Boston Symphony Orchestra
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Boston, Massachusetts. It is one of the five major American symphony orchestras referred to as the "Big Five". Founded in 1881, the BSO plays most of its concerts at Boston's Symphony Hall and in the summer performs at Tanglewood. Andris Nelsons is the current music director of the BSO. Bernard Haitink holds the title of conductor emeritus of the BSO, Seiji Ozawa has the title of BSO music director laureate; the BSO was founded in 1881 by Henry Lee Higginson. Its first conductor was George Henschel, a noted baritone as well as conductor, a close friend of Johannes Brahms. For the orchestra, Henschel devised innovative orchestral seating charts and sent them to Brahms, who replied approvingly and commented on the issues raised by horn and viola sections in a letter of mid-November 1881; the orchestra's four subsequent music directors were all trained in Austria, including the seminal and influential Hungarian-born conductor Arthur Nikisch, in accordance with the tastes of Higginson.
Wilhelm Gericke served twice, from 1884 to 1889 and again from 1898 to 1906. According to Joseph Horowitz's review of correspondence, Higginson considered 25 candidates to replace Gericke after receiving notice in 1905, he decided not to offer the position to Gustav Mahler, Fritz Steinbach, Willem Mengelberg but did not rule out the young Bruno Walter if nobody more senior were to accept. He offered the position to Hans Richter in February 1905, who declined, to Felix Mottl in November, engaged, to previous director Nikisch, who declined, he was conductor until 1908 and again from 1912 to 1918. The music director 1908–12 was Max Fiedler, he conducted the premiere of Ignacy Jan Paderewski's Symphony in B minor "Polonia" in 1909. During World War I, was arrested, shortly before a performance of the St. Matthew Passion in 1918, interned in a prison camp without trial or charge until the end of the war, when he was deported, he vowed never to return, conducted thereafter only in Europe. The BSO's next two titled conductors were French: Henri Rabaud, who took over from Muck for a season, Pierre Monteux from 1919 to 1924.
Monteux, because of a musician's strike, was able to replace 30 players, thus changing the orchestra's sound. The orchestra's reputation increased during the music directorship of Serge Koussevitzky. One million radio listeners tuned in when Koussevitzky and the orchestra were the first to perform a live concert for radio broadcast, which they did on NBC in 1926. Under Koussevitzky, the orchestra gave regular radio broadcasts and established its summer home at Tanglewood, where Koussevitzky founded the Berkshire Music Center, now the Tanglewood Music Center; those network radio broadcasts ran from 1926 through 1951, again from 1954 through 1956. The orchestra continues to make regular live radio broadcasts to the present day; the Boston Symphony has been involved with Boston's WGBH Radio as an outlet for its concerts. Koussevitzky commissioned many new pieces from prominent composers, including the Symphony No. 4 of Sergei Prokofiev, George Gershwin's Second Rhapsody and the Symphony of Psalms by Igor Stravinsky.
They gave the premiere of Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, commissioned by the Koussevitzky Music Foundation at the instigation of Fritz Reiner and Joseph Szigeti. Koussevitzky started a tradition of commissions that the orchestra continued, including new works by Heitor Villa-Lobos and Henri Dutilleux for its 75th anniversary, Roger Sessions, Andrzej Panufnik, for the 100th, for the 125th works by Leon Kirchner, Elliott Carter, Peter Lieberson. Other BSO commissions have included John Corigliano's Symphony No. 2 for the 100th anniversary of Symphony Hall. Hans Werner Henze dedicated his Eighth Symphony to the orchestra. Although Koussevitsky recommended his protégé Leonard Bernstein to be his successor after he retired in 1949, the BSO awarded the position to the Alsatian maestro Charles Munch. Munch had made his Boston conducting debut in 1946, he led orchestra on its first overseas tour, produced their first stereo recording in February 1954 for RCA Victor. In 1952, Munch appointed the first woman to hold a principal chair in a major U.
S. orchestra, flutist Doriot Anthony Dwyer. Erich Leinsdorf became music director in 1962 and held the post until 1969. William Steinberg was music director from 1969 to 1972. Steinberg was "ill and ailing" according to composer/author Jan Swafford, "for four years he was indisposed much of the time." After Steinberg's retirement, according to BSO trustee John Thorndike the symphony's board spoke to Colin Davis and "investigated thoroughly" his appointment, but Davis's commitments to his young family did not allow his moving to Boston from England. As the search continued, Leonard Bernstein met with four board members and recommended Michael Tilson Thomas, Assistant Conductor and Associate Conductor under Steinberg, for the directorship, but the young conductor "did not have sufficient support among the BSO players," according to journalist Jeremy Eichler; the committee chose Seiji Ozawa, who became Music Director in 1973 and held the post until 2002, the longest tenure of any Boston Symphony conductor.
(Bernard Haitink served as principal g
Serge Alexandrovich Koussevitzky was a Russian-born conductor and double-bassist, known for his long tenure as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1924 to 1949. Koussevitzky was born into a Jewish family of professional musicians in Vyshny Volochyok, Tver Governorate, about 250 km northwest of Moscow, Russia, his parents taught him violin and piano. He learned trumpet. At the age of fourteen he received a scholarship to the Musico-Dramatic Institute of the Moscow Philharmonic Society, where he studied double bass with Rambusek and music theory, he excelled at the bass, joining the Bolshoi Theatre orchestra at the age of twenty, in 1894, succeeded his teacher, Rambusek, as the principal bassist in 1901. That same year, according to some sources, he made his début as a soloist in Moscow, although his biographer Moses Smith states he made his solo début earlier in 1896. In 1902 he married the dancer Nadezhda Galat; the same year, with Reinhold Glière's help, he wrote a popular concerto for the double bass, which he premiered in Moscow in 1905.
In 1905, Koussevitzky divorced Nadezhda and married Natalie Ushkova, the daughter of an wealthy tea merchant. He soon resigned from the Bolshoi, the couple moved to Berlin, where Serge studied conducting under Arthur Nikisch, using his new-found wealth to pay off his teacher's gambling debts. In Berlin he continued to give double bass recitals and, after two years practising conducting in his own home with a student orchestra, he hired the Berlin Philharmonic and made his professional début as a conductor in 1908; the concert included Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2, with the composer at the piano. The next year he and his wife returned to Russia, where he founded his own orchestra in Moscow and branched out into the publishing business, forming his own firm, Éditions Russes de Musique, buying the catalogues of many of the greatest composers of the age. Among the composers published by Koussevitzky were Rachmaninoff, Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Prokofiev, Igor Stravinsky, Nikolai Medtner.
During the period 1909 to 1920 he continued to perform as soloist in Europe, in Russia he and his orchestra toured towns along the Volga River by riverboat in 1910, 1912, 1914. The programs included many new works. After the 1917 Russian Revolution, he accepted a position as conductor of the newly named State Philharmonic Orchestra of Petrograd. In 1920, he left Soviet Russia for Paris. In Paris he organized the Concerts Koussevitzky, presenting new works by Prokofiev and Maurice Ravel. In 1924 he took a post in the United States, replacing Pierre Monteux as conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. However, he continued to return to Paris in the summers to conduct his Concerts Koussevitzky until 1929. In 1941 he and his wife became United States citizens. Koussevitzky's appointment as conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra was the beginning of a golden era for the ensemble that would continue until 1949. Over that 25-year period, he built the ensemble's reputation into that of a leading American orchestra.
Together with Gertrude Robinson Smith he played a central role in developing the orchestra's internationally acclaimed summer concert and educational programs at Tanglewood where today the 5,700-seat main performance venue bears his name. In the early 1940s, he discovered a young tenor named Alfred Cocozza, provided him with a scholarship to attend Tanglewood. With the Boston Symphony he made numerous recordings, his students and protégés included Leonard Bernstein, Eleazar de Carvalho, Samuel Adler, Sarah Caldwell. Bernstein once received a pair of cufflinks from Koussevitzky as a gift, thereafter wore them at every concert he conducted. Koussevitzky's second wife Natalie died in 1942, he created the Koussevitzky Music Foundations in her honor. In late 1947, he married Natalie's niece. Naumova had acted as their secretary for 18 years. Olga Naumova was the daughter of the distinguished politician and civil servant Aleksandr Naumov who served as Minister of Agriculture in the Russian Imperial Cabinet.
She has been described as quiet, soft-spoken, Leonard Bernstein and Aaron Copland counted her among their close friends. Koussevitzky died in Boston in 1951 and was buried alongside his wife Natalie at the Church on the Hill Cemetery in Lenox. Koussevitzky was a great champion of modern music, commissioning a number of works from prominent composers. During his time in Paris in the early 1920s he programmed much contemporary music, ensuring well-prepared and good quality performances. Among the well-received premieres were Honegger’s Pacific 231, George Gershwin's Second Rhapsody and Roussel’s Suite in F. For the Boston Symphony Orchestra's 50th anniversary, he commissioned Ravel's Piano Concerto in G, Copland's Ode, Prokofiev's Symphony No. 4, Paul Hindemith's Concert Music for Strings and Brass, Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, as well as works by Albert Roussel and Howard Hanson. In 1922, Koussevitzky commissioned Maurice Ravel's arrangement of Modest Mussorgsky's 1874 suite for piano, Pictures at an Exhibition, premiered on 19 October that year and became the most famous and celebrated orchestration of the work.
Koussevitzky held the rights to this version for many years. In 1940, Koussevitzky commissioned Randall Thompson a professor at
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was a Russian-born composer and conductor. He is considered one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. Stravinsky's compositional career was notable for its stylistic diversity, he first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Serge Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes: The Firebird and The Rite of Spring. The latter transformed the way in which subsequent composers thought about rhythmic structure and was responsible for Stravinsky's enduring reputation as a musical revolutionary who pushed the boundaries of musical design, his "Russian phase" which continued with works such as Renard, the Soldier's Tale and Les Noces, was followed in the 1920s by a period in which he turned to neoclassical music. The works from this period tended to make use of traditional musical forms, drawing on earlier styles from the 18th century. In the 1950s, Stravinsky adopted serial procedures.
His compositions of this period shared traits with examples of his earlier output: rhythmic energy, the construction of extended melodic ideas out of a few two- or three-note cells and clarity of form, of instrumentation. Stravinsky was born on 17 June 1882 in Oranienbaum, a suburb of Saint Petersburg, the Russian imperial capital, was brought up in Saint Petersburg, his parents were Fyodor Stravinsky, a well-known bass at the Kiev opera house and the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Anna, a native of Kiev, one of four daughters of a high-ranking official in the Kiev Ministry of Estates. Fyodor, born into a mixed Polish-Russian family, was "descended from a long line of Polish grandees and landowners." It is believed that Stravinsky’s ancestry is traceable back to the 17th and 18th centuries, to the bearers of the Soulima and Strawinski Coat of Arms. Stravinsky's family branch most came from Stravinskas, polonized Lithuanian land owners, nobles of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. According to Stravinsky himself, his family had a Soulima-Stravinsky surname, the name "Stravinsky" originated from the word "Strava", one of the variants of the Streva River in Lithuania.
It is still unclear when the Soulima part of the surname was dropped. Stravinsky recalled his schooldays as being lonely saying that "I never came across anyone who had any real attraction for me". Stravinsky began piano lessons as a young boy, attempting composition. In 1890, he saw a performance of Tchaikovsky's ballet The Sleeping Beauty at the Mariinsky Theatre. By age fifteen, he had mastered Mendelssohn's Piano Concerto in G minor and finished a piano reduction of a string quartet by Glazunov, who considered Stravinsky unmusical and thought little of his skills. Despite his enthusiasm for music, his parents expected him to study law. Stravinsky enrolled at the University of Saint Petersburg in 1901, but he attended fewer than fifty class sessions during his four years of study. In the summer of 1902, Stravinsky stayed with composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov and his family in the German city of Heidelberg, where Rimsky-Korsakov, arguably the leading Russian composer at that time, suggested to Stravinsky that he should not enter the Saint Petersburg Conservatoire but instead study composing by taking private lessons, in large part because of his age.
Stravinsky's father died of cancer that year, by which time his son had begun spending more time on his musical studies than on law. The university was closed for two months in 1905 in the aftermath of Bloody Sunday: Stravinsky was prevented from taking his final law examinations and received a half-course diploma in April 1906. Thereafter, he concentrated on studying music. In 1905, he began to take twice-weekly private lessons from Rimsky-Korsakov, whom he came to regard as a second father; these lessons continued until Rimsky-Korsakov's death in 1908. In 1905, Stravinsky was engaged to his cousin Katherine Gavrylivna Nosenko, whom he had known since early childhood. In spite of the Orthodox Church's opposition to marriage between first cousins, the couple married on 23 January 1906: their first two children and Ludmila, were born in 1907 and 1908, respectively. In February 1909, two of Stravinsky's orchestral works, the Scherzo fantastique and Feu d'artifice were performed at a concert in Saint Petersburg, where they were heard by Serge Diaghilev, at that time involved in planning to present Russian opera and ballet in Paris.
Diaghilev was sufficiently impressed by Fireworks to commission Stravinsky to carry out some orchestrations and to compose a full-length ballet score, The Firebird. From 1890 until 1914 the composer visited Ustilug, a town in the modern Volyn Oblast, Ukraine, he spent most of his summers there. In 1907, Stravinsky designed and built his own house in Ustilug, which he called "my heavenly place". In this house, Stravinsky worked on seventeen of his early compositions, among them Feu d'artifice, The Firebird and The Rite of Spring. Renovated, the house is now a Stravinsky house-museum open to the public. Many documents and photographs are on display there, a Stravinsky Festival is held annually in the nearby town of Lutsk. Stravinsky became an overnight sensation following the success of the Firebird's premiere in Paris on 25 June 1910; the composer had travell
Georges Prêtre was a French orchestral and opera conductor. Prêtre was born in Waziers, attended the Douai Conservatory and studied harmony under Maurice Duruflé and conducting under André Cluytens among others at the Conservatoire de Paris. Amongst his early musical interests were jazz and trumpet. After graduating, he conducted in a number of small French opera houses sometimes under the pseudonym Georges Dherain, his conducting debut was at the Opéra de Marseille in 1946. He conducted at the opera houses in Lille and Toulouse, his Paris debut was at the Opéra-Comique in Richard Strauss's Capriccio. He was director of the Opéra-Comique 1955–1959, he conducted at the Lyric Opera of Chicago 1959–1971. He was conductor, 1959, music director 1970–1971, at the Paris Opéra, he was principal conductor of the Vienna Symphony 1986–1991. His Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, debut came in 1965, with first appearances at the Metropolitan Opera, New York City, La Scala, Milan coming in the same decade, he worked with Maria Callas on a number of occasions, made recordings of Carmen and Tosca with her.
Aside from opera, Prêtre was best known for performances of French music, having conducted long and difficult works like Debussy's La mer and Ravel's Daphnis et Chloé without a score. He is associated with Francis Poulenc, giving the premiere of his opera La voix humaine at the Opéra-Comique in 1959 and the first performance in France of his Sept répons des ténèbres in 1963. In 1999 he gave a series of concerts in Paris to celebrate the centenary of Poulenc's birth. In 1988 Marcel Landowski dedicated his Fourth Symphony to Prêtre. To many music lovers, however, Prêtre's name will forever be associated with the 1959 world premiere of Joseph Jongen's Symphonie Concertante for Organ and Orchestra, Op. 81, with Virgil Fox and the Paris Opera Orchestra. Eclectic musician, he conducted in Vienna, in 1962, L'Opéra d'Aran by Gilbert Bécaud, he conducted the La Scala Orchestra in Franco Zeffirelli's 1982 film versions of Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana and Leoncavallo's Pagliacci. Both films starred Plácido Domingo.
In 2009, at the age of 85, he returned to these two Italian operas in the Roman amphitheater at Orange, for televised performances starring Roberto Alagna. Prêtre conducted the Vienna New Year's Concert twice, in 2008 and in 2010, the only French conductor to have been appointed for this role. Prêtre married Gina Marny in 1950, they had two children. Interests included riding, aviation and karate. Prêtre died in France on 4 January 2017, aged 92, he had a home in Navès, near Castres. Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic Grand Officier of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic Europa Prize Honorary Conductor of the Vienna Symphony Victoire de la Musique Award Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, 1st class Grand Officer of the Légion d'honneur International Dictionary of Opera. St. James Press, 1993 International Who's Who. 2004 Excerpts from Georges Prêtre's last concert on YouTube Georges Prêtre on IMDb Kurier.at
A cappella music is group or solo singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. It contrasts with cantata, accompanied singing; the term "a cappella" was intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato style. In the 19th century a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music; the term is used, albeit as a synonym for alla breve. A cappella music was used in religious music church music as well as anasheed and zemirot. Gregorian chant is an example of a cappella singing, as is the majority of secular vocal music from the Renaissance; the madrigal, up until its development in the early Baroque into an instrumentally-accompanied form, is usually in a cappella form. Jewish and Christian music were a cappella, this practice has continued in both of these religions as well as in Islam.
The polyphony of Christian a cappella music began to develop in Europe around the late 15th century AD, with compositions by Josquin des Prez. The early a cappella polyphonies may have had an accompanying instrument, although this instrument would double the singers' parts and was not independent. By the 16th century, a cappella polyphony had further developed, but the cantata began to take the place of a cappella forms. 16th century a cappella polyphony, continued to influence church composers throughout this period and to the present day. Recent evidence has shown that some of the early pieces by Palestrina, such as what was written for the Sistine Chapel was intended to be accompanied by an organ "doubling" some or all of the voices; such is seen in the life of Palestrina becoming a major influence on Bach, most notably in the Mass in B Minor. Other composers that utilized the a cappella style, if only for the occasional piece, were Claudio Monteverdi and his masterpiece, Lagrime d'amante al sepolcro dell'amata, composed in 1610, Andrea Gabrieli when upon his death it was discovered many choral pieces, one of, in the unaccompanied style.
Learning from the preceding two composeres, Heinrich Schütz utilized the a cappella style in numerous pieces, chief among these were the pieces in the oratorio style, which were traditionally performed during the Easter week and dealt with the religious subject matter of that week, such as Christ's suffering and the Passion. Five of Schutz's Historien were Easter pieces, of these the latter three, which dealt with the passion from three different viewpoints, those of Matthew and John, were all done a cappella style; this was a near requirement for this type of piece, the parts of the crowd were sung while the solo parts which were the quoted parts from either Christ or the authors were performed in a plainchant. In the Byzantine Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Eastern Catholic Churches, the music performed in the liturgies is sung without instrumental accompaniment. Bishop Kallistos Ware says, "The service is sung though there may be no choir... In the Orthodox Church today, as in the early Church, singing is unaccompanied and instrumental music is not found."
This a cappella behavior arises from strict interpretation of Psalms 150, which states, Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord. In keeping with this philosophy, early Russian musika which started appearing in the late 17th century, in what was known as khorovïye kontsertï made a cappella adaptations of Venetian-styled pieces, such as the treatise, Grammatika musikiyskaya, by Nikolai Diletsky. Divine Liturgies and Western Rite masses composed by famous composers such as Peter Tchaikovsky, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Alexander Arkhangelsky, Mykola Leontovych are fine examples of this. Present-day Christian religious bodies known for conducting their worship services without musical accompaniment include some Presbyterian churches devoted to the regulative principle of worship, Old Regular Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Plymouth Brethren, Churches of Christ, Church of God, the Old German Baptist Brethren, Doukhobors the Byzantine Rite and the Amish, Old Order Mennonites and Conservative Mennonites.
Certain high church services and other musical events in liturgical churches may be a cappella, a practice remaining from apostolic times. Many Mennonites conduct some or all of their services without instruments. Sacred Harp, a type of folk music, is an a cappella style of religious singing with shape notes sung at singing conventions. Opponents of musical instruments in the Christian worship believe that such opposition is supported by the Christian scriptures and Church history; the scriptures referenced are Matthew 26:30. There is no reference to instrumental music in early church worship in the New Testament, or in the worship of churches for the first six centuries. Several reasons have been posited throughout church history for the absence of instrumental music in church worship. Christians who believe in a cappella music today believe that in the Israelite worship assembly during Temple worship only the Priests of Levi sang and offered animal sacrifices, whereas in the church era, all Christians are commanded to sing praises to God.
They believe that if God
A Grammy Award, or Grammy, is an award presented by The Recording Academy to recognize achievements in the music industry. The annual presentation ceremony features performances by prominent artists, the presentation of those awards that have a more popular interest; the Grammys are the second of the Big Three major music awards held annually. It shares recognition of the music industry as that of the other performance awards such as the Academy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Tony Awards, the Game Awards; the first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959, to honor and respect the musical accomplishments by performers for the year 1958. Following the 2011 ceremony, the Academy overhauled many Grammy Award categories for 2012; the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, honoring the best achievements from October 1, 2017 to September 30, 2018, were held on February 10, 2019, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. The Grammys had their origin in the Hollywood Walk of Fame project in the 1950s; as the recording executives chosen for the Walk of Fame committee worked at compiling a list of important recording industry people who might qualify for a Walk of Fame star, they realized there were many more people who were leaders in their business who would never earn a star on Hollywood Boulevard.
The music executives decided to rectify this by creating an award given by their industry similar to the Oscars and the Emmys. This was the beginning of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. After it was decided to create such an award, there was still a question of, they settled on using the name of the invention of Emile Berliner, the gramophone, for the awards, which were first given for the year 1958. The first award ceremony was held in two locations on May 4, 1959 - Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills California, Park Sheraton Hotel in New York City, 28 Grammys were awarded; the number of awards given grew and fluctuated over the years with categories added and removed, at one time reaching over 100. The second Grammy Awards held in 1959, was the first ceremony to be televised, but the ceremony was not aired live until the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971; the gold-plated trophies, each depicting a gilded gramophone, are made and assembled by hand by Billings Artworks in Ridgway, Colorado.
In 1990 the original Grammy design was revamped, changing the traditional soft lead for a stronger alloy less prone to damage, making the trophy bigger and grander. Billings developed a zinc alloy named grammium, trademarked; the trophies with the recipient's name engraved on them are not available until after the award announcements, so "stunt" trophies are re-used each year for the broadcast. By February 2009, a total of 7,578 Grammy trophies had been awarded; the "General Field" are four awards. Record of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a single song if other than the performer. Album of the Year is awarded to the performer and the production team of a full album if other than the performer. Song of the Year is awarded to the writer/composer of a single song. Best New Artist is awarded to a promising breakthrough performer who releases, during the Eligibility Year, the first recording that establishes the public identity of that artist; the only two artists to win all four of these awards are Christopher Cross, who won all four in 1980, Adele, who won the Best New Artist award in 2009 and the other three in 2012 and 2017.
Other awards are given for performance and production in specific genres, as well as for other contributions such as artwork and video. Special awards are given for longer-lasting contributions to the music industry; because of the large number of award categories, the desire to feature several performances by various artists, only the ones with the most popular interest - about 10 to 12, including the four General Field categories and one or two categories in the most popular music genres - are presented directly at the televised award ceremony. The many other Grammy trophies are presented in a pre-telecast'Premiere Ceremony' earlier in the afternoon before the Grammy Awards telecast. On April 6, 2011, The Recording Academy announced a drastic overhaul of many Grammy Award categories for 2012; the number of categories was cut from 109 to 78. The most important change was the elimination of the distinction between male and female soloists and between collaborations and duo/groups in various genre fields.
Several categories for instrumental soloists were discontinued. Recordings in these categories now fall under the general categories for best solo performances. In the rock field, the separate categories for hard rock and metal albums were combined and the Best Rock Instrumental Performance category was eliminated due to a waning number of entries. In R&B, the distinction between best contemporary R&B album and other R&B albums has been eliminated, they now feature in general Best R&B Album category. In rap, the categories for best rap soloist and best rap duo or group have been merged into the new Best Rap Performance category; the most eliminations occurred in the roots category. Up to and including 2011, there were separate categories for various regional American music forms, such as Hawaiian music, Native American music and Zydeco/Cajun music. Due to the low number