Jennifer Higdon received the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Classical Composition last night for her Viola Concerto which appears on a Naxos CD performed by Roberto Díaz with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra conducted by Giancarlo Guerrero; the disc, which was additionally awarded Best Classical Compendium, also includes Higdon’s Oboe Concerto (with soloist James Button) and her three-movement orchestral work All Things Majestic. According to the Grammy website, the award is given annually to “a contemporary classical composition composed within the last 25 years, and released for the first time during the eligibility year.” The other 2018 nominees for Best Contemporary Classical Composition were Richard Danielpour’s Songs of Solitude, Tigran Mansurian’s Requiem, Adam Schoenberg’s Picture Studies, and Zhou Tian’s Concerto for Orchestra. Higdon previously received this award in 2009 for her Percussion Concerto.
Arturo O’Farrill received the 2018 Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition, which is awarded “for an original composition (not an adaptation) first released during the eligibility year” for “Three Revolutions” which appears on the album Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico by Arturo O’Farrill and Chucho Valdés. Billy Childs received the award for Best Jazz Instrumental Album for Rebirth, Christian McBride received Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album for his big band disc Bringin’ It, and Pablo Ziegler received Best Latin Jazz Album for his latest trio recording, Jazz Tango. In addition, the Philadelphia-based choral group The Crossing received the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Choral Performance for their recording of British composer Gavin Bryars’s The Fifth Century which they performed with the PRISM Quartet. A complete list of all the 2018 Grammy awardees is on the Grammy website.