Munich Philharmonic launches own record label

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      Warner Classics


      On 30 September 2016 the Munich Philharmonic and Music Director
      Valery Gergiev release the first two albums on its own label:
      Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and
      Bruckner’s Symphony No. 4 – heartland repertoire for the Orchestra and its conductor.

      The releases come one year after the launch of the Munich Philharmonic’s ground-breaking digital media production and distribution programme. This media strategy has already produced films of numerous live performances in partnership with international broadcasters and online channels, significantly expanding global audiences for its concerts.

      The Orchestra will release up to six new recordings per year, with a special focus on the rich German repertoire and composers with which it has been so closely associated since its foundation almost 125 years ago.

      Global distribution of the MPHIL recordings will be managed by Warner Classics Label Services, across physical, download and streaming platforms.

      Valery Gergiev’s arrival as Music Director of the Munich Philharmonic in 2015 ushered in several innovations across the Orchestra’s range of activities. As well as marking the start of its digital media programme, the Munich Philharmonic has revealed a major rebranding initiative, which received a Cannes Lions Award for creative branding design.

      Maestro Gergiev’s opening season has already garnered acclaim for new directions in programming and audience outreach. The 2015-16 season included the first annual MPHIL-360° festival – three days of continuous performances across a wide range of genres, including no less than 5 performances in one day conducted by Gergiev and streamed for free online.

      Valery Gergiev’s appointment is the first permanent position he has held with a German orchestra. Since winning the Karajan Conducting Competition at the age of 24, Gergiev has established a formidable reputation as one of the world’s greatest conductors, famed for his thrilling interpretations of Russian, French and German repertoire. In addition to his role as General and Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg, Gergiev has held positions with London Symphony Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera. Over recent years, he has focused extensively on music by Mahler, Bruckner, Strauss and Wagner – composers with whom the Munich Philharmonic and its unique sound are synonymous.

      Both symphonic masterpieces featured on the debut releases from MPHIL have a special significance for the Munich Philharmonic:

      • Gustav Mahler regularly conducted the Munich Philharmonic, premiering his own Symphony No. 4, Symphony No. 8 and Das Lied von der Erde with the Orchestra. Gergiev’s recording was made during his inaugural concerts as Music Director in September 2015.

      • The Munich Philharmonic has arguably given more performances of Anton Bruckner’s music than any other orchestra. It has also made more recordings of his music than of any other composer’s, with the Symphony No.4 conducted on record by legends including Sergiu Celibidache, Christian Thielemann, Rudolf Kempe, Günter Wand and Oswald Kabasta.

      Further releases with Gergiev are scheduled on MPHIL for early 2017. The label will also release recordings made with other leading conductors, as well as delving into the Orchestra’s rich archives, releasing many celebrated performances for the first time on download and streaming services.

      Valery Gergiev said of the experience of making these recordings:
      “The Munich Philharmonic are incredible, talented players. They combine this technical ability with a deep group experience in the music of Mahler and Bruckner … I treasure and am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with these musicians and want people around the world to hear the music we make together.”

      Paul Müller, Managing Director of the Munich Philharmonic added:
      “The Munich Philharmonic has been at the forefront of Innovation, defining the sound of German classical music for nearly 125 years. Being the orchestra of Bruckner, Mahler and Strauss, we are fortunate to work with Maestro Valery Gergiev, one of the foremost conductors of our time who always seeks to inject contemporary artistic impulses into this orchestra’s longstanding tradition. We have devised a media programme with the aim of reaching a global audience and are delighted that in Warner Classics and ADA we have found partners who share our passion for music and innovation.”

      Markus Petersen, Senior Vice President Global Marketing & Operations, Warner Classics and Erato, said:
      “We are thrilled to be working with MPhil and Maestro Gergiev to establish and develop their media and brand strategy, in which releases on their own recording label will play an integral role. The Münchner Philharmoniker is undoubtedly among the world’s most respected orchestras – its rich history is paired with a clear vision for the present and future. In this they are a perfect match for Warner Classics Label Services, which offers a global, comprehensive and tailored classical service to select partners including orchestras, artists and independent labels whose products and content present synergies with Warner Classics brand values.”

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