The Zolotoi Gramofon (Золотой Граммофон, lit. “Golden Gramophone”) is one of the most important music award ceremonies in Russia. It was established in 1995 by Russkoe Radio, a Moscow radio station that specializes in Russian pop music. The awards were then attached to a the Russian Hill (Русская Горка) radio show, which aired the 12 songs most frequently requested via telephone, email, and SMS.

In 1999, the name “Golden Gramophone” replaced “Russian Hill.” The new format expanded to include the top 20 songs of the week and, to receive the annual award, an artist must hold a spot on the top 20 chart for more than 20 weeks. Winners are announced at the ceremony, held both at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow and again one day later at the JCC Ice Palace in St. Petersburg, after the votes of Russkoe Radio listeners have been tallied. The show is broadcast on TV, radio and streamed on the Internet and always includes a debut artist who’s never before appeared in the Zolotoi Gramofon awards.

All Gramophone statues are created by a team of 20 jewellers, forged from silver and gold, laser engraved and mounted on a glass platform.

Some of the most decorated artists include Filipp Kirkorov (Филипп Киркоров), who’s received 21 statuettes and Valeriy Meladze (Валерий Меладзе), Grigory Leps (Григорий Лепс), Valeria (Валерия), and Lube (Любэ) with 13 apiece. Leps is the only artist to win two statues in two consecutive years.

 

A performance by Grigory Leps and Ani Lorak at the 2014 Zolotoi Gramofon:

 

Katheryn Weaver is a student of rhetoric and history at the University of Texas, Austin. Her primary areas of investigation include revolution and the rhetorical justification of violence against individuals, state, and society. She is currently studying Russian as a Second Language with SRAS's Home and Abroad Scholarship.