The so-called »implementation regulations« determine the pricing modalities. They are aimed primarily at the jury members of the PdSK.

Artists, musicians, labels, distributors, and publishers will find explanations on the selection and application process in the »FAQ« category.

Dates of the leaderboards 2023-2024

Nomination by: 1 From the quarter: Evaluation by:2 Publication:
No. 1/2023 05.12.22 06.09. until 05.12.22 05.01.23 15.02.23
No. 2/2023 05.03.23 06.12.22 until 05.03.23 05.04.23 15.05.23
No. 3/2023 05.06.23 06.03. until 05.06.23 05.07.23 15.08.23
No. 4/2023 05.09.23 06.06. until 05.09.23 05.10.23 15.11.23
No. 1/2024 05.12.23 06.09. until 05.12.23 05.01.24 15.02.24

1 internal deadline, primarily relevant for members of the PdSK.
2 internal deadline & new from 2023: on this date, the long list with all nominations will be published.

Implementing Regulations

Current Implementing Regulations for download (PDF)

The German Record Critics’ Award was founded in 1963 by the Bielefeld publisher Richard Kaselowsky. After an eventful initial period, it established itself in December 1980 in its current form as an independent, registered association. The purpose of the award is to draw the public’s attention to outstanding new music and audiobook productions as well as cinematic music documentation, regardless of the transmission medium, and provided the productions are publicly available. A jury of music and literary critics who publish in German is responsible for determining the award winners, by way of specialist juries and the annual committee. The implementation rules define the modalities of determining the award winners.

The Jury

The requirements for being a juror for the German Record Critics’ Award are regulated by the statutes. Jurors are obligated to nominate four times a year and to evaluate four times a year. Each juror should be willing to participate in the annual committee. The total of a maximum of 160 jurors is divided into 32 specialist juries. Each specialist jury is made up of five jurors. Double membership in two specialist juries is possible in exceptional cases. If a juror is involved in the production of a newly published title that falls within their area of expertise, in whatever form, they are obligated to report this. The juror may neither nominate nor evaluate such a title. If such a title is nominated by a jury colleague, the jury member involved in the production loses their right to vote on this title. Additionally, jurors are required to report if they are involved in the OPUS Award of the German Phono Academy (Bundesverband Musikindustrie). If the juror fails to meet the deadlines below three times within twelve months, they will lose their active membership. If a juror disregards the tasks and goals of the association in any other way, in particular implementation regulations or statutes, they can be suspended by the board with immediate effect until the general assembly decides on the exclusion.

The annual committee

The annual committee meets once a year to determine the Annual and Honorary Awards as well as the »Nachtigall«-award winner. The annual committee is composed of the chairperson of the board and eight jurors, appointed by the chairperson. In the composition of the annual committee, the entire spectrum of the specialist juries (classical music, pop music, rock, jazz, world music, audiobooks, productions for youth, etc.) should be represented in reasonable proportions. The jurors’ participation in the annual committee is limited to three years in a row.

The Awards

The Quarterly Critic’s Choice (Bestenliste), Annual and Honorary Awards, and the »Nachtigall« (Nightingale) serve to distinguish artistically and technically excellent music and audiobook productions as well as cinematic music documentations. The Quarterly Critic’s Choice is generated four times a year by the specialist juries. The Annual and Honorary Awards are determined by the annual committee based on suggestions from the entire jury. The annual committee is also in charge of selecting the »Nachtigall« award winner, based on suggestions from the whole jury. Honorary Awards and the »Nachtigall« are given to persons or groups who have performed outstanding artistic or recording contributions in the field of music and audiobook productions as well as film music documentation.

Annual Awards, Honorary Awards, »Nachtigall«

Every year the annual committee presents awards in ten cross-disciplinary categories. It also determines the three Honorary Award winners of the year and the winner of the »Nachtigall« award. Each juror in the whole jury may make suggestions by a given deadline. These nominations will be published. Two months after the deadline, the annual committee selects the winners through a verbal discussion based on the nominations. When the Annual Awards and Honorary certificates are awarded, the jury’s reasoning must be published in an explanatory statement.

Quarterly Critic’s Choice

The list of Quarterly Critic’s Choice are determined in two stages: the nomination phase and the evaluation phase. Four times a year, each juror nominates up to three titles from their area of expertise, each one newly published in the German-speaking area during the previous quarter (see above: Dates of the leaderboards). These nominations are published in the form of the quarterly Long List. Second, each juror evaluates all titles nominated in their field according to a point system. 0 to 10 points can be awarded. 10 points can only be awarded once, 9 or fewer points may be awarded multiple times. The highest-ranked title will be included in the list of Quarterly Critic’s Choice, provided it reaches at least 40 points. If, as an exception, a title is only rated by 4 jurors of a jury, an overall rating equal to 5 ratings is extrapolated. If there are less than 4 ratings, the title will not be considered. If there is a tie between several titles, a run-off vote decides. When the list of Quarterly Critic’s Choice is published, the reasons for the selection must be made known in a jury statement.
Criteria for nomination and evaluation can be: interpretation, artistic quality, repertoire value, presentation, sound quality and much more.

Specialist juries of the Quarterly Critic’s Choice

1. Symphonic and Orchestral music 17. Jazz I
2. Concertos 18. Jazz II
3. Chamber Music I 19. World Music
4. Chamber Music II 20. Traditional Ethnic Music
5. Keyboard Music I 21. German language Singer/Songwriters
6. Keyboard Music II 22. Folk and Singer/Songwriters
7. Opera I 23. Pop
8. Opera II 24. Rock
9. Choral Music 25. Hard and Heavy
10. Lieder and Vocal Recital 26. Alternative
11. Early Music 27. Club and Dance
12. Contemporary Classical Music 28. Electronic and Experimental
13. Historical Classical Recordings 29. Blues
14. Crossover Productions 30. R&B, Soul and Hip-Hop
15. Film Music 31. Spoken Word
16. Music Film 32. Recordings for Children and Youth