LONDON 29 September 2008 – EMI Classics announce the renewal of their exclusive recording relationship with the Berliner Philharmoniker with a new five-year contract in addition to their on-going exclusive relationship with the orchestra’s Music Director, Sir Simon Rattle. The first fruit of the new agreement is Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges, which is being recorded live in concert at the Philharmonie Berlin this month for international release in March 2009.
EMI are delighted to have secured this innovative arrangement with the Berliner Philharmoniker, a partnership that permits both parties to work closer together and uniquely gives the Berliner Philharmoniker the ability to grant wider access to both physical and digital audio and audiovisual recordings featuring the Orchestra and Sir Simon Rattle.
Stephen Johns, (A&R Director, EMI Classics) said, “We are extremely pleased to be continuing our long and close relationship with the Berliner Philharmoniker. It is their uncompromising commitment to the highest of standards in all aspects of their music-making that sets them out as perhaps the finest orchestra in the world. We look forward to sharing their vision of widening the reach of their performances, and continuing to enhance their distinguished catalogue of recordings with EMI Classics.” Olaf Maninger (solo cellist and member of the board) of the Berliner Philharmoniker said: “The Berliner Philharmoniker feel privileged and honoured to continue the extraordinary partnership with EMI. The combination of Sir Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker and EMI, the strongest label for classical music, is a brand in itself, standing for the highest musical standards and a supreme way of bringing our performances and capturing the unique sound of the orchestra in recordings.”
EMI has recorded the Berliner Philharmoniker for nearly 100 years, harking back to the legendary first recording of a complete symphony (Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5) in 1913 with Arthur Nikisch. Other highlights of the EMI/BPO discography include performances of wide-ranging repertoire conducted by Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, Mariss Jansons and Sir Simon Rattle. Among the acclaimed soloists in the EMI/BPO catalogue are Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Mstislav Rostropovich, Sviatoslav Richter and, more recently, Daniel Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Sabine Meyer, Nigel Kennedy, Emmanuel Pahud, Sarah Chang and Leif Ove Andsnes.
About the Berliner Philharmoniker
The Berliner Philharmoniker was founded in 1882 by 54 musicians wishing to be their own masters, they secured the assistance of an agent who engaged the services of Hans von Bülow, one of the most ‘modern’ and uncompromising conductors of the day. Brahms and Grieg guest conducted the orchestra, as did Mahler, Richard Strauss and Tchaikovsky. Sir Simon Rattle is heir to a distinguished line of principal conductors who have included Arthur Nikisch, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Herbert von Karajan and Claudio Abbado. The orchestra’s change of status to a charitable foundation (the Stiftung Berliner Philharmoniker) in 2002 has created new opportunities and ensured the economic future of a body of players that currently has 129 full-time members. The foundation is supported by the generosity of its principal sponsor, Deutsche Bank. Central to this support is the orchestra’s education programme Zukunft@Bphil.
About EMI Classics
EMI Classics, which includes the Paris-based label Virgin Classics, is one of the world’s top classical music companies whose exclusive recording artists include Sir Simon Rattle, Antonio Pappano, Nigel Kennedy, Angela Gheorghiu and Natalie Dessay amongst others. The company has regularly recorded international superstars such as Plácido Domingo, Itzhak Perlman and Mstislav Rostropovich and has a back catalogue featuring legendary recordings by Maria Callas, Victoria de los Angeles, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Jacqueline du Pré, Herbert von Karajan, Otto Klemperer and Sir John Barbirolli as well as the longest-serving artist in the history of the record industry, the violinist and conductor Yehudi Menuhin.