- Best classical compendium, for Sculptures
- Best contemporary classical composition, for “In That Space, At That Time”
- Best classical instrumental solo, for “Cylinders”
“In That Space, At That Time” and “Cylinders” appear on the sound recording Sculptures. Created with the Japanese American artist Jun Kaneko and released in September, Sculptures comprises five pieces performed by the Omaha Symphony, two by Akiho alone, and one duet with Kaneko. Akiho shares the best classical compendium nomination with the producer Sean Dixon, who worked with the composer to mix and edit the work.
Sculptures was commissioned by the Oregon Symphony and Music Academy of the West and premiered last March at the Holland Center in Omaha, Nebraska. Kaneko is an internationally renowned ceramicist who has called Omaha his home since 1986.
Akiho found the inspiration for Sculptures from Kaneko’s materials: clay, glass, oil paint and sand, and bronze. In fact, one piece on the album—and in live concerts—is played on a giant head made by the artist, cast from bronze and stainless steel. For the Grammy-nominated “Cylinders,” Akiho wrote a piece to be performed on eight Kaneko objects, each having a different pitch.
Last year Akiho was nominated for a best contemporary classical composition Grammy for LIgNEouS Suite for Marimba and String Quartet. This five-part piece appears on the recording Oculus. Two years ago, Akiho’s CD Seven Pillars, performed by Sandbox Percussion, received the nod, again for best contemporary classical composition.
Akiho performed at the Academy in October 2023 as part of the I Nostri Pini di Roma program.