Gramophone (magazine)

Last updated

Gramophone Magazine October 2013.jpg
EditorMartin Cullingford
Categories Classical music
PublisherMark Allen Group
First issue1923
CountryUnited Kingdom
Based in London, England
Website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
ISSN 0017-310X

Gramophone is a magazine published monthly [1] in London, devoted to classical music, particularly to reviews of recordings. It was founded in 1923 by the Scottish author Compton Mackenzie [2] who continued to edit the magazine until 1961. [3] It was acquired by Haymarket in 1999. [4] In 2013 the Mark Allen Group became the publisher. [5]


The magazine presents the Gramophone Awards each year to the classical recordings which it considers the finest in a variety of categories.

On its website Gramophone claims to be: "The world's authority on classical music since 1923." This used to appear on the front cover of every issue; recent editions have changed the wording to "The world's best classical music reviews."

Its circulation, including digital subscribers, was 24,380 in 2014. [6]

Listings and the Gramophone Hall of Fame

Apart from the annual Gramophone Classical Music Awards, each month features a dozen recordings as Gramophone Editor's Choice (now Gramophone Choice). Then, in the annual Christmas edition, there is a review of the year's recordings where each critic selects four or five recordings, and these selections make up the Gramophone Critics' Choice. In April 2012, Gramophone launched its Hall of Fame, an annual listing of the men and women (artists, producers, engineers, A&R directors and label founders) who have contributed to the classical records industry. The first 50 were revealed in the May 2012 issue and on Gramophone’s website, and each year will see another intake into the Hall of Fame. [7]


The liner notes to Glenn Gould's 1968 recording of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony transcribed for solo piano by Liszt included "four imaginary reviews" of that record. One of these reviews, which purports to be from "the English magazine The Phonograph", includes this passage:

Unusual recordings of the Beethoven Fifth are, of course, no novelty to the British collector. One calls to mind that elegiac statement Sir Joshua committed to the gramophone in his last years as well as that splendidly spirited rendition transcribed under actual concert conditions by the Newcastle-on-Tyne Light Orchestra upon the occasion of the inadvertent air-alarm of 27 August 1939 [...] The entire undertaking smacks of that incorrigible American pre-occupation with exuberant gesture and is quite lacking in those qualities of autumnal repose which a carefully judged interpretation of this work should offer. [8]


In late 2012, Gramophone announced the launch of a new archive service. [9] Subscribers to the digital edition are now able to read complete PDFs of every issue of the magazine dating back to its launch in 1923; previously only OCR text versions of archive magazine articles were provided.

Related Research Articles

Glenn Gould Canadian composer and pianist

Glenn Herbert Gould was a Canadian classical pianist. He was one of the best known and most celebrated pianists of the 20th century, and was renowned as an interpreter of the keyboard works of Johann Sebastian Bach. Gould's playing was distinguished by a remarkable technical proficiency and a capacity to articulate the contrapuntal texture of Bach's music.

Violin Concerto (Beethoven)

Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61, in 1806. Its first performance by Franz Clement was unsuccessful and for some decades the work languished in obscurity, until revived in 1844 by the then 12-year-old violinist Joseph Joachim with the orchestra of the London Philharmonic Society conducted by Felix Mendelssohn. Since then it has become one of the best-known violin concertos.

Leif Ove Andsnes Norwegian pianist and chamber musician

Leif Ove Andsnes is a Norwegian pianist and chamber musician. Andsnes has made several recordings for Virgin and EMI. For his "Beethoven Journey" project, Andsnes performed and recorded all five of the composer’s piano concertos with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra for Sony Classical. He is represented by IMG.

Murray Perahia

Murray David Perahia, KBE is an American pianist and conductor. He is widely considered as one of the greatest living pianists. He was the first North American pianist to win the Leeds International Piano Competition, in 1972. Known as a leading interpreter of Bach, Handel, Scarlatti, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schumann, among other composers, Perahia has won numerous awards, including three Grammy Awards from a total of 18 nominations, and 9 Gramophone Awards in addition to its first and only "Piano Award".

The Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra is a Canadian Baroque orchestra specializing in early music and based in Toronto. They often perform with choir and play period instruments.

The National Gramophonic Society (NGS) was founded in England in 1923 by the novelist Compton Mackenzie to produce recordings of music which was ignored by commercial record companies. The Society was proposed shortly after Mackenzie had launched his monthly The Gramophone, and its activities were announced and its releases promoted in the magazine's pages.

The Hollywood String Quartet (HSQ) was an American string quartet founded by violinist/conductor Felix Slatkin and his wife cellist Eleanor Aller. The Hollywood String Quartet is considered to be the first American-born and trained classical music chamber group to make an international impact, mainly through its landmark recordings. These recordings have long been regarded as among the most outstanding recorded performances of the string quartet repertoire.

Ivan Ilić (pianist)

Ivan Ilić is a Serbian-American pianist. He lives in Paris.

Pavel Haas Quartet

The Pavel Haas Quartet is a Czech string quartet which was founded in 2002. Their first album with the second quartets of Haas and Janáček won the 2007 Gramophone Award for Chamber music. The Gramophone reviewer David Fanning described their playing as "streamlined but full-blooded". Their recording of the Dvořák String Quartets Op. 106 & 96 won the Gramophone Awards' most coveted "Recording of the Year" prize in 2011.

Paul Lewis is an English classical pianist.

The Spencer Dyke Quartet was a string quartet active in England through the 1920s. It is best remembered now for a series of pioneering chamber music recordings made for the National Gramophonic Society.

Jan Lisiecki

Jan Lisiecki is a Polish-Canadian classical pianist. Lisiecki performs over a hundred concerts annually and has worked closely with the world's leading orchestras and conductors, his career at the top of the international concert scene spanning over a decade. He has been a recording artist with Deutsche Grammophon since the age of fifteen.

<i>Radiation (BBC Recordings 84–86)</i> Live album by Cabaret Voltaire

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Coenraad Bloemendal is a Dutch-born Canadian cellist, who has performed, taught and recorded primarily in the field of classical music during a career that has spanned more than four decades.

Launched by Gramophone magazine in late 2011, the Gramophone Hall of Fame is an annual listing of the men and women who have contributed to the classical record industry. Fifty individuals and ensembles entered the Hall of Fame in its first year. A special edition of the magazine celebrates this new initiative, and the list was first published online on 6 April 2012.

Kenneth Alwyn British conductor and composer

Kenneth Alwyn was a British conductor, composer, and writer. Described by BBC Radio 3 as "one of the great British musical directors", Alwyn was known for his many recordings, including with the London Symphony Orchestra on Decca's first stereophonic recording of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture. He was also known for his long association with BBC Radio 2's orchestral live music programme Friday Night is Music Night, appearing for thirty years as a conductor and presenter, and for his contribution to British musical theatre as a prolific musical director in the 1950s and 1960s. He was a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music and married the actress Mary Law in 1960. His website and the first volume of his memoirs A Baton in the Ballet and Other Places were both published in 2015. The second volume Is Anyone Watching? was published in 2017. A Book of Remembrance was opened on his website in December 2020.

Maria Perrotta is an Italian classical pianist and a Decca Records artist.

Glenn Gould performed with orchestra on several recordings.

Víkingur Ólafsson is an Icelandic pianist.


  1. Howard Cox; Simon Mowatt (2007). "Technological change and innovation in consumer magazine publishing" (PDF). Technology Analysis and Strategic Management. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  2. "Compton Mackenzie". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  3. "Compton Mackenzie". Pengion Books. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  4. Gramophone September 1999, page 2
  5. "Mark Allen Group acquires Gramophone". Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  6. Audit Bureau of Circulations (UK), 31 December 2014.
  7. "Gramophone Hall of Fame". Gramophone. Retrieved 11 April 2012.
  8. Gould, Glenn (1990). Page, Tim (ed.). The Glenn Gould Reader . New York: Vintage Books. pp.  57–58. ISBN   0-679-73135-0.
  9. "Gramophone launches new digital archive app". Gramophone. Haymarket Consumer Media. Retrieved 11 December 2012.