2016 has been a big year for PARMA. Over the course of the year, we signed 60 new artists, began 107 new projects, and released just and under 100 albums. Yes, you read that correctly. We released 94 albums, to be exact.
Not just that, but our newly released albums and past catalog have received an impressive amount of airplay instances and new reviews, many from the big classical guns like Gramophone, The Strad, The Whole Note, Music and Vision, American Record Guide, Pop Matters, Winnipeg Free Press, The Boston Globe, and I Care If You Listen.
But again, it’s not just that…
In November of 2015, PARMA traveled to Havana, Cuba for the first time to record the debut Ansonica Records album, ABRAZO. Released in June of this year, ABRAZO caught all kinds of press locally and from around the world. CEO of PARMA, Bob Lord, describes the trip in full detail in his piece. “I WENT TO CUBA. I MADE MUSIC. IT SOUNDS TERRIFIC.”
PARMA’s Student Composer Competition, which you may recall from past years, is a program to promote and support composition students under the age of 30.
PARMA submits a call for scores to review, from which the top ten finalists in the Competition are included in PARMA’s Anthology of Music and featured on our website. The Grand Prize winners receive an additional prize, which in the past included the premiere of their piece at our PARMA Music Festival.
We finally announced our 2015 student composer winners, and they are Eugene Austapov, Nathan Brown, and Scott Lee. This year, each prize winner received an archival recording of their winning score through our PrimaVista program. If you want to view and download their work, check it out here.
So, in the midst of adding a new label, traveling the world for recordings, providing young composers with opportunities, and tracking the success of our artists, we also updated our website and blog. Take a look at what we did on “PARMA Got a Facelift” to discover all of the new features.
In addition to a lot of PARMA news, we also have many artist achievements. Here at PARMA we are proud to see our artists creating projects that are getting noticed not only for reviews and airplay but also for awards, features, interviews, and mass streaming.
Take a look at these highlights…
Once again there several winners in the Global Music Awards. Carmine Miranda received Gold and Silver medals for his June release SCHUMANN | DVOŘÁK, which earned him not only a spot in Amazon’s Top 10 Romanic Albums but also over one million streams on Spotify.
Along with Miranda, Sang-Hie Lee, and Stephen Yip both received the Silver Medal in the Global Music Awards. Lee received the medal on her debut album with PARMA, released on Ravello Records, ARS NOSTRA: BUT NOW THE NIGHT. “Ars Nostra,” refers to a program Lee founded as an artistic concept to promote new music by colleagues and contemporaries. BUT NOW THE NIGHT was the first project on “Ars Nostra” and it proved to be a success.
Stephen Yip earned his Silver Medal with a piece that was featured on the compilation album TURBULENT SKY, which was released on Navona Records. The piece, The Luminous Mystery has been positively reviewed numerous times, Gapplegate said “I found [The Luminous Mystery] all most exhilarating. Highly recommended.”
Many artists that were semi-finalists for The American Prize, which is a non-profit organization that provides evaluation, recognition, and reward to America’s finest performing artists, ensembles, and composers. All the artists are chosen based on recordings of their work. All of the artist (twelve artists in total) were selected as semi-finalists based on recordings of their work.
When it came time to announce the finalists, there were three finalists, three for Composition in the Orchestra Division–Lee Actor, Hakki Cengiz Eren, and Judith Lang Zaimont; and two recipients of the Ernst Bacon Award for Performance–Art Gottschalk and Libby Larson.
Earlier this year we signed the talented Altius Quartet for an album release project. The quartet tied for the Grand Prize for Classics Alive Artists. We are very excited for them and for what is to come. Haven’t heard of them before? Have a listen here.
Another new PARMA artist, Alicia Terzian, was awarded the Mercosur Cultural Network award for her outstanding work in the field of creation as well as diffusion of contemporary music within Argentina and around the world! We traveled to Russia this past summer to record her full album of works for strings and orchestra. Keep your eyes and ears open for her upcoming album to be released in 2017.
The Couloir Duo, with Ariel Barns on cello, and Heidi Krutzen on harp, released their latest PARMA project, MAXWELL MUHLY & COULOIR in May of this year.
Since the release, the duo has received multiple reviews and even won Classical Artist/Ensemble of the Year Award, which was announced at the Breakout West festival in Canada.
Henry Wolking was chosen to present his March release from Big Round Records, IN SEA at the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers conference, which will take place in May of 2017. This is a huge honor for Wolking and for PARMA. You can also find him on CROSS CONNECTION and DASHING, which were both released on Navona Records.
While we are still on the topic of awards, Beth Levin, Yuriy Bekker and Jonathan Sheffer were all nominated for the International Classical Music Awards.
Levin was nominated in the “Solo Instrument” category for PERSONAE. Bekker was nominated in the “Chamber Music” category for TWENTIETH CENTURY DUOS. Jonathan Sheffer was nominated in the “Contemporary Music” category for THE CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS.
To wrap up this list, about a month ago we received some fantastic news from the classical music review giant Gramophone, based out of the UK. In addition to receiving multiple reviews and features for albums such as THE CONFERENCE OF THE BIRDS, ABRAZO, and TWENTIETH CENTURY DUOS, we also had an album featured as a favorite release.
Clipper Erickson’s highly reviewed album, MY CUP RUNNETH OVER, released on Navona Records, was chosen by Gramophone critics as a “Critic’s Choice” album of the year, and is featured in the December magazine. This is a first in PARMA history.
Although we had so many great achievements, albums, new PARMA family members, and reviews, we also had some sad news. Our long-time PARMA family member, Charles Alan Beeler passed away earlier in the year. He was very close to us, and we think of our friend often.
Happy New Year from PARMA Recordings! We are looking forward to another great year of making music that sounds terrific.