Grammy wrap

Rochester’s Ying Quartet was wise to skip the Grammy awards for a gig in Ohio. The group didn’t win in their category, Best Chamber Music Performance.

Here’s the scoop on Rochester’s classical/jazz nominees:

MARIA SCHNEIDER earned a Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition for Cerulean Skies from her new CD, Sky Blue. She beat Bela Fleck, Harry Connick, Jr. and Phillip Glass.

Joan Tower, this year’s Made in America composer, cleaned house, starting with a Grammy for Best Classical Album (beating Churchville native Renee Fleming.) Tower’s Made In America featured Leonard Slatkin conducting the Nashville Symphony. (Note: the new Made in America composer is former Rochesterian Joseph Schwantner.)

Eighth Blackbird took home a Grammy for Best Chamber Music Performance, beating out Rochester’s Ying Quartet. Blackbird’s CD is Strange Imaginary Animals on Cedille Records.

Renee Fleming did NOT win in the Best Classical Vocal Performance category. She lost to the late Lorraine Hunt Lieberson, who recorded Neruda Songs songs by Peter Lieberson for Nonesuch Records. Lorraine Hunt Lieberson died in 2006.

Paul O’Dette did NOT win in the Best Opera Recording category. Winners were Sir Charles Mackerras, Rebecca Evans, Jane Henschel & Jennifer Larmore; Brian Couzens, and the New London Children's Choir and Philharmonia Orchestra for Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel, a Chandos Opera In English.

Also, Ratatouille won Best Score Soundtrack Album For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media. Hooray for composer Michael Giacchino. And Barack Obama won a Grammy in the Best Spoken Word Album category for his reading of The Audacity Of Hope: Thoughts On Reclaiming The American Dream. Interestingly, he won over Bill Clinton’s Giving: How Each Of Us Can Change The World. A harbinger of things to come?