Tim Munro, the Australian flautist with Eighth Blackbird, picked up two awards at the 55th Grammy ceremony in downtown Los Angeles. The Chicago-based new-music ensemble headed a list that positively bristled with accolades for contemporary composers and compositions.

The annual beanfeast with its familiar US musical slant had attracted attention this year more for a leaked internal memo regarding dress codes than for artistic content. Anyone hoping to catch a flash of Renée Fleming’s “bare fleshy under curves” or Yo Yo Ma’s “buttock crack”, with or without “problematic thong-type costume” were, however, sadly disappointed. The classical gongs are now relegated to a demure ‘pre-show’ but the stakes were still high with plenty of big names – albeit many of them rather familiar ones – vying for honours.

The San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas picked up their 15th Grammy with the Best Orchestral Performance award for its live album of John Adams, which includes  Harmonielehre and  Short Ride in a Fast Machine.

The Best Opera Recording award went to the Metropolitan Opera’s controversial new production of Wagner’s  Ring cycle co-conducted by James Levine and Fabio Luisi and starring Bryn Terfel and Deborah Voigt. The win was something of...