Gramophone award … conductor Gustavo Dudamel named artist of the year. Photograph: Chris Lee/AP
There might have been recent murmurings questioning the adulation that has come Gustavo Dudamel's way, but Gramophone readers were in no doubt of the talent and charisma of the Venezuelan conductor, voting him their artist of the year at today's Gramophone awards. The award was presented by culture minister Ed Vaizey, who has called Dudamel "the coolest conductor in the world today".
Also at Wednesday's ceremony, the label of the year title went to Wigmore Hall Live, the first live label to win the prestigious award. Wigmore Hall's recording arm is only six years old, but the excellence of the central London hall's revered acoustic has made it a critical and artistic favourite. Their win gives the lie to the doom-mongers who predict the death of the classical music recording industry: Wigmore Hall Live is demonstrating how new, smaller and more imaginative business models can succeed. Andrew Clements, the Guardian's chief classical music critic, said: "The Wigmore Hall has been able to reflect the high standard of its recital in discs that reach a much wider audience."
The special achievement award was presented to Sir John Eliot Gardiner, marking the completion of his 11-year Bach Cantata Pilgrimage that saw the Monteverdi Choir and English Baroque Soloists perform all of Bach's surviving church cantatas and led the conductor to launch his own record label, Soli Deo Gloria, when Deutsche Grammophon – with whom he was on contract – declined to adopt his Bach project.
The grand prix of the Gramophone awards – the recording of the year – was awarded to the Pavel Haas Quartet for their album of Dvořák Quartets op 106 and op 96. Gramophone's team of 47 critics chose this as the most outstanding of the 1,000-plus albums released last year. The young Czech quartet formed in 2002 and have made a speciality of their country's music. Their first recording won them 2007's Gramophone award for chamber music, and today's award confirms them as one of Europe's up-and-coming quartets.
One of the world's most celebrated mezzos, Dame Janet Baker, received the lifetime achievement award, while Montenegrin guitarist Miloš Karadaglić was named young artist of the year.
Other category winners:
Rossini: Stabat Mater; Netrebko; DiDonato; Brownlee; D'Arcangelo; Santa Cecilia Chorus and Orchestra / Antonio Pappano (EMI Classics)
CPE Bach: Harpsichord Concertos. Andreas Staier; Freiburg Baroque Orchestra / Mullejans (Harmonia Mundi)
Handel: Apollo e Dafne. La Risonanza (Glossa)
Dvořák: String Quartets. Pavel Haas Quartet (Supraphon)
Elgar: The Kingdom. Hallé Orchestra / Sir Mark Elder (Hallé)
Debussy, Ravel, Massenet: Concertante piano works. Jean-Efflam Bavouzet; BBCSO/Tortelier (Chandos)
Birtwistle: Night's Black Bird. Hallé Orchestra/Ryan Wigglesworth (NMC)
Carlos Kleiber: Traces to Nowhere – a film by Eric Schultz (Arthaus)
Verdi: Don Carlo. Villazón; Poplovskaya; Keenlyside/Antonio Pappano (EMI)
Striggio: Mass in 40 parts. I Fagiolini/Robert Hollingworth (Decca)
Mahler/Cooke: Symphony No 10. Philharmonia, LSO/Berthold Goldschmidt (Testament)
Brahms: Handel Variations etc. Murray Perahia (Sony Classical)
Rossini: Ermione. Geoffrey Mitchell Choir, London Philharmonic Orchestra/David Parry (Opera Rara)
Shostakovich: Symphony No 10. RLPO/Vasily Petrenko (Naxos)
Verismo Arias. Jonas Kaufmann; Santa Cecilia/Antonio Pappano (Decca)
Britten: Songs and Proverbs of William Blake. Gerald Finley; Julius Drake (Hyperion)