Deutsche Grammophon Announces Special “Karajan Year 2014” Activities

Celebrating a 50-year partnership (1939 to 1989) between Herbert von Karajan and Deutsche Grammophon
16 July marks the 25th anniversary of his death
Deutsche Grammophon honors “ahead of his time” Herbert von Karajan with a series of new issues

The hall fell silent in Salzburg last week, as the Staatskapelle Dresden’s Easter Festival concert, conducted by Christian Thielemann, was dedicated to the memory of this historic event’s founder, Herbert von Karajan. The Festival remains one of the most prestigious and exclusive classical music gatherings in the world, and has been steered since 2013 by Christian Thielemann – once, himself, a musical assistant to Karajan, his predecessor as Artistic Director.

During his lifetime, Herbert von Karajan was honored many times for his outstanding work in recorded music, including four prestigious Gramophone Awards, and three Grammys. An honorary citizen of three capitals of European classical music – Salzburg (1968), Berlin (1973) and Vienna (1978) – he remains today the best-selling conductor of all time, having sold over 200 million albums during a recording career spanning a remarkable 50 years.

Herbert von Karajan and Günther Breest
© Susesch Bayat / DG

Now, 25 years since his passing, Deutsche Grammophon is launching an extensive suite of new issues between June and December. June brings a new compilation titled “Classic Karajan” – featuring his very first recording for the label, from 1939, Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” overture – along with a special deluxe 12-CD and Blu-ray audio boxed set of Karajan conducting the works of Richard Strauss. July sees an anniversary re-issue, now remastered, of the award-winning 1963 Beethoven Symphonies set, along with a fresh presentation of the best-selling “Karajan Symphony Edition”. Further titles will follow in the autumn.

Speaking about his ten years working closely at the label with Karajan, former Deutsche Grammophon Executive Producer Günther Breest commented: “Maestro Karajan was a champion of new technologies, and their application in pushing the boundaries of our business; in so many ways, he was ahead of his time. Twenty-five years after his death, I imagine he would have delighted in how innovation and technology retain a central role in driving the direction of recording and marketing in the classical music world.”  

Deutsche Grammophon honours Herbert von Karajan: 50 years as a DG recording artist