MaThere were no major surprises among the Grammy winners in the classical categories -- big names and established artists tended to take the prizes, and pieces from the standard repertoire predominated. In the opera category, for instance, only 20th and 21st century pieces had been nominated, and the winner, Britten's Billy Budd, was by a long shot the closest to the core repertoire. The Chamber Music category, too, was dominated by recordings of relatively obscure pieces, and the Jancek and Martinu featured on the Emerson String Quartet's winning Intimate Letters were actually among the more familiar works. David Lang's The Little Match Girl Passion (2008) won in the Best Small Ensemble category, but its competition included only Baroque and Renaissance works from outside the standard repertoire, and the power of the performances by Paul Hillier, Ars Nova Copenhagen, and Theatre of Voices made it a release that would be hard to ignore. Guitarist Sharon Isbin's Journey to the New World, which won in the Instrumental Soloist category, was an exception to the trend, because it does depart from the classics, with enough music by Joan Baez and Mark O'Connor that it could reasonably have been considered for the Crossover category.

The winners in multiple categories included Mahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio from Symphony No. 10, led by Michael Tilson Thomas, which won for Best Engineered Album and Best Choral Performance; Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe, led by James Levine, which won Best Classical Album and Best Orchestral Performance; and Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs of Joy and Peace, which won for Best Crossover Album and was produced by Steven Epstein, who was named Classical Producer of the Year.

 
Best Engineered Album, Classical
 
MahlerMahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio from Symphony No. 10
Peter Laenger, engineer (Michael Tilson Thomas & San Francisco Symphony)
[SFS Media]
 
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 in E flat major - Part 2. Alles Vergngliche

 
 
 
 
 
Producer of the Year, Classical
 
Steven Epstein
Adams: Doctor Atomic Symphony (David Robertson & Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra)
Bernstein: Mass (Marin Alsop; Jubilant Sykes; Asher Edward Wulfman; Morgan State University Choir; Peabody Children's Chorus & Baltimore Symphony Orchestra)
Corigliano: A Dylan Thomas Trilogy (Leonard Slatkin; George Mabry; Sir Thomas Allen; Nashville Symphony Chorus & Nashville Symphony Orchestra)
Faure: Piano Quintets (Fine Arts Quartet & Cristina Oritz)
Yo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs of Joy and Peace (Yo-Yo Ma & Various Artists)
 
 
Best Classical Album
 
MahlerRavel: Daphnis et Chloe
James Levine, conductor; Elizabeth Ostrow, producer; Jesse Lewis & John Newton, engineers/mixers; Mark Donahue, mastering engineer (Boston Symphony Orchestra; Tanglewood Festival Chorus)
[BSO Classics]
 
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe - Scene 1. Dance of the young girls around Daphnis

 
 
 
 
 
 
Best Orchestral Performance
 
MahlerRavel: Daphnis et Chloe
James Levine, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra; Tanglewood Festival Chorus)
[BSO Classics]
 
Ravel: Daphnis et Chloe - Scene 1. The triumph of Daphnis and the ecstatic union with Chloe

 
 
 
 
 
 
Best Opera Recording
 
BrittenBritten: Billy Budd
Daniel Harding, conductor; Ian Bostridge, Neal Davies, Nathan Gunn, Jonathan Lemalu, Matthew Rose & Gidon Saks; John Fraser, producer (London Symphony Orchestra; Gentlemen of the London Symphony Chorus)
[Virgin Classics]
 
Britten: Billy Budd - Act 2. Scene 3. Look! Through the port comes the moon-shine astray!

 
 
 
 
Best Choral Performance
 
MahlerMahler: Symphony No. 8; Adagio from Symphony No. 10
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Ragnar Bohlin, Kevin Fox & Susan McMane, choir directors (Laura Claycomb, Anthony Dean Griffey, Elza van den Heever, Katarina Karn
us, Quinn Kelsey, James Morris, Yvonne Naef & Erin Wall; San Francisco Symphony; Pacific Boychoir; San Francisco Symphony Chorus & San Francisco Girls Chorus)
[SFS Media]
 
Mahler: Symphony No. 8 in E flat major - Part 2. Hier ist die Aussicht frei

 
 
 
 
Best Instrumental Soloist(s) Performance (with Orchestra)
 
ProkofievProkofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 & 3
Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor; Evgeny Kissin, piano (Philharmonia Orchestra)
[EMI Classics]
 
Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26 - 1. Andante - Allegro

 
 
 
 
 
 
Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (without Orchestra)
 
IsbinJourney to the New World
Sharon Isbin (Joan Baez & Mark O'Connor)
[Sony Classical]
 
Sharon Isbin, guitar & Mark O'Connor, violin - O' Connor: Strings & Threads Suite, version for violin & guitar - 4. Off to Sea

 
 
 
 
 
 
Best Chamber Music Performance
 
Emerson QuartetIntimate Letters
Emerson String Quartet
[Deutsche Grammophon]
 
Jancek: String Quartet No. 2 "Intimate Letters" - 2. Adagio - Vivace - Andante

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Best Small Ensemble Performance
 
langLang, David: The Little Match Girl Passion
Paul Hillier, conductor; Ars Nova Copenhagen & Theatre of Voices
[Harmonia Mundi]
 
Lang: The Little Match Girl Passion - When It's Time for Me to Go

 
 
 
 
 
 
Best Classical Vocal Performance
 
FlemingVerismo Arias
Renee Fleming (Marco Armiliato; Jonas Kaufmann; Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppi Verdi; Coro Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppi Verdi)
[Decca]
 
Leoncavallo: La boheme - Ma vi chetate!... Mim Pinson, la biondinetta

 
 
 
 
 
 
Best Classical Contemporary Composition
 
AlsopJennifer Higdon: Percussion Concerto
Jennifer Higdon (Marin Alsop)
Track from: Alsop Conducts MacMillan, Adès, & Higdon
[London Philharmonic Orchestra]
 
Colin Currie, percussion - Higdon: Percussion Concerto

 
 
 
 
 
 
Best Classical Crossover Album
 
MaYo-Yo Ma & Friends: Songs of Joy and Peace
Yo-Yo Ma (Odair Assad; Sergio Assad; Chris Botti; Dave Brubeck; Matt Brubeck; John Clayton; Paquito d'Rivera; Renee Fleming; Diana Krall; Alison Krauss; Natalie McMaster; Edgar Meyer; Cristina Pato; Joshua Redman; Jake Shimabukuro; Silk Road Ensemble; James Taylor; Chris Thile; Wu Tong; Alon Yavnai & Amelia Zirin-Brown)
[Sony Classical]
 
Yo-Yo Ma, cello - Golijov: Kuai Le