Flautist Sir James Galway wins lifetime award

Image source, PA
Image caption,
Sir James is known as 'the man with the golden flute'

Classical flautist Sir James Galway has been honoured with a lifetime achievement prize at the Gramophone Awards in London.

The 74-year-old virtuoso, nicknamed "the man with the golden flute", was hailed as "a true classical music superstar" as he collected his award.

Sir James has sold millions of records during his 50-year career and scored a top three hit in 1978.

Conductor Sir Neville Marriner was also given a special honorary award.

The outstanding achievement prize was created especially for the 90-year-old, who recently became the oldest conductor to appear at the BBC Proms.

Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos was crowned artist of the year, 23 years after his last Gramophone award.

'Powerful and heartfelt'

Sir James has played with orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic and performed on stage with Pink Floyd's Roger Waters at a Berlin concert of The Wall.

His instrumental version of Annie's Song by John Denver stormed the charts in 1978 - a rarity for a classical performer - and he was honoured for his outstanding contribution to music at the Classic Brits in 2005.

Gramophone Magazine's editor-in-chief, James Jolly, paid tribute to the flautist, who had "not only put the flute on the musical map in modern times, but has been a powerful advocate for classical music".

He added: "His role in music education too is powerful and heartfelt."

The world's oldest orchestra, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and conductor Riccardo Chailly, won recording of the year for their Brahms symphony cycle.

List of the key winners:

  • Orchestral recording of the year - Brahms Symphonies, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Riccardo Chailly
  • Lifetime achievement - Sir James Galway
  • Outstanding achievement - Sir Neville Marriner
  • Artist of the year - Leonidas Kavakos
  • Label of the year - Delphian
  • Young artist of the year - The Nightingale Quartet

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