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Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition

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First awarded  1961
Category of  Grammy Awards
People also search for  Grammy Award for Producer of the Year, Classical
Winners & Nominees  Michael Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway - American Gothic & Once upon a CastleMichael Daugherty, Michael Daugherty: Tales of Hemingway - American Gothic & Once upon a Castle, Winner, Mason Bates: Anthology of Fantastic Zoology (Live)Mason Bates, Mason Bates: Anthology of Fantastic Zoology (Live), Nominee, CF Kip Winger: Conversations with Nijinsky - Ghosts & A Parting GraceKip Winger, CF Kip Winger: Conversations with Nijinsky - Ghosts & A Parting Grace, Nominee, Theofanidis - Hummel & Mozart: Bassoon ConcertosChristopher Theofanidis, Theofanidis - Hummel & Mozart: Bassoon Concertos, Nominee, Higdon: Cold MountainJennifer Higdon, Higdon: Cold Mountain, Nominee, Prayers and RemembrancesStephen Paulus, Prayers and Remembrances, Winner, Anthracite FieldsJulia Wolfe, Anthracite Fields, Nominee, Barry: The Importance Of Being EarnestGerald Barry, Barry: The Importance Of Being Earnest, Nominee, Tower: StrokeJoan Tower, Tower: Stroke, Nominee, Norman: PlayAndrew Norman, Norman: Play, Nominee, Become OceanJohn Luther Adams, Become Ocean, Winner, Sinfonia No 4Roberto Sierra, Sinfonia No 4, Nominee, Voices From the HeartlandGeorge Crumb, Voices From the Heartland, Nominee, Prince of CloudsAnna Clyne, Prince of Clouds, Nominee, Concerto for Two Trumpets and BandStephen Paulus, Concerto for Two Trumpets and Band, Nominee, Winter Morning WalksMaria Schneider, Winter Morning Walks, Winner, Piano Concerto No 2Master Fatman, Piano Concerto No 2, Nominee, Adam's LamentArvo Pärt, Adam's Lament, Nominee, Violin ConcertoEsa-Pekka Salonen, Violin Concerto, Nominee, Partita for 8 VoicesCaroline Shaw, Partita for 8 Voices, Nominee, MeanwhileStephen Hartke, Meanwhile, Winner, August 4 - 1964Steven Stucky - Gene Scheer, August 4 - 1964, Nominee, Cello Concerto No 2 'Towards The Horizon'Einojuhani Rautavaara, Cello Concerto No 2 'Towards The Horizon', Nominee, Inura For Voices - Strings & PercussionTania León, Inura For Voices - Strings & Percussion, Nominee, Ugis: The NightingaleUģis Prauliņš, Ugis: The Nightingale, Nominee

The Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition was first awarded in 1961. This award was not presented from 1967 to 1984.


The award has had several minor name changes:

  • From 1961 to 1962 the award was known as Best Contemporary Classical Composition
  • In 1963 it was awarded as Best Contemporary Composition
  • In 1965 it was awarded as Best Composition by a Contemporary Composer
  • In 1966 and 1964 it was awarded as Best Composition by a Contemporary Classical Composer
  • In 1985 it was awarded as Best New Classical Composition
  • From 1986 to 1994 it was again awarded as Best Contemporary Composition
  • From 1995 to 2011 it was again awarded as Best Classical Contemporary Composition
  • In 2012 the category was renamed into Best Contemporary Classical Composition
  • The Grammy is awarded to the composer(s) of a classical piece composed in the last 25 years, and released for the first time during the eligibility year. From 2009 onwards, if the award goes to an opera composition, both the composer and the librettist (if applicable) receive the Grammy.

    Years reflect the year in which the Grammy Awards were presented, for works released in the previous year.


  • 2017
  • Michael Daugherty for Tales of Hemingway, performed by Zuill Bailey, Giancarlo Guerrero & the Nashville Symphony
  • Nominees:
  • Mason Bates (composer) for Anthology of Fantastic Zoology, performed by Riccardo Muti & Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  • Jennifer Higdon (composer) and Gene Scheer (librettist) for Cold Mountain, performed by Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Jay Hunter Morris, Emily Fons, Isabel Leonard, Nathan Gunn & The Santa Fe Opera
  • Christopher Theofanidis for Bassoon Concerto, performed by Martin Kuuskmann, Barry Jekowsky & the Northwest Sinfonia
  • C.F. Kip Winger for Conversations with Nijinsky, performed by Martin West & the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra
  • 2016
  • Stephen Paulus for Prayers & Remembrances
  • Eric Holtan, True Concord Voices & Orchestra - performers
  • Nominees:
  • Gerald Barry for The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Thomas Adés, Barbara Hannigan, Katalin Károlyi, Hilary Summers, Peter Tantsits & Birmingham Contemporary Music Group - performers
  • Andrew Norman for Play
  • Gil Rose & Boston Modern Orchestra Project - performers
  • Joan Tower for Stroke
  • Giancarlo Guerrero, Cho-Liang Lin & Nashville Symphony - performers
  • Julia Wolfe for Anthracite Fields
  • Julian Wachner, The Choir Of Trinity Wall Street & Bang On A Can All Stars - performers
  • 2015
  • John Luther Adams for Become Ocean
  • Nominees:
  • Anna Clyne for Prince of Clouds
  • George Crumb for Voices From the Heartland
  • Stephen Paulus for Concerto For Two Trumpets & Band
  • Roberto Sierra for Sinfonia No. 4
  • 2014: Maria Schneider for Winter Morning Walks
  • Nominees:
  • Magnus Lindberg for Piano Concerto No. 2
  • Arvo Pärt for Adam's Lament
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen for Violin Concerto
  • Caroline Shaw for Partita for 8 Voices
  • 2013: Stephen Hartke for Meanwhile - Incidental Music to Imaginary Puppet Plays
  • Nominees:
  • Tania Leon for Inura for Voices, Strings and Percussion
  • Uģis Prauliņš for The Nightingale
  • Einojuhani Rautavaara for Cello Concerto No. 2 - Towards the Horizon
  • Steven Stucky for August 4, 1964
  • 2012: Robert Aldridge & Herschel Garfein for Elmer Gantry
  • Nominees:
  • George Crumb for The Ghost of Alhambra
  • Jefferson Friedman for String Quartet no. 3
  • Steven Mackey for Lonely Motel - Music from Slide
  • Poul Ruders for Piano Concerto no. 2
  • 2011: Michael Daugherty for Deus ex Machina (from the album Daugherty: Metropolis Symphony by Giancarlo Guerrero)
  • 2010: Jennifer Higdon (composer) for Percussion Concerto, performed by Marin Alsop & London Philharmonia Orchestra
  • Nominees:
  • Arvo Pärt for Symphony No. 4 Los Angeles
  • 2000s

  • 2009: John Corigliano (composer) for Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan, performed by JoAnn Falletta & Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
  • 2008: Joan Tower (composer) for Made in America, performed by Leonard Slatkin & Nashville Symphony Orchestra
  • 2007: Osvaldo Golijov (composer) for Ainadamar: Fountain Of Tears, performed by Robert Spano
  • 2006: William Bolcom (composer) for Bolcom: Songs Of Innocence And Of Experience, performed by Leonard Slatkin
  • 2005: John Adams (composer) for On the Transmigration of Souls, performed by Lorin Maazel, the Brooklyn Youth Chorus, New York Choral Artists & the New York Philharmonic
  • 2004: Dominick Argento (composer) for "Argento: Casa Guidi", performed by Frederica von Stade, Eiji Oue & the Minnesota Orchestra
  • 2003: Steve Barnett (producer), Preston Smith (engineer), John Tavener (composer), Joseph Jennings (conductor), Chanticleer & the Handel & Haydn Society of Boston for Tavener: Lamentations and Praises
  • 2002: Christopher Rouse (composer), Muhai Tang (conductor), Sharon Isbin & the Gulbenkian Orchestra for Concert de Gaudí for Guitar and Orchestra
  • 2001: George Crumb (composer) & Thomas Conlin for Crumb: Star-Child
  • 2000: Pierre Boulez (composer) & the Ensemble Inter-Contemporain for Boulez: Répons
  • 1990s

  • 1999: Krzysztof Penderecki (composer & conductor), Anne-Sophie Mutter & the London Symphony Orchestra for Penderecki: Violin Concerto No. 2, Metamorphosen
  • 1998: John Adams (composer), Kent Nagano (conductor) & the Hallé Orchestra for Adams: El Dorado
  • 1997: John Corigliano (composer) & the Cleveland Quartet for Corigliano: String Quartet
  • 1996: Olivier Messiaen (composer) & Myung-Whun Chung (conductor) for Messiaen: Concert a Quatre
  • 1995: Stephen Albert (composer), David Zinman (conductor) & Yo-Yo Ma for Albert: Cello Concerto
  • 1994: Elliott Carter (composer), Oliver Knussen (conductor) & the London Symphony Orchestra for Violin Concerto
  • 1993: Samuel Barber (composer), Andrew Schnenck (conductor) & the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Barber: The Lovers
  • 1992: John Corigliano (composer), Daniel Barenboim (conductor) & the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for Corigliano: Symphony No. 1
  • 1991: Leonard Bernstein (composer), Judy Kaye & William Sharp for Bernstein: Arias & Barcarolles
  • 1990: Steve Reich (composer) & the Kronos Quartet for Reich: Different Trains
  • 1980s

  • 1989: John Adams (composer), Edo de Waart (conductor) & the San Francisco Symphony for Adams: Nixon in China
  • 1988: Krzysztof Penderecki (composer & conductor), Mstislav Rostropovich & the Philharmonia Orchestra for Penderecki: Cello Concerto No. 2
  • 1987: Witold Lutosławski (composer) & Esa-Pekka Salonen (conductor) for Lutosławski: Symphony No. 3
  • 1986: Andrew Lloyd Webber (composer), Sarah Brightman & Plácido Domingo for Lloyd Webber: Requiem
  • 1985: Samuel Barber (composer) & Christian Badea (conductor) for Antony and Cleopatra
  • 1960s

  • 1966: Charles Ives (composer) for Symphony No. 4, conducted by Leopold Stokowski
  • 1965: Samuel Barber (composer) for Piano Concerto, performed by John Browning
  • 1964: Benjamin Britten (composer & conductor) & the London Symphony Orchestra for Britten: War Requiem
  • 1963: Igor Stravinsky (composer and conductor) for Stravinsky: The Flood
  • 1962: Laurindo Almeida (composer and artist) for Discantus & Igor Stravinsky (composer and artist) for Stravinsky: Movements for Piano and Orchestra
  • 1961: Aaron Copland (composer & conductor) & the Boston Symphony Orchestra for Orchestral Suite from The Tender Land Suite
  • References

    Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition Wikipedia

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