The 54th Grammy Awards presentations ran a little shorter this year following the culling of dozens of categories – including Best Classical Album and Best Classical Crossover Album – across all genres. Even so, the stakes were as high as ever in the classical department, with some big-name artists vying for a trophy.

The energetic Venezuelan maestro Gustavo Dudameland the LA Philharmonic took out top honours for Best Orchestral Album – interestingly, for a download-only release of Brahms Symphony No 4, not available on CD.

A few tipped-to-win types missed out on the gold, perhaps most surprisingly Yuja Wang for her dazzling Rach 2 with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra and Claudio Abbado (the winner in the Best Solo Instrumental category was something of a wild card in Schwantner’s Percussion Concerto). If Antonio Pappano was disappointed that the Best Opera Recording GRAMMY eluded his ROH  La Traviata, he may at least take comfort in his recent knighthood.

One doesn’t usually feel sorry for the likes of Natalie Dessay and Andreas Scholl, but they did have Joyce DiDonatoto compete with in the Vocal Solo category. The velvet-voiced mezzo gave a pre-Awards performance at the Los Angeles Convention Centre,...