New partnership between LA Phil and DG to build on long and productive association between orchestra, conductor, and label
“Celebrating John Williams” – album release to coincide with global anniversary tour
Multi-album centennial box set to feature world premiere release of performances by Klemperer, Wallenstein, van Beinum, and Stravinsky
Berlin, Germany / Los Angeles, CA (February 19, 2019) – The prestigious Los Angeles Philharmonic, led by Music & Artistic Director Gustavo Dudamel, and Deutsche Grammophon, the world’s leading classical music label, are set to extend their long history of making music together. They will now build on a relationship that has already produced benchmark recordings of works by Mahler and John Adams, among others, and seen orchestra and conductor play key roles in the visionary “DG Concerts” initiative, which allowed music-lovers rapid virtual access to live LA Phil concerts.
Upcoming releases on Deutsche Grammophon will include a tribute to multi-award-winning film composer John Williams and, as the LA Phil marks its centenary season, a commemorative limited-edition box set entitled LA PHIL – 100 YEARS, which will encompass many of the most significant performances given by the orchestra over the decades. As a prelude to this renewed cooperation, in November 2018 DG released the LA Phil and Dudamel’s new reading of the complete score of Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker to widespread acclaim, with Gramophone hailing the orchestra’s “fabulous” playing and The New York Times calling the album a “joyously vibrant recording”.
Dr. Clemens Trautmann, President of Deutsche Grammophon, welcomes the new association between the orchestra, its Music & Artistic Director, and the label. “We’re delighted to be resuming our collaboration with Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil. The centenary is a great occasion to showcase both the ensemble’s great artistic vision and its innovative approach to programming and outreach. We share the ambition to make Gustavo and the LA Phil’s latest productions heard by the widest global audience, thereby adding to the orchestra’s already rich recorded legacy with Deutsche Grammophon.”
Set for worldwide release on March 15, 2019, is a double album featuring some of the best-known works of John Williams, the foremost composer in the film world today. In late January 2019, Gustavo Dudamel conducted four “Celebrating John Williams” concerts at Walt Disney Concert Hall, presenting a selection of unforgettable themes from the much-loved scores for films such as Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, and Indiana Jones.
“What an honour to collaborate with my friend and mentor John Williams,” said Gustavo Dudamel. “His compositions are iconic, his talent is legendary, and his artistic generosity is heartwarming.”
Reviewing the January 24 event, the Los Angeles Times not only called the playing “spectacular,” but emphasized Dudamel’s ability to bring out a unique “sonic grandeur” in these well-known works, and to convey Williams’ “magical sense of writing music that sends a message – a message of hope and glory and wonder and joy.” All in all, what he and the LA Phil produced on the night was, according to the same review, “unlike any Williams music … heard before.”
A week later, on March 22, Deutsche Grammophon will issue LA PHIL – 100 YEARS, a spectacular limited-edition box set containing 32 CDs and three DVDs. The chosen recordings mirror the orchestra’s long history, with the earliest dating back to the 1920s. As well as comprising celebrated performances by the last eight of the orchestra’s music directors, LA PHIL – 100 YEARS will include several previously unreleased historic live recordings, among them a rendition of Beethoven’s Fourth Piano Concerto by Arthur Rubinstein, one of Igor Stravinsky’s final conducting appearances, and Strauss’ Don Juan with Otto Klemperer at the helm. Several of these recordings are world premiere releases, while others are new to CD. All of them will also be made available digitally, concurrent to the physical release.
Later releases will include Dudamel conducting the LA Phil in Schumann’s Symphonies Nos.1-4, recorded in May 2018, and Andrew Norman’s Sustain, which premiered to rave reviews by the LA Phil this season. The new recordings feature audiophile sonics by Grammy Award®-winning producer and engineer Dmitriy Lipay.
“Having spent a decade of my career in the recording industry, it matters to me deeply that the LA Phil is represented in the very finest recordings, made with the most up-to-date technology and production techniques, and brought to the public across digital platforms globally,” said LA Phil CEO Simon Woods. “Most people will never have the opportunity to hear our orchestra in Walt Disney Concert Hall, so it’s vital that we give them access to recordings that capture the extraordinary experience of hearing the LA Phil on stage here in Los Angeles. We are thrilled to renew our long friendship with Deutsche Grammophon, to partner with them in this important work, and to be able to call the Yellow Label home again. As we celebrate our centennial, our past and present could not be told without the unique recordings contained in the LA PHIL – 100 YEARS box set and Gustavo Dudamel’s heartfelt tribute to John Williams.”
The LA Phil’s ongoing centennial commemorations include a forward-looking roster of globe-spanning artistic programs, education and social-impact initiatives, and public celebrations, in addition to its physical and digital release plans. On February 24, the orchestra will perform live at the Academy Awards, and in March it travels to Asia for concerts in Seoul and Tokyo, including two events dedicated to the music of John Williams, featuring the repertoire recorded for the forthcoming album.
2019 marks Gustavo Dudamel’s 10th anniversary as Music & Artistic Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Having first worked with Deutsche Grammophon in 2005, he has since led the orchestra in a series of highly acclaimed Yellow Label recordings of music by composers including Brahms – a Grammy Award-winning account of the Fourth Symphony – Bartók, Bernstein, and John Adams, whose Passion oratorio, The Gospel According to the Other Mary, was commissioned and premiered by the LA Phil. Dudamel’s career has its roots in the famous Venezuelan musical education program, El Sistema, and he has been Music Director of Venezuela’s Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra since 1999. His rich DG catalogue also reveals his deep bond with these players, and features compelling readings of works by Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Mahler, among others.