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Mari Samuelsen debuts on Deutsche Grammophon
Berlin, January 2019. Deutsche Grammophon is delighted to announce the signing of an exclusive agreement with Norwegian violinist Mari Samuelsen. Her first single, Max Richter’s “November”, is set for international release on 11 January 2019 to coincide with the ARTE broadcast of her spectacular performance last October at Beijing’s Forbidden City as part of the DG 120 celebrations (scheduled for 13 January at 5.40pm CET).
L-R: Clemens Trautmann (President Deutsche Grammophon), Nanja Maung Yin (Head of Marketing New Repertoire), Mari Samuelsen, Christian Badzura (Executive Producer Deutsche Grammophon)
© Stefan Hoederath / DG
Mari Samuelsen’s debut DG album was recorded with the Konzerthausorchester Berlin and conductor Jonathan Stockhammer. Tracks range from Bach’s Chaconne in D minor to orchestral pieces by leading contemporary composers, including Max Richter, Brian Eno, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Peter Gregson. The album will be released on the Yellow Label in early summer 2019.
Mari Samuelsen is one of today’s most imaginative and eloquent violinists, known for her inventive approach to programming and presentation. Her style of playing blends virtuosity with entrancing musical finesse. She has appeared as soloist on many of the world’s leading stages, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, London’s Barbican Centre, Berlin’s Konzerthaus and the Paris Philharmonie and Théâtre des Champs-Elysées.
“I’m super happy to be joining the DG family!” says Samuelsen. “Continuing my musical journey as violinist with the absolute best team of creative people, composers, electronic artists and producers, and releasing recordings on the most legendary classical label in the world is truly exciting. I’ve always felt an urge not to do what’s traditionally expected. My aim is to create new and innovative programmes for music lovers – regardless of genre. I cannot wait to share my selection of pieces on my upcoming album.”
Christian Badzura, Director New Repertoire, Deutsche Grammophon, adds, “I heard Mari’s interpretation of the Bach Chaconne a few years ago and was blown away by her clarity of articulation and the wonderful sound colours she produces. We could have made a complete album of Bach’s timeless music, but were keen to reflect the great breadth of her artistic vision. Her debut album combines familiar repertoire with freshly composed pieces to create an irresistible musical mix.”
Max Richter’s music has become an essential part of Mari’s personal playlists as well as her live repertoire. Instantly struck by his 2012 DG release Recomposed, she has since played the Vivaldi-inspired score with Max in concert, most recently in December 2018 in Hong Kong. They have also performed Memoryhouse and worked together on his latest album for the Yellow Label, Three Worlds – Music from Woolf Works. “Apart from being a wonderful violinist,” comments Richter, “Mari has an instinctive understanding of my compositional world and an uncanny ability to communicate my intentions.”
Mari opened the Montreux Jazz Festival in 2017 and brought DG’s classical club night experience to Oslo as artistic director of Norway’s Yellow Lounge. She has also collaborated with legendary electronic artists Jeff Mills and Dubfire, and created pioneering projects with Berlin multimedia artist Philipp Geist. Nordic Noir, her first solo album, recorded with the Trondheim Soloists and released on DECCA in 2017, was built around the kind of brooding, unsettling music heard in TV series such as The Killing, The Bridge and Broadchurch.
In the first half of 2019, Mari will – among other appearances – be performing works by Richter (in Tokyo in March, and in Lyon in May) and music by Arvo Pärt and Pēteris Vasks on tour with the Baltic Sea Philharmonic and Kristjan Järvi, with concerts at the Berlin Philharmonie and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie (June/July).
“Having been captivated by Mari’s work with Max Richter, we’re thrilled to welcome her to the DG family,” says Dr Clemens Trautmann, President, Deutsche Grammophon. “We’ve seen how she connects with listeners at the deepest spiritual and emotional levels and are now looking forward to working with her on innovative recording projects and sharing her compelling programmes with a global audience.”
Deutsche Grammophon celebrates its 120th birthday today,
Thursday 6 December
The Yellow Label’s ambitious anniversary programme, including gala concerts and Yellow Lounge dates, has already reached more than 10,000 event visitors, a live online audience of over 1.8 million viewers and half a billion social media contacts
Deutsche Grammophon is marking the 120th anniversary of its company foundation on 6 December 1898 with a carefully curated global programme of DG120 live concerts, special events, record releases and much more. The world’s oldest and best-known classical label will use its anniversary year to continue building a lasting legacy. The company’s unprecedented DG120 programme has been designed to reach existing fans worldwide, attract new followers in Asia and beyond, and share its peerless catalogue with as many people as possible. It has already attracted new audiences in search of great recordings and performances, as well as garnering extensive international media coverage.
The birthday celebrations began with the spectacular DG 120 – The Tokyo Concert, held at Tokyo’s legendary Suntory Hall last night, 5 December, in the presence of the Japanese imperial family. Anne-Sophie Mutter joined Seiji Ozawa, Diego Matheuz and the Saito Kinen Orchestra for a programme of works by Bach, Beethoven, Saint-Saëns and Tchaikovsky.
In Korea, Seong-Jin Cho marks Deutsche Grammophon’s actual birthday in style today with DG120 – The Seoul Anniversary Concert, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto in D minor K.466 with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Lionel Bringuier at the Seoul Arts Center. Anne-Sophie Mutter joins the Seoul party tomorrow, Friday 7 December, opening the evening’s programme with Bruch’s evergreen First Violin Concerto.
The celebrations continue well into 2019. Future anniversary landmarks include DG120 – The Hamburg Concert, with Hélène Grimaud, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and Andris Nelsons (19 January 2019), DG120 – The Hanover Concert, with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and Nelsons (9 April), and DG120 – The London Concert at the Royal Albert Hall with DG artists Peter Gregson and Víkingur Ólafsson (1 May).
The Yellow Label launched its milestone year in October with a DG120 Gala Concert at Beijing’s Forbidden City, the first classical performance to be staged there for 20 years. In November, the next anniversary event was hosted by Deutsche Grammophon in Berlin – the city in which it is now headquartered. DG120 – The Berlin Gala was held at the Berlin Philharmonie and featured Lang Lang and Anne-Sophie Mutter, who performed the world premiere of a new version of John Williams’ Across the Stars, dedicated to her.
Deutsche Grammophon has reached out to young audiences across East Asia by introducing its pioneering Yellow Lounge classical club night format to the region, with debut events in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Shanghai, featuring DG artists Avi Avital, Peter Gregson, Daniel Hope, Mischa Maisky, Alice Sara Ott, Andreas Ottensamer, Yuja Wang and Esther Yoo. Future DG120 Yellow Lounge nights, presented in partnership with Volkswagen Group, are set to take place in major Asian cities.
The objective of sharing the beauty and emotional power of classical music with a broad global audience has been achieved by leveraging the reach of the events through TV and digital media. The Forbidden City Concert and Berlin Gala will air in over 50 countries with a projected reach of over 30 million viewers. The seven DG120 event live-streams so far have reached a total online audience of over 1.8 million viewers.
The live stream of the DG120 Beijing Gala attracted over 200,000 viewers globally, with 6.3 million more set to watch on terrestrial television. The event at the Forbidden City drew over 130 million visits on social media, while the live stream of Beijing’s first Yellow Lounge experience attracted roughly 426,000 views in just two hours.
Other DG120 highlights include The Shellac Project, a thrilling collaboration with Google Arts & Culture to restore treasures from DG’s historic archives. The series has released 156 tracks to date and will grow by the anniversary year’s end to a total of 400 tracks, available through the Yellow Label’s own channels and on partner platforms including Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon Music. Deutsche Grammophon have also released a highlights LP on vinyl to showcase the audio quality of the restoration process.
Innovative thinking led to the creation of Deutsche Grammophon exactly 120 years ago. The company was founded on 6 December 1898 by Emile Berliner, the American-based German inventor of the gramophone, and soon became synonymous with excellence in recorded music. The company’s remarkable history is brought to life in State of the Art, a richly illustrated book published in a brand-new edition on 7 December 2018.
DG120 Highlights 2018
- DG120 – The Beijing Gala at the Forbidden City, with Daniil Trifonov, Mari Samuelsen, Aida Garifullina, Toby Spence, Ludovic Tézier, the Wiener Singakademie, Shanghai Spring Children’s Choir, Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
and Long Yu (10 October)
- DG120 – The Berlin Gala, with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lang Lang, the Staatskapelle Berlin and Manfred Honeck (6 November)
- Max Richter Plays Max Richter, celebrating DG120, with the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Mari Samuelsen, Grace Davidson and Robert Ziegler (30 November & 1 December)
- DG120 – The Tokyo Concert, with Anne-Sophie Mutter, the Saito Kinen Orchestra, Diego Matheuz and Seiji Ozawa (5 December).
- DG120 – The Seoul Anniversary Concerts, with Anne-Sophie Mutter, Seong-Jin Cho, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra and Lionel Bringuier (6 & 7 December)
- Yellow Lounge events in Tokyo, Beijing, Seoul and Shanghai
Upcoming Events 2019
- DG120 – The Hamburg Concert, with Hélène Grimaud, the Gewandhausorchester and Andris Nelsons (19 January 2019)
- DG120 – The Hanover Concert, with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
and Andris Nelsons (9 April)
- DG120 – The London Concert at the Royal Albert Hall, including Bach Evolution with Clark, Peter Gregson and Víkingur Ólafsson (1 May)
- Yellow Lounge events in Hong Kong, Tokyo and Wolfsburg