Have your say and tell us who you think delivered the most memorable performances of 2011.

Here at Limelight we have the great privilege of writing about classical music day in, day out. While we’re grateful to witness and share every moment of artistry on offer from our homegrown and visiting international musicians, there’s always another concert to attend the following night, and time marches on.

And so it is with great pleasure that we launch the 2011 Limelight Awards, giving Australian concert-goers the chance to look back on the past year (1 September 2010 – 1 September 2011) and celebrate the recitals, operas, recordings and music personalities that made us sit bolt upright and take notice. What, for you, were the most powerful music experiences of the year; the ones you couldn’t wait to tell friends about or that changed your perspective on a composer or work? Limelight contributors and ABC Classic FM presenters have put their heads together to choose five nominees for each of the 12 categories.

Public voting for the 2011 Limelight Awards is now open, so be sure to let us know who you think deserves to take home the gong in each section. This year, we have introduced the new category of Best Performance in an Opera. We have also kept our traditional Readers’ Choice Award inviting you to name a favourite musician, in any genre, who has impressed you over the past year.

Vote online here or return the printed form enclosed in the November issue of Limelight (on sale Wednesday, October 19) to go into the draw to win a Vita Audio digital radio valued at $450. Voting closes Friday, November 18. The winners will be honoured in a ceremony at the Utzon Room, Sydney Opera House on Thursday, December 15.

Congratulations to all our nominees, and good luck!

Nominees: 2011 Limelight Awards

Music Personality of the year
Vladimir Ashkenazy, conductor
Cheryl Barker, soprano
Brett Dean, composer/violist
Paul Dyer, conductor/harpsichordist
Elena Kats-Chernin, composer

Best orchestral concert
Australian World Orchestra/Simone Young: Wagner Tannhäuser Prelude and Venusberg Music; Sculthorpe Earth Cry; Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6

Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Jakub Hrusa: Orff Carmina Burana/Rachmaninov Piano Concerto No 1 (Simon Trpceski)

Sydney Symphony/Vasily Petrenko: Shostakovich Symphony No 7 Leningrad/Brahms Double Concerto (Alban Gerhardt, Karen Gomyo)

West Australian Symphony Orchestra/Vladimir Verbitsky: Tchaikovsky Symphony No 4/Glinka Valse Fantaisie/Mozart Piano Concerto No 23 (Ingrid Fliter)

YouTube Symphony Orchestra/MichaelTilsonThomas: Grand Finale

Best chamber music concert
Academy of Ancient Music/Richard Egarr: The Brandenburg Concertos (Perth International Arts Festival)

The Australian String Quartet/Li-Wei Qin: Shaker Dances (national tour)

Choir of Trinity College Cambridge/Stephen Layton (Musica Viva)

Alina Ibragimova/CédricTiberghien: Beethoven, Janácek, Stanhope, Schumann (Musica Viva)

Synergy Percussion: Xenakis Pleiades (City Recital Hall)

Best solo performance
Fiona Campbell (mezzo-soprano), Australian Brandenburg Orchestra (Haunting Handel) Martin Fröst (clarinet), Australian Chamber Orchestra (Glittering Fröst)
TeddyTahu Rhodes (baritone), Australian Chamber Orchestra
Lara St John (violin), Adelaide Symphony Orchestra (Carmen Fantasy)
Thomas Adès (piano), Utzon Music Series

Best opera production
Albert Herring,Victorian Opera
L’anima del filosofo, Pinchgut Opera
Moby Dick, State Opera of South Australia
Notes from Underground, Sydney Chamber Opera
Der Rosenkavalier, Opera Australia

Best Performance in an opera (new category)
Cheryl Barker (soprano), the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier
Rachelle Durkin (soprano), Olympia/Giulietta/Antonia in Tales of Hoffmann
Anthony Dean Griffey (tenor), Lennie in Of Mice and Men
Emma Matthews (soprano), Partenope in Partenope
TeddyTahu Rhodes (baritone), Figaro in The Marriage of Figaro

Best classical recording
Baroque Duets: Fiona Campbell, David Walker, Ironwood (Vexations840)
Mad Rush: Sally Whitwell (ABC Classics)
Mills Pages from a Secret Journal: Melbourne Symphony Orchestra/Mills (ABC Classics)
Mahler Song of the Earth: Stuart Skelton, Lilli Paasikivi, Sydney Symphony/Ashkenazy (SSO Live)
Mozart Violin Concertos Vol 2: ACO/Richard Tognetti (BIS)

Best world music recording
Arrebato Ensemble: Absoluciòn (Sound Planet)
Dva: Anticipation
Grigoryan, Slava & Leonard; Tawadros, Joseph & James: Band of Brothers (ABC Classics) Gurrumul: Rrakala (Skinnyfish Music)
Shaolin Afronauts: Flight of the ancients (Freestyle)

Best Jazz recording
The Drip Hards: This is Dripping (Jazzgroove)
The Idea of North: Extraordinary Tale (ABC Classics)
Sarah McKenzie: Don’t Tempt Me (ABC Classics)
Sandy Evans Sextet: When the Sky Cries Rainbows (ABC Jazz)
Shannon Barnett Quartet: Country (Which Way Music)

Best new composition
Matthew Hindson: Double Piano Concerto
Alan John: How to Kill Your Husband
James Ledger: Processions and Transitions
Jack Symonds: Notes from Underground
Nigel Westlake: Missa Solis: Requiem for Eli

Best event/festival
Australian Festival of Chamber Music, 2011
Festival Baroque Australia, 2011
Festival of Voices, 2011
Melbourne Symphony Orchestra: Beethoven Festival
Musica Viva Festival, 2011

Best newcomer
Zane Banks, guitarist
Nicole Car, soprano
Andrew Jones, baritone
Sarah McKenzie, pianist/singer
Sally Whitwell, pianist

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