LAJS Collaborators Win Big at the Grammys

Congratulations to our friends and frequent LAJS collaborators on their wins and nominations at the Grammy Awards last Sunday!

Cover art for The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical by Abigail Barlow and Emily Bear
Best Musical Theatre Album

Composer and pianist Emily Bear made history when she took home the Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album for The Unofficial Bridgerton Musical with collaborator Abigail Barlow. Their project was the first award from the Recording Academy to go to a project that originated on TikTok.

The pair began the musical toward the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, posting the first piece, “Daphne’s Song” (later titled “Ocean Away“), on TikTok shortly after the Netflix series Bridgerton debuted. The musical became a viral and interactive sensation, with Bear and Barlow engaging with fans in real time as they composed what would become their Grammy-winning album. Listen to the full album here!

“This is really for all of my fellow female producers, composers, engineers that are still struggling to gain recognition and support for what we do,” Bear said in her acceptance speech Sunday. Bear has performed alongside the LAJS several times over the years, joining in the celebration at our 25th Anniversary Gala in 2019. Always giving back, Emily headlined a concert benefiting the Anguilla Community Foundation’s “Youth in Music” program this January. At this concert, Emily invited our Maestra to guest conduct the premiere of her new work “Every Note Played.” We have more exciting projects with Emily in the works for later this year – stay tuned!

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album

Friend of the Symphony Hila Plitmann picked up the Grammy for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album for Mythologies alongside fellow soprano Sangeeta Kaur. A classical album of music inspired by Ancient Greece with original compositions by Danaë Vlasse, Mythologies is “an immersive Contemporary Classical journey into an ancient fantasy realm that invites listeners to ponder long-standing cultural concepts such as idolized heroism, divine power, crisis of faith and morality, and the junction of fate and free will.” You can check out Mythologies here!

Best Classical Compendium

Composer Sharon Farber and the rest of the team behind the documentary Women Warriors: The Voices of Change won the Grammy for Best Classical Compendium. Per their website, the ground-breaking concert Women Warriors: The Voices of Change “honors the strength and heroism of global activists fighting for social justice, human and civil rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental causes, minority rights, gender equality, and the right of every girl to have access to education.” Conductor and producer Amy Andersson assembled a team of songwriters and composers for the documentary, including Farber as well as Nathalie Bonin, Miriam Cutler, Anne-Kathrin Dern, Isolde Fair, Penka Kouneva, Starr Parodi and Lolita Ritmanis. Check out the Grammy-winning compilation here.

The LAJS will next collaborate with Farber at our upcoming concert Ashkinah on Sunday, June 12 at 7PM at the Gindi Auditorium. Stay tuned for more on that concert later this month!

Cover for the classical music album Mythologies.
A poster for the documentary Women Warriors Voices of Change
Best New Age Album

LAJS percussionist MB Gordy III also picked up a Grammy nomination this year alongside his band Opium Moon in the Best New Age Album category for their album Night + Day. This was their second nomination in the category; their self-titled debut album won the Grammy in 2019. Earning Grammy nominations for their first two full-length albums is no small feat. Listen here!

Congratulations Emily, Hila, Sharon and MB – we can’t wait to see what you do next!

Album cover for Night and Day by Opium Moon.