Trumpet player Alison Balsom has become the first British female to be named Gramophone’s artist of the year. She was awarded the prestigious prize at a ceremony for the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2013 held at London’s LSO St Luke’s on 18 September. The prize was the only award to be voted for by the public.

Balsom said: ‘I’m so thrilled. I could not think of a better way to end the best summer of my life than to receive this hugely prestigious honour. I am enjoying making music more than ever at the moment and to be praised for it by the Gramophone Classical Music Awards and by everyone who kindly voted for me is simply more than I could ask for.’

The 35 year old has had a year of high-profile performances: she made her debut at Shakespeare’s Globe in Samuel Adamson’s play Gabriel featuring music of The Fairy Queen and other pieces by Purcell, performed in this summer’s BBC Proms, and took to the stage in an open-air performance at Latitude Festival.

The rest of the year looks promising for Balsom, with her latest release The Sound of Alison Balsom celebrating ten years since her first recording and her nomination for female artist of the year at the Classic BRIT Awards.

Other early music artists recognised at this year’s Gramophone Classical Music Awards included Andreas Staier for his baroque instrumental recording Pour Passer la Mélancholie; Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir for baroque vocal; and the Gabrieli Consort & Players for early recording.

See the full list of winners at

(Image credit: Pete Spinney)


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