Classical guitarist Slava Grigoryan has topped the list of nominations for the 2017 ARIA Fine Arts and Artisan Awards, with four albums nominated in three categories, including two albums up for Best Classical Album. Meanwhile, ABC Music’s labels have received 14 nominations across the Classical, Soundtrack, World, Jazz, Comedy and Engineer categories including a five-album clean sweep in the Best Classical Album category.

However, the fact that an album of pop songs by Kate Miller-Heidke recorded live with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra has a nomination for Best Classical Album is likely to raise eyebrows again, following last year’s controversy when electronic duo Flight Facilities won Best Classical Album for a concert recorded live with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra.

There was consternation and then protests from members of the classical music industry in 2016 when  Flight Facilities won Best Classical Album, causing observers to ask if there was something wrong with the ARIA’s eligibilty criteria and voting system, given that Flight Facilities’s compositions clearly sat within the electronic music genre. Similar questions are likely to be raised over the Miller-Heidke/SSO album, despite enormous respect for Miller-Heidke as an artist. The album is eligible for nomination due to the cross-over chart eligibility,...