Steven Isserlis and Sir Antonio Pappano Win at the 2021 BBC Music Magazine Awards

14 Apr 2021

Steven Isserlis and Sir Antonio Pappano were honoured at the 2021 BBC Music Magazine Awards. The prestigious awards were announced on BBC Radio 3 and the magazine’s website.

The BBC Music Magazine Awards is the only classical music recording awards in which the main categories are voted for by the public.

‘This past year has been impossibly hard for everyone,’ says BBC Music Magazine editor Oliver Condy. ‘It’s wonderful to see the standard of recordings remain impressively high across the board.’

Cellist Steven Isserlis takes home the Premiere Award for their Hyperion recording, Tavener: No longer mourn for me & other works for cello, with bass Mathew Rose, vocalist Abi Sampa, the Philharmonia Orchestra and Trinity Boys Choir.

In his 5 star review of the album for the magazine, Christopher Dingle writes:

“These are among Tavener’s most powerful works. They are magnificently performed. Those simple points could easily be lost in the necessity of charting not just the diverse range of music and influences, but also the profoundly personal nature for Steven Isserlis of this remarkable disc. The works are all from Tavener’s final years and, as is clear from his touching, sometimes eloquently confessional booklet notes, Isserlis has a particular association with each piece.… Wellber ensures the extraordinary, uplifting coming together of these diverse elements is seamless without losing their individuality. The result is a magical. …Culminating in a hard-won ‘glimpse of light’, The death of Ivan Ilyich was written in memory of Isserlis’s wife Pauline and is the compelling centrepiece to a deeply moving disc.”

Sir Antonio Pappano conducts the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and star cast, including Stuart Skelton (Siegmund), Emily Magee (Sieglinde), Nina Stemme (Brünnhilde), John Lundgren (Wotan), Sarah Connolly (Fricka), Ain Anger (Hunding) and Lise Davidsen (Ortlinde), on the Best DVD Winner, Wagner: Die Walküre.

In his 5 Star review, Christopher Cook writes, “Pappano has always had a special relationship with the Ring’s second part…and the Royal Opera House Orchestra rewards him with some of its most sumptuous playing. The cast in this 2018 staging would have been the envy of every world class opera company.”

For more information, and to see the full list of winners, please visit


Photo credits (l to r): Steven Isserlis – Kevin Davis; Sir Antonio Pappano – Musacchio & Ianniello; Omer Meir Wellber – Felix Broede