LSM Newswire

Friday, April 25, 2008

Ondine and Curtis Institute of Music to record world premiere recording of Hindemith left-hand piano work

Featuring pianist Leon Fleisher and Christoph Eschenbach conducting the Curtis Symphony Orchestra; to be released in spring 2009

(Helsinki, Finland, & New York, NY)
– Ondine proudly announces the world première recording of a work by Paul Hindemith, scheduled for release in spring 2009. The Klaviermusik mit Orchester op. 29 for piano left hand and orchestra, which Hindemith wrote in 1923 for Paul Wittgenstein, was only discovered in 2002 and had an acclaimed 2004 world première in Berlin with Leon Fleisher as soloist. Fleisher will also perform on April 27th during a concert by the Curtis Symphony Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach at Philadelphia's Verizon Hall, where the piece will be recorded together with Dvorák's Symphony No. 9 ("From the New World").

The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia and Ondine will collaborate in the production and distribution of the recording: Curtis will record, edit, and produce, while Ondine will manufacture and distribute the final product to an international market. Executive producer of the recording will be Kevin Kleinmann, formerly vice president of PolyGram/Universal Classics.

Reijo Kiilunen, founder and managing director of Ondine, said, "We're happy that our fruitful relationship with Christoph Eschenbach is expanding to include his work with Curtis. This project not only gives us the opportunity to add the never before recorded Hindemith work to the Ondine catalogue, but it will be the first time a commercial recording featuring the Curtis Symphony Orchestra has been released in over a decade."

Curtis President Roberto Díaz said, "We are delighted to have the opportunity to share the extraordinary artistry of Curtis students with a worldwide audience. Over the past few years, Christoph Eschenbach has led the Curtis Symphony Orchestra in many outstanding performances, and this project will capture their unique relationship on record."

The Ondine catalogue already includes many recordings by Christoph Eschenbach. "I'm very pleased to be a part of another recording project with Ondine," he said. "It's a joy to conduct the remarkable young musicians in the Curtis orchestra, and I'm particularly looking forward to leading the first-ever commercial recording of the Hindemith work with the wonderful soloist who premiered it, Leon Fleisher."

For over twenty years, Ondine has remained true to its founding principle: uncompromising devotion to excellence in recorded music. The label's mission is to support creative efforts in the field of contemporary music and to showcase performances by top artists which bring a new dimension to established works of the classical repertoire. An exceptional case in the world of independent labels, Ondine has increasingly expanded its recorded repertoire from chamber to orchestral music and opera. Strong partnerships have linked Ondine to the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Tampere Philharmonic, and Tapiola Sinfonietta, in addition to the Orchestre de Paris and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Ondine recordings feature conductors such as Esa-Pekka Salonen, Leif Segerstam, Sakari Oramo, John Storgårds, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Mikko Franck, and Oliver Knussen.

The Curtis Symphony Orchestra, called "an orchestra that any city would be lucky to have as its professional ensemble" (The Philadelphia Inquirer), was last featured on a commercial recording in 1995, when EMI Classics released a disc of works by Vaughan Williams conducted by André Previn. The orchestra performs a three-concert season in Philadelphia's Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, as well as programs elsewhere in the region and occasionally at Carnegie Hall. Recent visiting conductors include Charles Dutoit, Alan Gilbert, Simon Rattle, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Miguel Harth-Bedoya. This real-world training has enabled Curtis alumni to assume prominent positions in major orchestras across the United States, Canada, and abroad. Seventeen percent of the principal chairs in America's top twenty-five orchestras are held by Curtis-trained musicians.

The Curtis Institute of Music trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level. One of the world's leading music schools, Curtis provides full-tuition scholarships to all of its 162 students, ensuring that admissions are based solely on artistic promise. A Curtis education is uniquely tailored to the individual student, with personalized attention from a celebrated faculty and unusually frequent performance opportunities. This distinctive "learn by doing" approach to musical training has produced an impressive number of notable artists, from such legends as Leonard Bernstein and Samuel Barber to current stars Juan Diego Flórez, Alan Gilbert, Hilary Hahn, Jennifer Higdon, and Lang Lang.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sony BMG Masterworks Releases The Essential Leon Fleisher

Sony BMG Masterworks releases The Essential Leon Fleisher, a commemorative anthology that features highlights from his greatest recordings. A special digital-only edition, with exclusive bonus tracks, is available on iTunes.

The 2-CD set features recordings released for the first time on CD - the 1963 recording with the Juilliard String Quartet of the Scherzo from the Brahms Piano Quintet in F Minor and the opening movement (Molto Moderato) of the Schubert Sonata in B-Flat Major, Fleisher's first recording for Columbia Masterworks in 1954.

The pillars of the set are the opening tracks on each disc: the first movement of Beethoven's "Emperor" Concerto, which was recently inducted to the GRAMMY Hall of Fame, and on disc 2, the first movement of the Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1, which Yo-Yo Ma named one of his top five favorite recordings on NPR Music. Another highlight is the Brahms transcription of the Bach Chaconne, for left hand.

"Fleisher [is] one of the first American-born classical music stars." - Yo-Yo Ma
"...his musical mastery is beyond reproach." - Jason Victor Serinus, Stereophile
"... inspiring confidence and expressive power..." - Tim Smith, Baltimore Sun
"...a musician's musician." - Ben Finane, The Star Ledger

For an in-depth overview, listen to Tom Hall's interview feature with Fleisher on WYPR's Maryland Morning.

To learn more about Leon Fleisher or Boss Sounds:

Nell Mulderry 212.741.7959

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