Jewish classical composer wins Grammy

Osvaldo Golijov has been named the winner of the Grammy for Best Classical Contemporary Composition for his opera Ainadamar (“Fountain of Tears”). The recording, released by Deutsche Grammophon in May 2006, has also been recognized as the Best Opera Recording.

The recording features Dawn Upshaw as Margarita Xirgu, Kelley O’Connor as Federico García Lorca, and Jessica Rivera as Nuria — the same three artists who created the roles at the 2003 premiere. They are joined by the Women of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Robert Spano. The recording award also recognizes producers Valérie Gross and Sid McLauchlan.

The opera, premiered at Tanglewood in 2003, has continued to receive praise from critics and audiences both for the recording and for live performances from Los Angeles and Santa Fe to New York and Atlanta. Upcoming productions will bring Ainadamar to Chicago, Boston, the Colorado Music Festival, and the Adelaide Music Festival in Australia.

This is Golijov’s first Grammy win, however he has been previously recognized with several other nominations. Last year, the song cycle Ayre was nominated for Best Classical Contemporary Composition. Prior to that, the 2002 EMI CD Yiddishbbuk and the 2000 recording of La Pasión según San Marcos also received nominations.