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Deutsche Grammophon and Apple Music mark launch of new dedicated audio and audio-visual destination for classical music with special media event at Salzburg Festival
In Deutsche Grammophon’s 120th-anniversary year, the label’s artists to curate Apple Music’s Beethoven, Mozart and Bach radio stations
Daniil Trifonov leads way creating Apple Music’s first Video Essential Playlist by a classical performer and Rolando Villazón launches first opera visual album with his performance in Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette”
Berlin, August 10, 2018: Deutsche Grammophon and Apple Music announce long-term collaboration designed to enhance the experience of classical music for a global music audience.
Central to the new experience with Apple Music are “The DG Playlist” – a regularly updated classical musical experience to highlight the very best recordings from the iconic 120-year-old classical music label – a selection of visual albums featuring legendary performances by DG superstar artists and special video performances from Daniil Trifonov and Ildar Abdrazakov. For the launch, artists Daniil Trifonov, Rolando Villazón and Peter Gregson curate Apple Music’s three main composer radio stations: Mozart, Bach and Beethoven.
Deutsche Grammophon’s Apple Music destination brings together audio and visual content in one platform and will highlight major classical music events, iconic releases, featured composers and performers and significant anniversaries alongside curated playlists and outstanding audio-visual content on which Apple Music’s specialist classical team will work closely with DG’s in-house and guest curators.
In 2016, Deutsche Grammophon became the first classical label to establish a curator channel on Apple Music. The partnership has continued to develop, delivering over two dozen successful playlists and creating the foundations for the future curatorial collaboration with Apple Music.
The DG destination www.applemusic.com/dg launched today with a high-profile media conference at Mozart’s birthplace. DG artists Daniil Trifonov, Rolando Villazón, Ildar Abdrazakov and Peter Gregson performed and appeared on a panel discussion about music curation in the digital age. They were joined by Michael Bladerer, CEO of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. Together they offered an overview of their personal curatorial approach, conveying their passion, energy and enthusiasm for classical music in the digital era.
“The curatorial power of the Yellow Label and our vibrant artist community has always been exceptional, in record stores and in the digital space,” comments Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “In a world where attention spans have become shorter and classical music content more ubiquitous, people must think wisely before spending their limited time and resources. Together with our partner Apple Music, we aim to enable discovery and provide orientation to everything that is essential in classical music. We also embrace the opportunity to present short-form and long-form video productions in a significant way, making the service a cornerstone of DG’s global audio-visual strategy.”
Jonathan Gruber, Apple Music, welcomes this launch, “Classical music is all about the joy of exploration, and we are thrilled to welcome the amazing artists of Deutsche Grammophon to join our worldwide team of trusted guides,” he said.
Daniil Trifonov’s performance at Mozart’s birthplace was recorded and will be added to his inaugural Video Essential Playlist immediately, along with other newly recorded and specially curated material. “I am delighted to have the opportunity to share my work on Apple Music, thanks to my label’s new space there allowing artists like myself to share their music with the classical community,” observes Daniil Trifonov. “I feel privileged to be the first classical artist to present an audio-visual playlist of my performance videos; I have dear memories of conceiving and creating them over the past few years, and I’m excited for them to be available widely on Apple Music.”
Other audio-visual highlights include the first ever full opera to be offered by Apple Music in the form of a visual album – a critically acclaimed account of Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette from the 2008 Salzburg Festival, starring Rolando Villazón and conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin – along with a Salzburg video playlist, including the Mozart Gala given to mark the composer’s 250th-anniversary year, featuring Anna Netrebko, Magdalena Kožená, Thomas Hampson, Daniel Harding and the Vienna Philharmonic.
“Mozart has been one of my long-time passions and Salzburg has always been a central place in my life, both as a performer and as artistic director of Mozartwoche,” notes Rolando Villazón. “I am thrilled, therefore, to be able to share some of my favourite Mozart pieces on Apple Music’s Mozart radio station. I’m fully aware of how important it is to provide context and orientation to listeners of classical music and am committed to making its richness accessible to everyone. I feel the new DG space on Apple Music is an excellent forum for discovery.”
Michael Bladerer comments: “Approximately one third of Vienna Philharmonic’s over 175 years of musical history have been documented in a partnership with Deutsche Grammophon, among others outstanding recordings with Maestri Abbado, Bernstein, Böhm, Boulez, Furtwängler, Karajan, Kleiber und Sinopoli and more recently with Barenboim, Dudamel, Gardiner, Muti, Nelsons, Previn und Thielemann. We are delighted that this discographic oeuvre can be rediscovered through a prominent, expert-curated playlist on Apple Music and that a new global audience can become familiar with it.”
Ildar Abdrazakov is certain of Apple Music’s relevance as a means to reach both new and existing classical fans. “I love engaging with my audience,” he says. “For the campaign around my recent album with Rolando Villazón and Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Apple Music’s social media feature proved a great interactive communication tool. That’s why I am so happy to share, via Connect, a video of a Mozart aria, recorded today.”
Cellist Peter Gregson has attracted an international following to his genre-crossing, neo-classical compositions and thrilling creative collaborations. “Bach has always played a central role in my life, as a cello student and performer at the Royal Academy, as composer with my Recomposed project with the Cello Suites – and now as curator of Apple Music’s Bach radio station,” reflects Gregson. “With a footing in the classical and the non-classical world, it’s important to open up new ways to access classical music. On streaming platforms, the barriers are lower than ever. And I believe that the Yellow Label – a brand well known beyond the core-classical community – can enable discovery together with DG’s artist community that I am proud to be a part of,” he adds.
Deutsche Grammophon’s curators and artists are passionate about creating innovative ways of sharing classical music and building the global audience: partnering with Apple Music delivers reach, expertise and a commitment to music fans around the world.
SERGEI BABAYAN SIGNS EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT WITH DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON
“Sergei Babayan is a genius. Period.” Le Devoir
Sergei Babayan, hailed for his charismatic and emotionally charged artistry, has signed an exclusive recording contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The new relationship was announced on 19 July 2018 at the Verbier Festival. Last March saw the release on the yellow label of Prokofiev for Two, an album of Babayan’s transcriptions of a dozen pieces from Romeo and Juliet and of excerpts from other works by the Russian composer, recorded in partnership with Martha Argerich. Now the 57-year-old Armenian-American pianist is set to expand his DG discography with a groundbreaking project that will pair Mozart piano sonatas with a variety of pieces from different periods. Future recordings will explore works by other composers essential to Sergei Babayan’s musical identity, Bach and Rachmaninov among them. The pianist’s plans will also reflect his profound knowledge of rarely heard repertoire, commitment to works by contemporary composers and skills as composer and arranger.
“I was first introduced to Deutsche Grammophon when I was fourteen,” comments Sergei Babayan, “through Martha Argerich’s recording of Chopin’s E minor Concerto. That formed me as a musician and to this day continues to be one of my guiding lights. This label represents the world and works of the artists I’ve admired most deeply throughout my life. Other recordings deeply etched in my mind from those early years are by Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli and Vladimir Horowitz. To be a Deutsche Grammophon artist myself today is, for me, the highest possible privilege. I am deeply grateful to my destiny for giving me such a great honour.”
Babayan has been a regular guest at the Verbier Festival for years. Last year, in company with the young players of the Verbier Festival Orchestra, he gave a sensational performance of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No.25 in C major. This summer, the breadth and depth of his repertoire are once again mirrored in his programmes, which span everything from music by Louis Couperin and Rameau to Pärt and Shostakovich. He will also join a galaxy of classical stars, Martha Argerich and his pupil Daniil Trifonov among them, for the Festival’s 25th-anniversary gala concert on 25 July.
Critical acclaim has followed Sergei Babayan since his victory in the 1989 Cleveland International Piano Competition. Le Figaro recently praised his “unequalled touch, perfectly harmonious phrasing and breathtaking virtuosity”, while Montreal’s Le Devoir declared that “Sergei Babayan is a genius. Period.” He began piano lessons in his native Armenia as a child and went on to study at the Moscow Conservatory, where his teachers included Mikhail Pletnev, Vera Gornostayeva and Lev Naumov. Following his move to the United States, he joined the Cleveland Institute of Music as artist-in-residence in 1992.
Babayan has built a distinguished career as concerto soloist, chamber musician and recitalist. He has appeared as soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras, among them the London Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Orchestra of the Mariinsky Theatre and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. In 2015 he joined the LSO and Valery Gergiev at the BBC Proms for a day-long survey of Prokofiev’s five piano concertos.
“Dazzling virtuosity, the utmost expressive honesty and exquisite eloquence belong to the essential ingredients that make Sergei Babayan’s playing so unique,” observes Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon. “His creativity stems from both his virtuosic mastery of his instrument and his in-depth understanding of music and intellectual history. Away from the keyboard, Sergei is an incredibly inspiring communicator, a teacher who imparts knowledge with enormous energy and intelligence. His duo partnerships with Martha Argerich and Daniil Trifonov on Prokofiev for Two and Chopin Evocations underlined what we already knew about his musicianship, revealing the incredible depth of his passion and compassion as an artist. These qualities will also be a feature of his solo albums. We welcome him to the yellow label and are determined to share his artistic insights with the widest possible audience.”
PETER GREGSON SIGNS EXCLUSIVE CONTRACT WITH DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON AND TAKES “RECOMPOSED” SERIES FORWARD
L-R: Clemens Trautmann (President Deutsche Grammophon), Peter Gregson, Christian Badzura (Director New Repertoire Deutsche Grammophon)
His first release will be Recomposed by Peter Gregson: Bach – The Cello Suites, a creative contemporary vision of a classic
Cellist, composer and electro-acoustic alchemist Peter Gregson is a man obsessed – with music and sound. “The job of the musician is to be creating stuff that’s relevant to his time,” he says. “You can get it wrong if all you do is stubbornly stick to your guns. I want to be able to adapt to changing landscapes.”
And Gregson is the epitome of adaptable. One minute writing film scores for Hollywood or music for video games, the next he’s lecturing on the science of sound or picking up his cello to devote himself to chamber music. No passing fancy, his relationship with classical music began on conventional lines. Having started cello lessons at the age of four, he eventually went on to study at the Royal Academy of Music. At some point in between he discovered electronics, an interest that later resulted in collaborative projects with the MIT Media Lab. In creating Bach Recomposed for Deutsche Grammophon, he has now translated a landmark of the cello repertoire into his own entirely unique musical language. Set for release on 19 October, the album is also the latest addition to DG’s “Recomposed” series that launched in 2005 and encompasses contributions by Matthias Arfmann, Jimi Tenor, Carl Craig/Moritz von Oswald, Matthew Herbert, and the critically acclaimed Vivaldi Recomposed by Max Richter. The live premiere of Gregson’s take on Bach will take place at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival on 19 September, and the first single from the album, “Prelude 1.1”, is released today.
Bach Recomposed marks the start of his new and exclusive partnership with Deutsche Grammophon.
Christian Badzura, Director New Repertoire, Deutsche Grammophon, has welcomed Gregson to the yellow label: “I am very happy that Peter Gregson has joined Deutsche Grammophon, being both an exquisite classical performer and a composer, Peter creates unique and engaging compositions and soundscapes. His passion for and vast knowledge of music production and analogue sounds add further to his mix of talents. On his debut album Peter shows his true admiration for Bach’s lean and timeless music while combining it with his sophisticated yet playful musical language.”
As Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, explains, “After a five-year break, we’re now adding to Deutsche Grammophon’s ‘Recomposed’ series with this new album from Peter Gregson. ‘Recomposed’ has stayed in the collective consciousness and has been a source of inspiration for many reworkings or reimaginings of classical repertoire standards. We’re delighted to have begun working with Peter, who is both an accomplished cellist and a versatile composer, equally at home in the genres of classical chamber music, film scoring and electronica.”Peter Gregson was born in Edinburgh in 1987. His breakthrough came when he was still only 23, with the release of his debut solo album Terminal (2010). This was followed by Lights in the Sky (2014) and Touch (2015). Music from his most recent albums, Quartets: One and Quartets: Two (2017), has now been used as the score for a ballet. Gregson Richter Jóhannsson, a two-track EP commissioned by Mute Records for their Short Circuit Festival and featuring cello arrangements of existing works by Max Richter and Jóhann Jóhannsson, appeared in 2011. Cello Multitracks (2012) grew from a collaboration with composer, producer and DJ Gabriel Prokofiev. Gregson’s first feature-length soundtrack score, for Alan Rickman’s A Little Chaos (2014), was nominated in the Public Choice category at the World Soundtrack Awards. He has since written music for Arran Shearing’s first feature, Forgotten Man (2017), and for Boundless, an openworld game for Playstation and PC. Gregson can be heard as solo cellist on a wide range of TV and film soundtracks, from the BBC’s Sherlock (2014–17) to Garth Davis’s Mary Magdalene (2018).
DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON – THE WORLD’S OLDEST AND MOST RENOWNED RECORD LABEL – LAUNCHES DG120
A CURATED GLOBAL PROGRAMME OF ACTIVITIES TO CELEBRATE ITS HISTORIC 120TH ANNIVERSARY
Berlin, 11 June 2018 – Deutsche Grammophon (DG), the world’s oldest and most renowned classical music label, will celebrate its 120th anniversary this year with an unprecedented, wide-ranging and ambitious international programme of activities to celebrate the Yellow Label’s illustrious past, dynamic present and prosperous future.
Throughout its unique history, Deutsche Grammophon has been a committed and long-term investor in culture, innovation, music and the arts, and during the 2018/2019 season DG120 will present a celebration of the cultural importance of classical music and the extraordinary artists who help bring it to life.
“These are exciting times for classical music,” observes Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon: “Deutsche Grammophon’s 120th anniversary is about sharing classical music’s emotional force and expressive beauty with as many people as possible around the world. The Yellow Label’s founders used new technology to inspire millions and – together with our family of artists – we are determined to continue what they started as we engage established and future audiences with our DG120 campaign. We are delighted to welcome Google Arts & Culture, Volkswagen Group and our other international partners who are supporting this ambitious global initiative.”
The carefully curated programme features multi-disciplinary activities, events, rare archival treasures and an exciting new product suite that will captivate music fans around the world. DG120 will include:
GLOBAL SERIES OF DG120 GALA CONCERTS WITH LEADING DG ARTISTS, INCLUDING A HISTORIC LAUNCH CONCERT IN BEIJING’S LEGENDARY FORBIDDEN CITY AREA
One of the defining characteristics of DG is its long-lasting relationships with the world’s greatest musicians. Today’s community of DG artists will play a central role in the DG120 celebrations with a programme of worldwide concerts that will take place in Beijing, Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover, Hong Kong, London, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo, with further events to be scheduled – Click here for full details of DG120 events.
The DG120 live festivities will begin on October 10, 2018 with a spectacular launch concert at the site of Beijing’s historic Imperial Ancestral Temple (Taimiao), which stands just outside the Forbidden City. The concert will feature the globally renowned Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Long Yu, who will perform Orff’s Carmina Burana with Aida Garifullina, Toby Spence and Ludovic Tézier, before being joined by Hélène Grimaud for Ravel’s Piano Concerto in G major.
The Forbidden City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is an imperial palace complex that served as the home of emperors as well as the ceremonial and political centre of the Chinese government for almost 500 years, until the end of the Qing Dynasty. The Imperial Ancestral Temple, whose layout echoes that of the Forbidden City, was used by the imperial family on important occasions as a place in which to offer sacrifices to their ancestors. The DG120 concert will be a celebration of both Chinese classical music excellence and the global cultural resonance of Deutsche Grammophon. It will be the first classical music event to be held at the site since 2001, when it hosted a legendary performance by the Three Tenors: José Carreras, Plácido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti.
Other key DG120 events include performances at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts by the Berlin Staatskapelle and the inimitable Maestro Barenboim, and further concerts throughout the anniversary year featuring performances from DG’s unbeatable roster of artists: Anne-Sophie Mutter, considered one of the greatest violinists of all time; Lang Lang, pioneering pianist and global cultural icon; Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the XVII International Chopin Piano Competition; and Max Richter, influential ground-breaking post-minimalist composer.
SPECIAL DG120 EDITIONS OF CULT YELLOW LOUNGE CLUB NIGHTS PLANNED FOR BEIJING, HONG KONG, SEOUL, SHANGHAI, TAIPEI AND TOKYO
Special DG120 editions of the label’s highly successful Yellow Lounge classical club nights are planned to take place throughout the year in Beijing, Hong Kong, Seoul, Shanghai, Taipei and Tokyo. The innovative club nights will be live streamed to fans around the world. Yellow Lounge will also visit Wolfsburg, home to DG120 Yellow Lounge partner Volkswagen Group.
“We share many values with Deutsche Grammophon,” notes Benita von Maltzahn of the Volkswagen Group. “The yellow label’s anniversary campaign is destined to boost the audience for classical music and raise the profile of the qualities of excellence and cultural exchange that the art-form represents. We are thrilled to be part of the journey and look forward to partnering with DG and to bringing our expertise to the amazing range of DG120 events.”
THE SHELLAC PROJECT: REDISCOVERED AND PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED TRACKS DIGITISED FROM THE HISTORIC DEUTSCHE GRAMMOPHON VAULTS IN COOPERATION WITH GOOGLE ARTS & CULTURE REFLECTING THE UNIQUE HISTORY OF THE LABEL – INCLUDING RECORDINGS MADE BY LOUIS ARMSTRONG AND BY LEO TOLSTOY
To coincide with the 120th anniversary, DG and Google Arts & Culture are creating digitised versions of rediscovered and previously unreleased tracks extracted from rare surviving Galvano metal masters, recorded in the early 1900s. These treasures, found within the deep vaults of the DG archive include a reading from one of his novels by iconic Russian author Leo Tolstoy, early recordings by legendary American jazz trumpeter Louis Armstrong, leading Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin and Austrian-born violinist and composer Fritz Kreisler.
These unique and remarkable recordings are in the process of being restored in association with Google Arts & Culture as part of a digitisation partnership, as DG adds them and details of their history to its parent company, Universal Music Group's already extensive global digitisation programme. 400 unique shellac records will be released over the next several months, beginning with 40 today, among them Louis Armstrong & his Orchestra with “St. Louis Blues”, recorded in 1934 and a recording of Pietro Mascagni conducting members of the Berlin Staatskapelle in a 1927 performance of the famous Intermezzo from his opera Cavalleria rusticana – which can be found here. In addition, tap dancer Andrew Nemr and Tilt Brush artist Atma created unique visualisations for some of these tracks.
"As inventor of the gramophone and founder of the world's oldest record labels, Emil Berliner brought music into everyday life,” comments Philipp Justus, Vice President Central Europe, Google. “We are excited about Deutsche Grammophon's collaboration with Google Arts & Culture to digitise hundreds of the world's oldest records, and to make this important chapter of music history more accessible to people everywhere."
Expanding on DG’s legacy around the invention of the gramophone by the label’s founder, Emil Berliner, DG will make cultural background material available: the result are 12 online exhibitions curated by DG opening on Google Arts & Culture’s platform as well as in their mobile app (Android & iOS) on June 11th. Users can learn about some of the legendary artists of classical music like Leonard Bernstein or Herbert von Karajan, how records are made, or how the invention of the gramophone brought music to our living rooms. The records will also be made available through DG’s own channels and on partner platforms including Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Spotify, Apple Music and Amazon.
120 YEARS OF UNRIVALLED RECORDING HISTORY AVAILABLE WITH RELEASE OF DELUXE BOX SET DG120: THE ANNIVERSARY EDITION AND KARAJAN-BEETHOVEN ART EDITION SERIES
At the centre of an extensive product suite for classical collectors will be DG120: The Anniversary Edition, a flagship 120-CD collection spanning 120 years of recorded music and presenting all the main genres of the label’s unrivalled catalogue, which will be released globally on 21 September. The deluxe box set will also contain some of the new remastered tracks that have been extracted from historic metal masters and feature hidden gems of the DG archive. Other unique products that will be released throughout the year include a vinyl edition of Herbert von Karajan’s legendary 1963 cycle of Beethoven’s nine symphonies. The Karajan-Beethoven LPs will be issued in a limited edition of 1,200 box sets, and in an additional super-deluxe version of which only 120 copies will be available, each accompanied by unique artworks from artist Gregor Hildebrandt, who uses fragments of pre-recorded cassette tape as raw material in his creative process. His Karajan-inspired art will be presented at Berlin’s new Deutsche Bank Forum for Art, Culture & Sports to launch the LP edition.
The DG120 initiative will also feature an exclusive range of merchandise created in partnership with leading global merchandise company Bravado; the publication by Verlhac Editions of a revised and updated version of State of the Art: Deutsche Grammophon – The Story in German/English and English/Mandarin editions; and a special mini-series documentary exploring the art of recording as invented by the Yellow Label. Further aspects of the campaign will be announced throughout 2018.
Supported by Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music-based entertainment company, Deutsche Grammophon’s DG120 anniversary campaign will shine a spotlight on classical music’s vitality and extraordinary contribution to global culture. The Yellow Label is characterised by its commitment to its artists and their creative longevity, its drive to discover and support excellence in signing new composers and artists and its determination to ensure a lasting legacy for an unrivalled catalogue. Its work in all these areas is underpinned by a constant desire to innovate, experiment and retain leadership in its field.
LONG YU AND SHANGHAI SYMPHONY TO JOIN DG’S FAMILY OF ARTISTS
Deutsche Grammophon’s exclusive recording deal with Long Yu and Shanghai Symphony Orchestra marks rising-star status of China’s oldest orchestra and pre-eminent conductor.
“Long Yu [is] a superpower of China’s burgeoning music world”, Washington Post
“From the outset there was no doubting the authority of [Long Yu’s] leadership or the soundness of his musicianship” bachtrack.com
Long Yu, China’s pre-eminent conductor on the international scene, and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra (SSO) have signed an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The new partnership is set to build on Long Yu’s critically acclaimed work as Music Director of the SSO and help promote the orchestra’s powerful blend of tradition and ambitious future vision. It will also enhance the SSO’s “Music Connecting Worlds” ethos. Their first DG recording, an album of works from the Chinese and Russian repertoires, will be released in 2019 to mark the SSO’s 140th anniversary and celebrate its status as China’s earliest symphony orchestra. In addition to making new albums with the orchestra, Deutsche Grammophon will also release earlier recordings from the SSO’s existing catalogue.
Since his appointment a decade ago, Long Yu has steered the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra to new heights of artistic excellence, helping it to attract many world-