PARMA entered 2021 with a sprawling landscape of possibility laid in front of us, with the goal of continuing to overcome the limitations of the pandemic and chase our persisting passion to make great music. Despite its challenges, the year brought numerous opportunities including a return to live performances, chances to give back, and innovative projects that push the envelope. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. 

Without further ado, here’s 2021 in review:

2021 GRAMMY Nomination

Following January 2021’s GRAMMY Awards that included The Crossing’s CARTHAGE as a nominee, SOUNDTRACK OF THE AMERICAN SOLDIER from Navona Records received a nomination for Best Immersive Audio Album for the upcoming 2022 awards ceremony. The nomination is the first for the United States Army Field Band, and the album marks the first of many immersive audio albums to be released on Navona Records.

Outstanding Achievements in the PARMA Family

It’s always a delight to see our artists thrive, especially when they’re recognized for their unwavering dedication and talents. This year, PARMA family members brought home honors in many realms, with Christina Petrowska Quilico being named Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, Eleanor Alberga awarded OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021 for services to British Music, Brad Michel receiving Gramophone Magazine’s inaugural Award for Spatial Audio for his immersive audio work, Krešo Seletković winning the Porin Music Award, and much more.

Christina Petrowska Quilico

Christina Petrowska Quilico Named To Royal Society of Canada

Eleanor Alberga

Eleanor Alberga awarded OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours 2021

PARMA Artists Selected as American Prize Winners and Finalists

PARMA Artists Selected as 2021 Global Music Award Winners

The Crossing

2021 Roundup: PARMA Artists Featured in Year-End Charts

PARMA Team Members Recognized:

Brad Michel

Brad Michel receives Gramophone Magazine Award for Spatial Audio

Krešimir “Krešo” Seletković Wins Porin Music Award

Riveting New Releases

The hard work and inspired creativity of our artists shined this year, with dozens of outstanding releases hitting shelves, stages, and platforms both physical and digital. From high-voltage contemporary orchestral and chamber music to thought-provoking jazz and empowering vocal works transcending artistic borders, artists this year showed that great music can come in many forms.

Click on an album cover to learn more about the release.

Click on an album cover to learn more about the release.

View All of Our 2021 Releases

A New Look for Navona & Ravello Records

This year, our in-house web team began an initiative to extensively redesign existing websites for PARMA record labels, improving accessibility to our artists’ music. With intuitive features and eye-catching aesthetics that enable viewers to browse with ease, Navona and Ravello Records are available to view with a new lens, and new looks for Big Round and Ansonica Records are coming soon.

All Classical Portland Recording Inclusivity Initiative

Jasmine Barnes and Yoko Greeney
Keeping with our longtime mission of amplifying the work of outstanding artists, PARMA partnered with All Classical Portland this year to sponsor their Recording Inclusivity Initiative, which serves to “Change America’s Playlist.” Navona Records will release, distribute, design, and publicize a series of albums featuring music from artists selected by the Initiative, giving creators from underrepresented backgrounds an opportunity to share their music with the world.

Piazzolla Music Competition

To honor the late Astor Piazzolla on the hundredth anniversary of his death, PARMA Recordings partnered with the Fundación Astor Piazzolla and the composer’s family to coordinate the Piazzolla Music Competition, providing web, design, and publicity services as well as prize packages to help the project make a cultural and musical impact.

As a result of the Piazzolla Music Competition, PARMA and Fundación Astor Piazzolla generated a $10,000 donation to the Playing For Change Foundation, a global nonprofit offering creative opportunities for marginalized and at-risk youth, contributing to the Piazzolla Competition’s goal to support and uplift musical creations and music education.

This donation helped fund the purchase of a new van to transport music students and teachers who were previously unable to travel safely to L’Ecole de Musique de Kirina in Mali, Africa.

More from the Blog:

Piazzolla Music Competition: Playing For Change Donation & Winners Announced

Driving Traditions Forward: PARMA and Fundación Astor Piazzolla give back with Playing for Change Foundation

Supporting Black and Latin American Composers with Sphinx Organization

Teaming up with long-time collaborator cellist Thomas Mesa and pianist Michelle Cann, PARMA launched a recording and performance project this year bringing attention to composers from traditionally marginalized communities through a Sphinx Call for Scores open to Black and Latinx classical composers.

Continued Commitment with Pro Bono Seminars

In response to the turbulent times brought forth by the pandemic, PARMA extended its series of seminars through the end of 2021. Geared towards helping students, artists, working musicians, and industry professionals gain understanding of the intersection of art and entrepreneurship, these online events with institutions like Rice University and Berklee College of Music connected hundreds of students, educators, and aspiring music professionals with industry insight.

“Thank you so much for talking with my students! This was a huge help, especially because (1) COVID and (2) they really need more of a holistic business perspective in their musical creations.”
– Jennifer Jolley (Composer & Faculty, Texas Tech University School of Music)

PARMA Calls for Live Streams

First announced in early 2021, PARMA sponsored an initiative to provide artists an opportunity to submit livestream performances to support the arts in the absence of live in-person performances during the pandemic. Met with a great response, PARMA announced the resulting line up of performances in the spring.

Worldwide with Wild Symphony and More

As live performances made their return around the world, something particularly special was brewing with PARMA and New York Times bestselling author Dan Brown’s Wild Symphony. In October, Brown introduced his project to Czech audiences at Smetana Hall in Prague’s Municipal House, where he gave a personal reading alongside a performance by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. This performance will be broadcast on Czech National TV in 2022.

Another large-scale overseas production made its debut this year as well. Joseph Summer premiered his operatic adaptation of Hamlet in June in Bulgaria with the State Opera Ruse orchestra, choir, and selected Bulgarian soloists, joined by nine international soloists singing the lead roles and PARMA’s production team on site.

Following his first Carnegie Hall performance at age 14, pianist Dmitry Ishkhanov made his return and took the Weill Recital Hall stage in December in celebration of his album release with Navona Records. Sold out in person and streamed on the PARMA Live Stage, Ishkhanov showcased his interpretation of Chopin’s most challenging repertoire.

More from the Blog:

Studio Journal: Joseph Summer on his Hamlet Opera

Conversations with Pianist Dmitry Ishkhanov

Reflecting on what Started it All

Bob Lord
14 years after starting the company, PARMA CEO Bob Lord shared with us the story of how we came to be and the values we uphold to this day: transparency, honesty, uplifting and amplifying artists’ voices, and providing a supportive and accessible platform for creators to share their craft.  

In Memoriam

Amidst a year of impactful moments, we’re sad to say that we’ve lost some monumental members of the PARMA family. These artists leave us with a legacy that will play on and continue to inspire us for years to come, and we’re honored to have been a part of their journey.