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DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON SHOWCASES COMPOSING TALENT IN LOS ANGELES
- DG Composers’ Label Night event celebrates a creative powerhouse
- Brothers Roger and Brian Eno create first duo album for Deutsche Grammophon debut Mixing Colours, the result of a 15-year-long collaboration, will be released in March 2020
- New audiovisual partnership between Deutsche Grammophon and Neutra Production showcases music-making in stunning locations around the world
- “UNIQUE - One artist, one monument, one concert” launches 23 January 2020 with cinema screenings of Nemanja Radulović’s performance at the site of the Carnac stones
On 22 January 2020, Capitol Studios in Los Angeles hosted a star-studded celebration of Deutsche Grammophon’s commitment to the contemporary classical scene. The exclusive DG Composers’ Label Night shone the spotlight on the wealth of cutting-edge music created in recent years by DG artists, including Joep Beving, Peter Gregson, the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, Agnes Obel, Dustin O’Halloran and Max Richter, not to mention Hildur Guðnadóttir, currently riding a huge awards-season wave of success. On stage last night: Peter Gregson, Dustin O’Halloran and Agnes Obel, playing to an invited audience of industry professionals, including movie producers, media content providers, independent music supervisors and senior figures from Hollywood’s major film studios.
Peter Gregson and five fellow cellists opened the evening by performing music from Bach Recomposed, the Scottish composer-cellist’s critically acclaimed Deutsche Grammophon debut album. Oscar-nominated, Emmy Award-winning composer and pianist Dustin O’Halloran, one half of A Winged Victory for the Sullen, was joined by composer and producer Bryan Senti to perform a set of new pieces, before special guest Danish singer-songwriter and pianist Agnes Obel and her band delivered a sequence of songs from Myopia, her Deutsche Grammophon debut album, slated for international release on 21 February.
“For over 120 years Deutsche Grammophon has combined classical and contemporary music in its repertoire. It’s the diversity, the mix, that our global success is based on,” noted Frank Briegmann, CEO & President Universal Music Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon. “We foster innovation while always prioritising authenticity and staying true to our quality standards. The wide variety of styles and genres reflected in our 2020 Grammy nominations illustrate the multi-faceted nature of our work, with the nominees in classical categories standing side by side with the incredibly talented performers and composers of a new generation – it’s truly amazing. Our label night in Los Angeles shows our cultural commitment to promoting young composers. Congratulations to all artists and colleagues involved in this fantastic evening.”
Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, introduced the event as a showcase of the Yellow Label’s diverse contemporary output. As he said afterwards, “We put brand-new music at the centre of our Composers’ Label Night in Los Angeles, in stunning performances delivered in person by some of today’s most sought-after composers. It has always been Deutsche Grammophon’s strength to stay authentic and close to artistic processes, and this also best enables us to serve both consumers and our partners in the creative industries. We feel privileged that all leading studios and agencies were present. Recent successes and landmark releases from, among others, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Max Richter and Joep Beving, as well as the late Jóhann Jóhannsson and the legendary John Williams, have further encouraged DG’s new repertoire strategy, which we’re pursuing with a specialised team entirely dedicated to the composers on our roster.”
The Yellow Label’s engagement with contemporary composers dates back to acclaimed collaborations with such luminaries as Stockhausen, Berio, Philip Glass (world premiere recording of the Violin Concerto), Steve Reich (world premiere recording of Drumming) and Osvaldo Golijov (the Grammy Award-winning Ainadamar). Recent and upcoming DG releases of world premiere recordings with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra include new works by John Adams, Thomas Adès and Andrew Norman. Built on solid foundations, DG’s contemporary classical production continues to go from strength to strength.
Roger and Brian Eno explore the nature of sound in their first ever duo album, Mixing Colours. Set for international release on 20 March 2020 in digital, vinyl and CD digipack formats, their Deutsche Grammophon debut is a major milestone in their ongoing creative collaboration. The album’s eighteen soundscapes invite listeners to immerse themselves in the infinite space that lies below their surface. Mixing Colours grew over a number of years, with both artists drawing on their long experience as composers, performers and producers. The creative process began with Roger Eno playing individual pieces and recording them using a MIDI keyboard. He then sent digital MIDI files of these recordings to his older brother, who set each piece in its own particular sound world, by revising and manipulating its content. Their exchange developed an effortless dynamic as the project unfolded.
The earliest pieces on Mixing Colours began life around 2005, but were not originally thought about as part of a larger body of work. “We weren’t directing this towards an end result – it was like a back-and-forth conversation we were having over a 15-year period,” says Roger. “I’d wake up, go straight upstairs, put my equipment on and improvise, then I sent things to Brian that I thought he might be interested in. The idea for a full album emerged as the number of pieces kept increasing and the results kept being interesting. It’s something that neither of us could have arrived at alone”.
Mixing Colours creates bridges between the music’s past and future. Roger’s compositions evoke the yearning melodic style of late Schubert while Brian’s sound design draws from his ground-breaking conceptual work with electronic music and lifelong fascination with the creative potential of new media. Over the past half century, he notes, the pop world has developed electronic music’s enormous possibilities to create previously unimagined sound colours and instrumental timbres.Brian observes: “With classical instruments the clarinet represents a little island of sound, the viola another, and the grand piano yet another. Each instrument is a finite set of sonic possibilities, one island in the limitless ocean of all the possible sounds that you could make. What’s happened with electronics is that all the spaces in between those islands are being explored, yielding new sounds that have never previously existed. It has been a huge pleasure for me to explore that ocean with Roger’s unique compositions.”
All but one of the recording’s eighteen tracks have colour-related titles – “Burnt Umber”, “Obsidian” and “Verdigris” among them – comparable to those often attached to abstract paintings. Together they create a deep meditation on shifting tonal shades and contrasts in timbre. The final track, the haunting “Slow Movement: Sand”, strips music back to its bare essentials of tone colour, timbre and pulse. Mixing Colours, adds Roger, stemmed from their shared artistic, musical and literary interests to become a work of genuine collaboration. “The more you listen to this album, particularly with the fabulous worlds that Brian has created, you can really walk into its enormous landscape and stay.” The album artwork features abstract paintings by artist Dom Theobald, including a striking piece given as a gift by Roger to Brian.
Deutsche Grammophon and French film and video producer Neutra Production are set to create a new series of innovative audiovisual productions. “UNIQUE - One artist, one monument, one concert” – featuring some of today’s finest musicians performing in timeless historic locations – begins in January with cinema screenings of a spellbinding concert given by violinist Nemanja Radulović at the Neolithic site of Carnac. The French-Serbian virtuoso with Ensemble Double Sens, played a range of music, from the Allemande from Bach’s Solo Partita No.2 to Bloch’s Nigun, against the backdrop of this prehistoric landscape, home to thousands of ancient standing stones.
The partnership’s debut project will be shown from 23 January 2020 in over 400 cinemas in France, Belgium and Switzerland via Neutra’s cinema series “Connaissance du Monde” and CGR, one of France’s largest multiplex chains. Its launch video, including documentary content about the artists and location, will also be available on demand through DG’s online platforms and for international television distribution through EuroArts. The Yellow Label plans to promote and distribute the series worldwide, building momentum and drawing in global audiences to experience the emotional force of classical music made in stunning locations.
Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, welcomed the opportunity to explore fresh ways of presenting classical music and connecting with cinema, television and online audiences. “The collaboration with Neutra underlines DG’s ambition to enable our artists to present their projects in audiovisual formats with wide reach and excellent quality,” he commented. “Deutsche Grammophon’s productions at UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as the Sistine Chapel and the Forbidden City have demonstrated that the combination of exceptional music-making and a historically significant venue can be truly compelling. Neutra offers a fresh approach, backed by vast experience and success in non-classical areas.”
Philippe Schirrer, Neutra Managing Director, comments: «Filming performances in breathtaking places and outside of the traditional convert venues, offers a new artistic approach to live classical music. The cinema and TV audiences are the priviledged spectators of these unique performances. Neutra works with young talented directors, renowned for their work in sports and pop music. Thanks to the collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon and our advisors, we guarantee the artistic excellence and integrity, including amazing sound experiences.»
Further “UNIQUE - One artist, one monument, one concert” episodes are about to enter production. Each will be filmed by a leading music video director who brings expertise and imagination from pop culture to the presentation of classical performances. Deutsche Grammophon and Neutra plan to release the first full season of titles in the second half of 2020 and will continue working together on a second season over the coming year.
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON WINS SEVEN NOMINATIONS AT THE 62nd GRAMMY AWARDS
20 November 2019 – The nominations for the 62nd GRAMMY Awards were announced earlier today. The Grammy, which recognises both artistic and technical achievement, is the recording industry’s most prestigious award. This year, Deutsche Grammophon has received no fewer than seven nominations. Particularly significant is the wide range of categories in which this historic but innovative label has been recognised.
“My warmest congratulations to all our Grammy nominees! We’re thrilled to receive such an incredible number of nominations,” says Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “The Yellow Label has long been known for the exceptional quality of its recordings, but what’s especially rewarding for us is to see such a diverse selection of our work nominated – from a piano recital to a full-scale audiovisual opera recording, from German Romantic repertoire to the US avant-garde, and from up-and-coming talent to legends of the music world, not to mention two nods for our film/television music productions. My sincerest thanks go to all our artists and of course to the entire DG team.”
The 62nd Annual Grammy Awards ceremony will take place on 26 January 2020 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media
Hildur Guðnadóttir, composer
Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella
John Williams, arranger
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Best Orchestral Performance
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Los Angeles Philharmonic
WEINBERG: SYMPHONIES NOS. 2 & 21
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, conductor
City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
Best Opera Recording
Christian Thielemann, conductor
Piotr Beczała, Anja Harteros, Tomasz Konieczny,
Waltraud Meier, Georg Zeppenfeld
Eckhard Glauche, producer
Best Classical Instrumental Solo
THE BERLIN RECITAL
Yuja Wang, pianist
Best Contemporary Classical Composition
Gustavo Dudamel, conductor
Los Angeles Philharmonic
Oper auf Deutsch
This collection is a treasure trove for opera lovers and tells the astonishing story of an era when the central opera houses in the German-speaking world performed the standard repertoire from Bizet to Verdi in their local language only. These operatic highlights, sung in German, were all created via major studio productions of the 1960s. The cast is exceptional and capture an impressive standard of vocal artistry featuring the greatest voices of that time period such as Fritz Wunderlich, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Brigitte Fassbender and many more. A box of 15 albums will be released 14 February 2020. We release four albums as download and streaming albums with the other eleven albums to follow on the 10 and 24 January and 7 February 2020 respectively.
Learn more about DG´s forthcoming box set 'Oper auf Deutsch' by watching the trailer.
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON TO CELEBRATE BEETHOVEN’S 250TH ANNIVERSARY WITH NEW DIGITAL DESTINATION EXCLUSIVELY ON APPLE MUSIC
Specially curated “Beethoven Room” offers full access to the composer’s music including The New Complete Edition; fresh audio and audiovisual content to be added weekly
Available now only on Apple Music
Ahead of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary next year Apple Music, in collaboration with Deutsche Grammophon, are launching a newly curated “Beethoven Room” as the go-to digital destination where listeners will find every note of the composer’s work as well as brand-new releases.
Apple Music’s rich online resource will offer direct access to the Yellow Label’s flagship Beethoven edition, developed in an exclusive partnership with leading scholars at the Beethoven-Haus Bonn to stand as the most comprehensive and authoritative such collection ever assembled. In addition to historic landmarks from Deutsche Grammophon’s unrivalled Beethoven catalogue, recorded by some of the world’s greatest performers – from Abbado to Argerich, Bernstein to Brendel, Karajan to Kremer, Menuhin to Mutter and Perahia to Pollini – The New Complete Edition includes world premiere recordings of recently rediscovered works made by Daniel Hope and Lang Lang.
Apple Music will connect millions of fans all around the world with these beloved Beethoven recordings with exceptional sound, thanks to its new Apple Digital Masters format. Actively curated by Apple Music’s team of classical experts, the “Beethoven Room” will grow over the next 15 months to include artist-curated playlists and radio stations, video premieres and other exclusive material. It will also raise awareness of Deutsche Grammophon’s Beethoven 2020 motto, “Play on, play against all odds”, an evocation of the composer’s creative triumph over physical adversity.
Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, says of the collaboration: “It is fantastic to be working with Apple Music’s classical experts and dedicated curatorial team to give greater access to Beethoven’s music in outstanding audio quality. Bringing together world-class recordings in a specially designed digital environment offers music fans a new way to explore Beethoven’s creative genius in his anniversary year.”
Jonathan Gruber, Global Head of Classical at Apple Music sees the “Beethoven Room” as a landmark in digital access to classical music. “It is a pleasure to work alongside Daniel Hope, the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, and Deutsche Grammophon’s many great artists to bring Beethoven to the widest possible audience around the world. The ‘Beethoven Room’ is a wonderful way to celebrate one of the world’s greatest composers and with Apple Digital Masters fans are hearing the music at its best. With more and more classical music fans embracing streaming, Apple Music is quickly becoming THE place for people to find and enjoy the music they love, while enabling new audiences to discover and fall in love with classical for the first time.”
Daniel Hope, incoming President of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn in 2020, praises the “Beethoven Room” as the ideal destination for all things Beethoven. “Deutsche Grammophon’s extraordinary New Complete Edition of Ludwig van Beethoven’s works provides a much-needed focus on the creative output of a titan,” he observes. “It’s thrilling to think of the global reach that this new digital initiative on Apple Music will provide. To contribute recordings of recently-discovered and attributed works, in close collaboration with the outstanding research team of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, has been both rewarding and humbling.”
GRAMOPHONE CLASSICAL MUSIC AWARDS 2019
Great news for the DG-artists Víkingur Ólafsson and Yuja Wang!
The Icelandic pianist Víkingur Ólafsson was named Artist of the year at the 2019 GRAMOPHONE AWARDS. An additional honour for the critically-acclaimed pianist following Opus Klassik, BBC Music Magazine & Icelandic Music Awards. Deutsche Grammophon celebrates the pianist with a new deluxe edition of J. S. Bach – Works & Reworks alongside a brand new music video, which goes on general release on Oktober 23. Learn more about the award here
Pianist Yuja Wang won this year's Award in the Instrumental category for 'The Berlin Recital'. To celebrate this success we release a previously unreleased track from her Berlin Recital Album. Learn more about the award here.
OPUS KLASSIK: UNIVERSAL MUSIC ARTISTS CELEBRATE HUGE SUCCESS AT CLASSICAL MUSIC'S BIGGEST NIGHT
Berlin, 14 October 2019 – Last night, the OPUS KLASSIK Awards, one of Germany’s most important awards ceremonies for classical musicians, took place at Konzerthaus Berlin. The list of winners included many artists signed to UNIVERSAL MUSIC‘s classical labels, Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and ECM Records. They received awards for a total of nine productions. The event was hosted by celebrity television presenter Thomas Gottschalk.
(from left to right- Frank Briegmann, CEO & President UNIVERSAL MUSIC Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon; Andreas Ottensamer; Nadine Sierra; Lucie Horsch; Klaus-Florian Vogt; Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon)
The outstanding individual artistic achievements of the award winning musicians were at the centre of the ceremony. In addition, the awards also serve to reaffirm the innovative spirit of Deutsche Grammophon , Decca and ECM Records as well as the trusting relationships all three labels have with their artists. Soprano Nadine Sierra (Newcomer of the Year (Vocal)) secured another Newcomer award for Universal Music. Opera star Bryn Terfel (Classical Music without Borders) opened classical music to new audiences. Global star Lang Lang (Video of the Year) used his video to showcase the magic and the connecting element of classical music. Jörg Widmann (Composer of the Year) is one of the most versatile composers of his generation. Kim Kashkashian (Solo Recording/Viola) has contributed massively to the emancipation of the viola as a solo instrument and was recognised for her virtuosity. With Andreas Ottensamer (Instrumentalist/Clarinet), Vikingur Olafsson (Solo Recording/Piano) and Lucie Horsch (Concert Recording/Flute) completing the list, UNIVERSAL MUSIC artists once more demonstrated the remarkable diversity and vitality of classical music. The production Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Audio Visual Music Production) explores new creative territory in performance and interpretation.
Some of the musical highlights of the event were performances by Andreas Ottensamer with the Rondo from Carl Maria von Weber’s Clarinet Concerto No. 1 and Nadine Sierra with the piece “Somewhere” by Leonard Bernstein. The award for Audio Visual Music Production was accepted by Klaus-Florian Vogt.
OPUS KLASSIK is Germany’s most important classical music prize and it honours extraordinary classical musicians and recording. It is hosted by the Association for the Promotion of Classical Music, which represents labels, concert promoters, publishers and personalities from the classical music world. OPUS KLASSIK is a jury prize.
Bisseh Akamé, Head of Promotion & Label Communication Deutsche Grammophon:
“Congratulations! All our winners have shown, once again, that classical music in all its varieties is a fascinating genre that touches and inspires people all over the world. I am particularly happy about the success of the OPUS KLASSIK award, which has established itself as a staple of the classical music year in a very short space of time. Our artists and the teams of Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and ECM Records have really earned this success. It is remarkable, that Deutsche Grammophon productions in both categories – short and long form – convinced the jury, which speaks to the innovative approach of our label.“
Frank Briegmann, CEO & President UNIVERSAL MUSIC Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon: “Congratulations to all our award winners. New talent, innovation, new formats and, of course, the top categories – Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and ECM Records have been successful across the board, setting a shining example. The team of OPUS KLASSIK can be very proud of this event as can our media partner ZDF, who have done a magnificent job of setting the stage for the stars of classical music.“
Classical Music without Borders
“Dreams and Songs“
Composer of the Year
“J.S. Bach: Six Suites for Viola Solo (BWV 1007-1012)”
Video of the Year
Lang Lang - Beethoven: Bagatelle No. 25 in A Minor, WoO 59 "Für Elise" – Piano Book
Concert Recording of the Year /Flute
“There's A Place For Us“