something like this:
Me: Pleased to meet you.
Him: Pleased to meet you as well, and by the way, we have something in common.
Me: Really. What’s that?
Him: Well, we’re both in musical groups that have been nominated for Grammys.
Me: Is that so.
Him: It’s quite an honor, you know.
Me: Yes, it certainly is.
Him: Not many people get Grammy nominations.
Him: It’s like being in a special club.
Him: I guess I should tell you that we actually won a Grammy Award a couple of years ago.
Me: Well, congratulations to you and your colleagues.
Him: Thank you. We were thrilled to receive the award.
Me: I can imagine.
Him: But you shouldn’t feel badly about not winning.
Me: Oh, I don’t.
Him: They can only give the award to one nominee in each category, you understand.
Me: I do.
Him: And just to be singled out as a nominee is very special.
Me: Very special.
Him: Certainly nothing to be ashamed of.
Me: No, certainly not.
Him: And there’s always next year’s award to aim for.
Me: Yes, next year’s.
Him: You sure you’re not upset about us getting the award and you not?
This year’s winner in the category of Best Chamber Music Performance will be announced at the 52nd Grammy Awards ceremony on January 31, 2010. The other nominees are the Enso String Quartet (with Lucy Shelton) playing the complete Ginastera String Quartets, the Emerson String Quartet in Sibelius’ Intimate Voices String Quartet, Martha Argerich and Gidon Kramer playing Schumann and Bartók Sonatas, and Yolanda Kondonassis, Cynthia Phelps, and Joshua Smith in a work by Takemitsu.
As it turns out, I know almost all the musicians nominated. Some of them are even close friends and colleagues that I admire greatly and have performed with. Come January 31st, I’m sure we’ll all be happy for the new Grammy Award winner. For the rest of us, it’ll be an honor just to have been nominated, right? A very special club. And certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Also, there’s always next year to aim for.
We’re not going to get upset, are we?
Sign up to receive new stories straight to your inbox!