Press Room

EMI Classics & Virgin Classics June 2009 releases

Kate Royal – Midsummer Night

Kate Royal, soprano

English National Opera Orchestra / Edward Gardner

End Festival Chorus / David Temple, chorus master; Thomas Allen, baritone
(“Embroidery Aria”); Andrew Staples, tenor (“Nightingale Aria”)

CD and downloads available June 2 from EMI Classics

“A voice of strong,
liquid beauty, unfaltering in any register, never more thrilling than when
pealing or gliding in long breaths… . 
With recital discs, a
singer can go in either of two directions: one path sticks to familiar
territory, the other veers toward pastures new.  Congratulations to Kate Royal for adopting the adventurous
route in her second CD.”

– Geoff Brown, Times (UK)

Kate Royal’s second solo recording for EMI Classics is
Midsummer Night, an atmospheric
recital collection focusing on female characters in 20th-century
opera and operetta, reflecting their pain and ecstasy in love.  On the program, the London-born soprano
sings a compelling and diverse range of repertoire, from well-known
turn-of-the-century works by Dvorák (“Song to the Moon” from Rusalka) and Lehár (“Vilja”from The Merry Widow), to “Midsummer Night” from English composer
William Alwyn’sopera Miss Julie.  Edward Gardner conducts the English National Opera Orchestra
and special guest artists Thomas Allen, Andrew Staples, and the Crouch End
Festival Chorus.

“[My] inspiration for this album began with Benjamin
Britten’s The Turn of the Screw and
the Governess – my first major role in a 20th-century opera,” said
Kate Royal.  “The music got under
my skin in a way I had not experienced before.  Britten’s vocal writing is immediate and naturally dramatic.  His harmonic world seeps into the
subconscious, underpinning the character as a fully-formed human being rather
than a romantic stereotype.  So,
with the Governess’s “Tower Scene” as a starting point, I went in search of
other arias that shared this combination of intensity and abandon.  These are worlds in which the heroines
are laid bare, vulnerable in their journey towards emotional fulfilment…, women
lost in love [or] trapped in a deeper trance-like state as they wrestle with
their unsated desires. … Alongside some of the century’s seminal works, I [was] also delighted to discover what I believe to be some hidden gems for the
soprano voice.”

Among the lesser-known arias on Kate Royal’s CD are
those from operas by the English composer William Alwyn and American composers
Bernard Herrmann and Carlisle Floyd. 
William Alwyn (1905-85) based his only major opera, Miss Julie, on August Strindberg’s tense and intimate drama of
class and sexual relations from 1888. 
Composed between 1973 and 1976, Miss
was premiered on BBC Radio in 1977, but has had only one
semi-professional stage production, in Copenhagen in 1991. 
Bernard Herrmann’s many film scores, notably his collaborations
with Orson Welles (Citizen Kane),
Alfred Hitchcock (Psycho) and Martin
Scorsese (Taxi Driver), have diverted
attention from his other musical achievements.  He was particularly proud of Wuthering Heights, his major opera to a libretto by Lucille
Fletcher (his first wife), based on Emily Brontë’s novel.  Herrmann (1911-75) composed it between
1943 and 1951, but the opera was not staged until 1982, seven years after his
death.  The American composer Carlisle
Floyd (b.1926), whose own version of Wuthering
was premiered in 1958, has produced a steady stream of operas over
a period of 50 years, a couple of which – notably Susannah – have become staples of the American repertoire.

Royal’s first solo recording for EMI Classics – simply titled Kate Royal, and released
in the U.S. in September 2007 – was enthusiastically received.  Gramophone
named the album “Recording of the Month” in October 2007, calling Royal, “a major voice” and the album, “a
recording every opera and vocal music fan will want on their shelves or their
iPod.”  Gramophone continued, “Above all, Royal’s soprano has an addictive
quality – once heard you want to hear more.  The arrival of this voice is already to be applauded, cheered
and delighted in… . This could be one of those albums that we will look back
upon as the first appearance of a true star.”  Writing for Newark’s Star-Ledger, Bradley Bambarger observed,
“With her cut-glass features and flowing brunette mane, Kate
Royal looks like a shrewd, seductive femme fatale out of a James Bond
film.  But the English soprano, 28,
is a serious artist whose debut recital is a gem of variety and emotional

A complete list of repertoire for
the album follows, and a special mini-site is available at this link:

for Kate Royal’s Midsummer Night

Britten: “The Tower Scene” from The Turn of the Screw; “Tiny’s Song” from Paul Bunyan; “Embroidery Aria” from Peter Grimes

Messager: “Philomel” from Monsieur Beaucaire

Lehár: “Vilja” from Die lustige Witwe; “Flirten” from Das Lands des Lächelns

Dvorák: “Song to the moon” from Rusalka

Stravinsky: “Nightingale Aria” from Le rossignol

Alwyn: “Midsummer Night” from Miss Julie

Korngold: “Marietta’s Lied” from Die tote Stadt

Walton: “At the haunted end of the day” from Troilus and Cressida

Floyd: “The trees on the mountains” from Susannah

Barber: “Do not utter a word” from Vanessa

Herrmann: “I have dreamt” from Wuthering Heights

Prokofiev: Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3

Evgeny Kissin, piano

Philharmonia Orchestra / Vladimir

CD and downloads available June 2
from EMI Classics

For his third EMI Classics
release, piano superstar Evgeny Kissin turns to repertoire from his native
Russia: Sergei Prokofiev’s Piano Concertos Nos. 2 and 3.  The performances were recorded live at
the Royal Festival Hall in January 2008 with Vladimir Ashkenazy conducting the
Philharmonia Orchestra.  This is
Kissin’s first recording of Prokofiev’s Concerto No 2.

Evgeny Kissin made his
concerto debut in Russia at the age of ten and caused an international
sensation three years later with the release of his recording of Chopin’s two
piano concertos.  Kissin proceeded
to record the major concerto repertoire while still in his teenage years.  In 2006, he recorded the Schumann A
minor and Mozart C minor concertos for EMI Classics, followed by the Beethoven
piano concertos cycle with Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra,
released in 2008.

collaboration between Evgeny Kissin and Vladimir Ashkenazy is an inspired
choice.  In addition to his renown
as a conductor, Russian-born Vladimir Ashkenazy is one of the finest pianists
of his generation and a champion of the Russian piano literature.  He has performed all five of
Prokofiev’s piano concertos on many occasions.  In 2000, he was named Conductor Laureate of the Philharmonia

composed his second piano concerto in 1912-13, when he was still a student at the
St. Petersburg Conservatory, yet he already had a reputation in both St.
Petersburg and Moscow as a brilliant pianist and composer.  He had begun playing the piano and
composing before he was six and had composed an opera by the age of nine.  At 13, Prokofiev enrolled at the St.
Petersburg Conservatory, where he studied under Rimsky-Korsakov, Liadov, and
Tcherepnin.  One of his teachers,
the composer Nicolas Miaskovsky, described Prokofiev’s second piano concerto
as, “very fresh and interesting, and in a more intimate vein than the first,
but also more difficult. … There are wonderful bits, quite novel and most
intriguing.”  But, at its debut in
1913, performed by the composer at Pavlovsk, a resort town near St. Petersburg,
the audience appeared startled and reacted strongly.  Some walked out of the hall.  The original score was subsequently lost.  When the composer reconstructed the
concerto ten years later and performed it at the Concerts Koussevitzky in Paris
in 1924, he had toned it down somewhat.

completed his third piano concerto in France in 1921.  He had begun work on it in Russia in 1911 but had taken time
out for extensive concert tours of the United States before resuming
composition in 1916-17.  The
thematic material includes ideas for a large virtuoso concerto jotted down as
early as 1911 and a theme for variations composed in 1913, as well as
additional themes sketched independently. 
In 1921, Prokofiev reviewed the material, chose some themes for his
concerto and saved others for subsequent compositions.  He was the soloist in the world
premiere of the concerto with the Chicago Symphony in December 1921 and
reprised the work the following month in New York.  A highly praised performance by the composer under Serge
Koussevitzky in Paris in 1922 confirmed the concerto’s status in the 20th-century
repertoire.  Today, No. 3 is the
most popular of Prokofiev’s five piano concertos.

A special
mini-site for the release is available

Handel: Messiah

Choir of King’s College, Cambridge / Stephen Cleobury

Academy of Ancient Music

CD available June 2 from EMI

“It’s not just rock
groups that rush-release live albums.”

– Independent (UK)

George Frideric Handel died on April 14, 1759.  To commemorate the momentous occasion of the 250th
anniversary of his death, the world-renowned King’s College Choir, Cambridge
performed Handel’s beloved oratorio, Messiah,
on Palm Sunday (April 5), 2009 under the direction of Stephen Cleobury, in the
magnificent surroundings of King’s College Chapel, one of the jewels of
Britain’s cultural and architectural heritage.  The concert, which teamed the choir with soloists of the
Royal Opera House (Ailish Tynan, soprano;
Alice Coote, mezzo-soprano; Allan Clayton, tenor; and Matthew Rose, bass) and the Academy of Ancient Music – was broadcast live via satellite to
cinema screens around the world, and, following its digital-only release last
month, now appears on a new CD from EMI Classics.

London’s Independent has already reviewed the
new album, and quite favorably, beginning cheekily with the observation, “It’s
not just rock groups that rush-release live albums,” and concluding, “Stephen
Cleobury’s interpretation ticks all the boxes, with choir and orchestra
impeccably balanced, and soloists glowing.”

Handel’s Messiah premiered in Dublin in 1742 and
is arguably the most popular work in the choral literature, performed by
amateurs and professionals alike both at Christmas time and during the Easter
season.  Additional movie
screenings of the King’s College performance, as well as an EMI Classics DVD
release, are planned for the 2009 holiday season.

Piotr Anderszewski at Carnegie Hall

Music by Bach, Schumann,
Janácek, Beethoven, and Bartók

Specially priced two-CD set and downloads
available June 2 from Virgin Classics

“It can be hard not to wax hyperbolic when confronted with the
pianist Piotr Anderszewski’s sensitive touch and potent imagination.”

New York Times review
of live performance at Carnegie Hall

December 2008, the Polish-Hungarian pianist Piotr Anderszewski made a live
recital recording in perhaps the world’s most famous venue: New York’s Carnegie
Hall.  By all accounts – and as
evidenced on the new recording – it was an unforgettable event, showcasing this
remarkable artist’s singular interpretative gifts and deeply expressive style.

wide-ranging and emotionally gripping program of music by Bach, Schumann, Janácek, and Beethoven, followed by three
Bartók encores (as detailed on the track list below), held the audience
spellbound and was greeted with enthusiastic critical acclaim.  Steve Smith reported on the occasion
for the New York Times:

“From the initial Sinfonia of Bach’s
Partita No. 2 in C minor (BWV 826), which opened Mr. Anderszewski’s recital at
Carnegie Hall on Wednesday night, a frisson of drama ran through his delicate
balance of sound and space.  Every
contrapuntal strand was clearly discernible in his lucid, articulate
account.  The Sarabande was stately
and absorbing, and the closing Capriccio had a jaunty bounce.

“Similar qualities defined an
engaging performance of Schumann’s Faschingsschwank
aus Wien
.  Mr. Anderszewski
lingered over tender phrases in the Romanze, brought a tidal surge to the
Intermezzo, and maintained clarity at a blinding clip in the Finale.

“But with Janácek’s In the Mists, which opened the second
half of the program, Mr. Anderszewski dipped into deeper reserves of
expressiveness.  In each of the
four movements, a wistful melody curls through an opalescent harmonic haze
reminiscent of Debussy’s music, then breaks through like a memory growing more
acute and detailed.  In Mr.
Anderszewski’s hands, the second movement in particular seemed to evoke a bit
of nostalgic romance heard first with a distanced reserve, and again with a
vivid passion.

“The evening’s most overpowering
performance came in Beethoven.  Mr.
Anderszewski’s attention to dynamic markings, mostly of the soft and softer
variety, was fastidious, with exquisite results.”

A critic for
Chicago’s Sun-Times reviewed
Anderszewski performing the same program in Chicago:

“During the two
hours or so that they are onstage, artists like Anderszewski manage to create a
universe that seems utterly complete unto itself.  There is a sense of inevitability in their performance, a
feeling that the true essence of a composer’s intentions has been
discovered.  Especially when our
daily lives are battered by forces beyond our control, it is reassuring to
spend an afternoon in a world of such richly-calibrated balance.”

Track List 

CD 1

1. Applause

2-7. J.S. Bach: Partita No. 2 in C minor, BWV 826

8-12. Schumann: Faschingsschwank
aus Wien
, Op. 26

CD 2

1-4. Janácek: In the Mists

5-7. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major, Op. 110

8. Bartók: Three Hungarian Folksongs from the Csík District, Sz. 35a/BB
45b (Encore)

Thomas Adès: The Tempest

Kate Royal, Ian Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, Toby Spence, Philip
Langridge, etc.

& Chorus of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden / Thomas Adès

Two-CD set and digital downloads available
June 30 from EMI Classics

“A masterpiece of
airy beauty and eerie power.”

– Alex Ross, New Yorker

Following the success of his opera Powder Her Face, cutting-edge British composer Thomas Adès composed
his second work for the stage, inspired by Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  This
ambitious, striking work, featuring a libretto by Meredith Oakes, was premiered
at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2004 and in summer 2006 received its
U.S. premiere at the Santa Fe Opera.

Much has been made of the opera’s stunning musical range.  From the grindingly dissonant parts of
Act I to the sublimely lyrical love duet and quintet passacaglia in Act III,
the score surges with outpourings of emotion and harmonic clashes of tone and
color.  It is a towering
achievement from a young composer who has proven himself to be full of
innovation and expressive talent. 
According to New York Times
critic Anthony Tommasini, Adès’s Tempest
is the “music of a young master.”

The new recording is from a 2007 revival at the Royal Opera House,
with Adès himself conducting an all-star cast including Kate Royal, Ian
Bostridge, Simon Keenlyside, and Toby Spence.  Reviewing the live performance, Rupert Christiansen of London’s
Daily Telegraph
wrote, “It’s hard
to imagine a better case for the piece than the one made by this
performance.  Authoritatively
conducted by the composer…, it was blessed with a magnificent cast.”  Edward Seckerson of the Independent observed:

“In the
three years since its premiere, Thomas Adès and Meredith Oakes’s haunting
re-imagining of Shakespeare’s The Tempest has marinated in the
mind.  It now has the bearing of a
modern classic.  With a second, or
in my case, third visit, you really start to appreciate the ingenious way in
which Oakes alludes to Shakespeare without necessarily quoting him.  Then there is Adès’s instinctive
feeling for the pulse of the drama, his unerring sense of the magic that may
provide the key to ‘a brave new world’ where the sins of the parents might not
be revisited on the children.”

 Tavener: Requiem

Elin Manahan Thomas, Andrew Kennedy,
Josephine Knight, Ruth Palmer
Royal Liverpool
Philharmonic Orchestra & Chorus / Vasily Petrenko

CD and
downloads available June 2 from EMI Classics

“The work pivots around a lone cello around which swirl the waves of
choral harmony, the rolling percussion, the glinting brass, and the clear, pure
tone of soprano Elin Manahan Thomas. 
It’s accompanied here by
Eternal Memory and Mahashãkti, similarly possessed of comforting

 – Independent (U.K.)

EMI Classics is proud to release the world-premiere recording of
Sir John Tavener’s new Requiem.  In this transporting, multi-layered
work, the beloved composer incorporates numerous religious, philosophical, and
musical traditions, uniting them into a single expression of death as
transcendence and release from physical existence.

Sir John Tavener explains:

“The truest meaning
of this Requiem is contained in the
following words: ‘Our glory lies where we cease to exist.’  That is, where one’s ‘false-self’ is
extinguished, and our true ‘SELF’ shines forth.  Then, we have in a way become GOD…  But this realization is beyond almost all human beings,
which is why ‘RELIGION’ exists, and why the perennial truth of all of the great
religious traditions centers on this primordial truth – the absolute freedom
that results from this can only belong to the being, that liberated from the
conditions of manifested existence, has become absolutely ‘one’ with its
principal and its origin.  The
seventh movement of Requiem is a
musical expression of this, as the whole piece is a journey towards it.”

Reviewing the album for London’s Independent, Andy Gill observes:

“Recorded by the same
team that premiered the piece at Liverpool’s Metropolitan Cathedral last year –
the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir & Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko –
the seven-movement Requiem may be the
ultimate realization of John Tavener’s multi-faith attitudes, blending textual
fragments from Islamic, Hindu, and Christian sources, and incorporating Tibetan
temple bells and Native American drums alongside the orchestra. 

The new recording is rounded out with two beautiful pieces for the
talented solo string players, Ruth Palmer and Josephine Knight.

Lambarena: Bach to Africa

J.S. Bach & trad., arr.
Hughes de Courson and Pierre Akendengué

(An homage to Albert Schweitzer)

CD and
downloads available on June 2 from Virgin Classics

Lambarena: Bach to Africa is the very first concept album released by Hughes de Courson.  Issued originally by Sony, and now
available for the first time on Virgin Classics, the recording exemplifies the
composer’s unique fusion of classical European music with traditional music
from around the world.

Intended as an homage to the great Nobel Prize-winning
humanitarian Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), Lambarena:
Bach to Africa
fuses the music of J.S. Bach with the native harmonies and
rhythms of Africa.  The end result
is a fascinating fabric of sound, woven together from Gabonese chant voices and
the classical melodies of Bach, permeated throughout by the underlying rhythms
of the African forest.



J. S. Bach: “Jesus bleibet meine Freude” (No. 10) from Cantata BWV 147, sung by
Aurélien, a young child

Sandanka (trad.) with J.S. Bach:
“Lasset uns den night zerteilen” (No. 27b) from The Passion of St. John,
BWV 245

Mayingo (trad.) with Fugue on Mayingo in the style of Bach

J.S. Bach: “Herr, unser Herrscher” (No. 1) from The Passion of St. John,
BWV 245, accompanied by Sami Ateba on tam-tam and Naná Vasconcelos on

Mabo, maboe (trad.) with J.S. Bach: “Ruht
wohl, ihr heiligen Gebeine” (No. 39) from The
Passion of
St. John, BWV 245

Pepa nzac gnon ma (trad.) with J.S.
Bach: Prelude from Partita for Violin No. 3, BWV 1006

Mamoudo Na Sakka Baya Boudouma Ngombi
(trad.) with J.S. Bach: Prelude from Prelude and Fugue No. 14, BWV 883

J.S. Bach: Agnus Dei from Mass in B minor, BWV 232

Ikokou (trad.)

Inongo (trad.) with J.S. Bach:
Three-Part Invention No. 3 in D major, BWV 789

Okoukoué (trad.) with J.S. Bach: “Jesus
bleibet meine Freude” (No. 10) from Cantata BWV 147

J.S. Bach: “Ihr lieblichste Blicke” (No. 15) from Cantata BWV 208

J. S. Bach: “Jesus bleibet meine Freude” (No. 10) from Cantata BWV 147, with
extracts from Catherine Mapaga: Mousse


Special boxed sets, reissues, and

Pablo Casals: The Complete EMI Recordings

Pablo Casals, cello

Specially-priced nine-CD set and downloads available June 16 from EMI

This new specially-priced nine-CD boxed set offers the complete
recordings of legendary Spanish cellist Pablo Casals on EMI Classics.  Casals was a world-renowned cellist and
celebrated conductor (and a popular composer as well), whose recording of
Bach’s Cello Suites stands among the finest ever put to disc.

Along with the Bach Suites, the new set contains sonatas by
Beethoven and Brahms, the Dvorák and Elgar concertos, trios by Schubert,
Schumann, Mendelssohn, Haydn, and Beethoven, Bruch’s Kol Nidrei, other works by Boccherini and Tartini, and recordings
of Casals’s own compositions.

A luminary in the musical world, as well as a passionate opponent
to Franco’s Fascist regime in Spain, Casals was a remarkable man.  This set pays tribute to his powerful
and varied legacy.

American Classics series

Five new

and downloads available June 30 from EMI Classics

EMI Classics is proud to present the third
installment in its new American Classics series – single and double CD sets of
music exclusively from American composers.  These handsomely-packaged reissues and compilations feature
all genres of music, from symphonies, concertos, and solo instrumental works to
chamber music, songs, and opera.

These five new releases are as diverse in content as
America itself, with a disc of American ballets, a song recital by Nathan Gunn,
vocal and chamber works from Samuel Barber, symphonic pieces by Copland, and a
rousing version of Irving Berlin’s Annie
Get Your Gun
, with Kim Criswell and Thomas Hampson.

Program details follow.



Antheil: Capital of the World;
William Schuman: Undertow; Morton
Gould: Fall River Legend

Ballet Theatre Orchestra / Joseph Levine



Songs by Ives, Copland, Barber,
Rorem, Bolcom, Scheer, Holby, Niles, and Gorney

Nathan Gunn; Kevin Murphy

Samuel Barber: String Quartet; Serenade; Dover Beach; Songs

Thomas Allen; Roger Vignoles;
Endellion String Quartet

Irving Berlin: Annie Get Your Gun

Kim Criswell; Thomas Hampson

Ambrosian Chorus; London Sinfonietta /
John McGlinn

Aaron Copland: Symphony No. 3; Danzón
; Dance Symphony

Orquesta Filharmónica de la Ciudad de
México / Enrique Bátiz

Dallas Symphony Orchestra / Eduardo


The Very Best of Broadway

Gershwin; Berlin; Bernstein; Kern; Porter; Lerner & Loewe; Rodgers
& Hart; Weill

John McGlinn, conductor

Two-CD set and downloads available
June 30 from EMI Classics

EMI Classics has had a long
and storied history with the outstanding American conductor John McGlinn, who
passed away in February 2009.  Beginning
in 1986 with the Gershwin Overtures album, McGlinn made numerous recordings
(including five complete scores) for the label, most of them bestsellers.

This new two-CD set brings
together the greatest hits from his 23 years with EMI, offering a perfect
introduction to the both the conductor and Broadway music in general.  Singers include Kim Criswell, Frederica
von Stade, Teresa Stratas, Josephine Barstow, Rebecca Luker, Karla Burns, Jerry
Hadley, Brent Barrett, Lambert Wilson, Thomas Hampson, and Bruce Hubbard.

Track List 


1. Gershwin: Overture to Girl Crazy

2. Gershwin: “Somebody loves me”

3. Gershwin: “Swanee”

4. Porter: “I get a kick out of you”

5. Porter: “You’re the top”

6. Porter: “Anything Goes”

7. Porter: “Blow, Gabriel, blow”

8. Porter: “Night and Day”

9. Porter: “Wunderbar”

10. Porter: “Where is the life that late I led?”

11. Porter: “So in love” (reprise)

12. Porter: “Brush up your Shakespeare”

13. Porter: “I love Paris”

14. Berlin: “The girl that I marry”

15. Berlin: “You can’t get a man with a gun”

16. Berlin: “There’s no business like show business”

17. Berlin: “They say it’s wonderful”

18. Berlin: “My defenses are down”

19. Berlin: “I got the sun in the morning”

20. Berlin: “Anything you can do”


CD 2

1. Kern: Overture to Show Boat

2. Kern: “Where’s the mate for me?” “Make Believe”

3. Kern: “Ol’ Man River”

4. Kern: “Can’t help lovin’ dat man”

5. Kern: “You are love”

6. Kern: “Why do I love you?”

7. Kern: “Bill”

8. Kern: “The Song is You”

9. Kern: “Smoke gets in your eyes”

10. Youmans: “Tea for Two”

11. Rodgers: “Ten cents a dance”

12. Rodgers: “Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered”

13. Weill: “September Song”

14. Loewe: “The heather on the hill”

15. Loewe: “Almost like being in love”

16. Bernstein: “Maria”

17. Kern: “All the things you are”

Best 100 Wedding Classics

Various artists

Special six-for-the-price-of-one-CD set and downloads available
June 16 from EMI Classics

The latest in EMI Classics’ enormously successful Best 100 series is perhaps the most
extensive wedding music compilation ever assembled.  From the grandest ceremony imaginable to a small, intimate
gathering, there is music here for every type of occasion, all thematically
arranged as follows:

CD 1: Before the Ceremony; CD 2: Arrival Voluntaries; CD 3: Vows
and Prayers; CD 4: Signing the Register; CD 5: Communion; CD 6: Departure of
the Bride and Groom

With its unbeatable price (six-CD set for the price of one CD),
high artistic quality (over seven hours of music from the EMI Classics and
Virgin Classics catalogs), and its track record for success (over two million
sets sold worldwide), the Best 100
series is one of the best values on today’s classical music market.

EMI artists in the news: double victory at the Classical BRIT Awards

Classics celebrated a double victory at the 2009 Classical BRIT Awards, the
tenth anniversary show, which took place at the Royal Albert Hall on May 14,
2009.  Trumpeter Alison Balsom was
crowned Female Artist of the Year for the release of her recent album Haydn & Hummel: Trumpet Concertos
and Howard Goodall scooped Composer of the Year for his album Eternal Light – A Requiem.

being awarded Young British Classical Performer at the 2006 Classical BRIT
Awards, glamorous trumpeter Alison Balsom’s career has gone from strength to strength.  She is the only female classical
trumpeter with an exclusive major-label recording contract and at this year’s
Classical BRIT Awards she was both the sole British artist and the sole
instrumentalist nominated in the Female Artist of the Year category.  This is an impressive result for the
trumpet, an instrument that has been only rarely associated with female
performers and one that has always lost out in terms of popularity to the
voice.  Balsom comments: “The
trumpet is often thought of as a masculine instrument, so it’s fantastic on so
many levels to have the chance to bring the instrument center stage.”

Classics released Haydn & Hummel:
Trumpet Concertos
in October 2008 in the U.S.  A month later, the New
York Times
selected the album for its annual holiday gift guide, saying:
“Those who associate the trumpet with brash fanfares should listen to Alison
Balsom’s poetic renditions of concertos by Hummel, Haydn, Torelli, and Johann
Baptist Georg Neruda, all performed with a clear, soaring tone, virtuosic
technique, and elegant phrasing. 
Ms. Balsom is effectively matched by the vigorous playing of the
Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen.”

of her success, Balsom said: “Having won Best Young Performer at the Classical
BRITS in 2006, it’s such a thrill to have won a second time and to be nominated
alongside artists I really admire. 
The past few years have been so exciting, and to be a Brit winning a BRIT
makes it even more special.”

The Composer
of the Year award went to Howard Goodall for his choral work Eternal Light – A Requiem.  Howard Goodall is perhaps best known as
the composer of various popular TV themes such as Blackadder, Red Dwarf,and The
Vicar of Dibley
but is also a prodigious writer of choral music. 

Classics will release Eternal Light
in the U.S. in September, but the album is already available for digital

Critical acclaim for recent EMI
Classics and Virgin Classics releases

Martha Argerich and Gidon Kremer: The Berlin Recital

Music by
Schumann and Bartók

Argerich, piano; Gidon Kremer, violin

Released May 5 on EMI

“The brilliance of Martha Argerich is lauded often enough in these
pages, but it is a thrill to be reminded of Gidon Kremer’s transcendent
artistry.  For this Schumann and
Bartók recital is a meeting of musical equals, with both on top form…  Hearing these two build their
interpretations together and apart is like watching two great Shakespearean
actors, each pushing the other to greater heights…  Something of an instant classic.”

– James
Inverne, Gramophone,“Recording of the Month” June 2009

– Mélodies françaises

Philippe Jaroussky, countertenor

Jérôme Ducros, piano; Renaud Capuçon, violin; Gautier
Capuçon, cello

Released April 2009 on Virgin Classics

countertenor sensation Philippe Jaroussky breaks with Baroque typecasting with
a disc of 19th– and 20th-century mélodies…  Jaroussky’s
musical choices are excellent, and his intelligent, pristine singing holds the
listener throughout this well-organized recital.”

– Judith Malafronte, Opera News

of Silence
: Piano Concertos by Dalbavie and Lutoslawski; solo
works by Sorensen and Kurtág

Leif Ove Andsnes, piano

Radio Symphony Orchestra /
Franz Welser-Möst

Digital downloads available from April 2009 on EMI Classics
(CD release date TBA)

“Four years after its
co-commission by the Cleveland Orchestra, Marc-Andre Dalbavie’s Piano Concerto
is out in digital release.  Leif
Ove Andsnes, who played it here in 2006, turns in another entrancing performance,
now with Franz Welser-Möst, alternately rendering the work’s downward-scale
pattern as so many steely, ferocious waves and ruminative wanderings.  Rounding out the meaty recordings is
another work Andsnes has championed, Lutoslawski’s Piano Concerto, and Bent
Sorensen’s evocative The Shadows of
for solo piano.  Grade:

– Zachary
Lewis, Cleveland Plain Dealer

Furore! – Handel Opera Arias

DiDonato, mezzo-soprano

Les Talens
Lyriques / Christophe Rousset

January 2009 on Virgin Classics

“The flood tide of releases marking the 250th anniversary of
Handel’s death has brought us few more compelling aria collections than these
by two of opera’s hottest superstars [DiDonato and Villazon].
  The DiDonato disc shows the American
mezzo at her vibrant best as various betrayed, avenging, or distraught heroines
vent their rage in gloriously florid style.”

– John von Rhein, Chicago


Classics and Virgin Classics artists on tour – Summer 2009

4 Jonathan Biss at Ordway Center for the
Performing Arts, St. Paul, MN (also Jun 5 and 6)

Jul 3 Natalie Dessay makes role debut as Violetta in La traviata at Santa Fe Opera, NM (eleven performances through Aug

3 Jonathan Biss at Merrill Hall, Indiana
University, Bloomington, IN

17 Simon Trpceski at Aspen Music Festival,
Aspen, CO (also Jul 18)

25 Jonathan Biss plays Mozart’s Piano
Concerto No. 21 at Caramoor Center, Katonah NY

28 Leif Ove Andsnes opens Mostly Mozart
Festival at Lincoln Center in NYC (also Jul 29)

Jul 29 Piotr
Anderszewski at Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in NYC (also Jul 31
and Aug 1)

Aug 6 Jonathan
Biss at Ravinia Festival, Highland Park, IL

Aug 15 David
Fray with Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Festival, OH

Aug 21 David
Fray with Boston Symphony at Tanglewood Music Festival, MA


For further information contact:

Petry, 21C Media Group: (212)
625-2038,  [email protected]

Tada, EMI Classics: (212) 786-8964,  [email protected]

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