Eastman Professor Paul O’Dette, Alumnus Bob Ludwig Win Grammys

February 8, 2015

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Paul O’Dette, professor of lute at the Eastman School of Music, and Eastman alumnus and mastering engineer Robert (Bob) Ludwig won their categories in the 57th Annual Grammy Awards Competition. The awards were announced Sunday, Feb. 8, in Los Angeles.

Ludwig took home three Grammys: Best Surround Sound Album, for his work on Beyoncé; Best Engineered Album Non-Classical, for Beck’s Morning Phase; and Album of the Year, for Morning Phase.  Early in the awards show, Ludwig was one of three people Beck singled out for acknowledgement when the artist won Best Rock Album. 

In the categories of Album of the Year and Best Engineered Album Non-Classical, Ludwig was competing against himself, also nominated for Pharrell Williams’s Girl and for Bass & Mandolin, respectively.

Ludwig is the recipient of two Latin and seven previous Grammys. He received his bachelor’s degree in music in education in 1966 and was awarded a master’s degree in trumpet in 2001. He worked at A&R Recording, Sterling Sound, and Masterdisk Corporation before opening up his own business, Gateway Mastering Studios, Inc., in 1993.

A respected figure in the music industry, Ludwig has worked on projects for such artists as The Band, Jimi Hendrix, U2, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, and many more. He has won numerous (TEC) Technical Excellence and Creativity Awards, mastered numerous Gold and Platinum Awards, and is in demand as a panelist and speaker at universities and professional organizations.

O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, who serve as co-artistic directors of the Boston Early Music Festival (BEMF), are the conductors on the album Charpentier: La Descente d’Orphée aux enfers, which was named Best Opera Recording.  The album was recorded by BEMF musicians and also features Eastman Assistant Professor of Conducting Christel Thielmann along with alumni Avi Stein BM 97 and Zachary Wilder BM 06.

This is the second Grammy for O’Dette, who won a Grammy Award in 1996 for a CD of Purcell songs with Sylvia McNair.  He previously received Best Opera Recording nominations in 2007 for Lully: Thésée and in 2008 for Lully: Psyche.  He also earned Grammy nominations in 2005 for conducting Conradi’s Ariadne and in 2006 for his solo lute CD Bacheler: The Bachelar’s Delight.

Charpentier: La Descente d’Orphée aux enfers has been earning international accolades. The CD was named a Gramophone magazine Editor’s Choice for September 2014, and was chosen as the July 2014 Recording of the Month by Musicweb International.

O’Dette’s most recent CD with the Boston Early Music Festival, of the 1688 opera Niobe, has also been garnering international attention since its recent release on Jan. 15: It has been honored with Opera Magazine’s Coup de Coeur and the Diapason D’Or for February, was named the London Times’s CD of the Week, and is Grammophone’s Record of the Month for March.

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