André Previn has been honored with the 2008 Classic FM Gramophone Lifetime Achievement Award. The announcement was made at the annual Classic FM Gramophone Awards luncheon at London's Dorchester Hotel on September 25, 2008.
Previn, whose musical activities span the role of conductor, pianist (both classical and jazz), and composer in a broad range of musical genres (from Broadway musicals and film scores to chamber and orchestral works), will turn 80 on April 6, 2009. Next week, on October 2, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under Mr. Previn’s direction, will premiere his new work, Owls. In addition, Previn's second opera, Brief Encounter, a commission from the Houston Grand Opera, will be premiered in Houston in five performances from May 1-9, 2009. In the spring, Carnegie Hall will present four concerts that highlight the diversity of Previn's career thus far: a performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra for which he will both conduct and perform as soloist (April 7, 2009), a performance by the Previn Jazz Trio (February 29, 2009), an evening of his compositions performed by the Orchestra of St. Luke's with violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and soprano Renée Fleming (April 26, 2009), and a chamber music concert with Anne-Sophie Mutter, cellist Lynn Harrell, and Previn at the piano, featuring the world premiere of his new trio (April 22, 2009).
Previous recipients of Gramophone's Lifetime Achievement Award include Carlo Bergonzi, Montserrat Caballé, Charles Mackerras, Menahem Pressler, and Leontyne Price. In addition, violinist Hilary Hahn was named Artist of the Year, and a Hyperion disc of Samuel Barber songs performed by baritone Gerald Finley and pianist Julius Drake received the award for best solo vocal recording.