Since at least half the jury are either friends or close colleagues of mine, the disparagement is in no sense personal. However, I do wonder why these shrewd and sensible people found it necessary to exclude anything that might resemble a commercial release – no matter how outstanding (such as the two below) – and restrict their awards to esoteric and sometimes painfully obscure releases.
Is this some kind of critical political correctness?
And another reservation: half the world’s symphony orchestras and its greatest number of classical consumers are in the US. None of the judges, nor the winners, is American. The fastest growing orchestral sector and record market is in China. None of the ICMA selections reflect this. There has been some outstanding young talent taking the world stage this past year. None figure in the ICMA awards.
It does seem that awards like this are designed to protect an ivory tower that has long since been knocked down by developers.