DECCA CLASSICS’, THE SOUND OF SUMMER, GATHERS FRIENDS, ARTISTS & COLLEAGUES IN LONDON TO CELEBRATE A STELLAR YEAR IN CLASSICAL MUSIC & THE LABEL’S 90TH ANNIVERSARY
MILOŠ & ISATA KANNEH-MASON PERFORM
RENÉE FLEMING TOASTS 25 YEARS ON THE LABEL
04 JULY 2019 (TORONTO, ON) - Decca’s 90th birthday celebrations continued last night as artists, colleagues, key media and friends joined together at Dartmouth House in London for the 2019 Decca Classics Summer Drinks. There were performances from two of the label’s most exciting young artists – MILOŠ and Isata Kanneh-Mason – as well as a special Q&A with the legendary soprano Renée Fleming, now in her 25th year on Decca.
Superstar classical guitarist MILOŠ gave guests the first taste of tracks from his forthcoming album, Sound of Silence, which will be released in September. The new recording – his first on Decca Classics – marks a triumphant return after a three year break due to injury. Also performing at the event was 23-year-old pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason, whose debut album, Romance, is released this Friday. She played music by Clara Schumann in celebration of the composer’s 200th anniversary later this year.
There was also a touching moment at the event honouring one of Decca’s most long-lasting artist relationships. Beloved American soprano Renée Fleming accepted an award marking her 25th anniversary on the label and over 2 million albums sold. Currently residing in London for her acclaimed run in The Light in the Piazza at the Southbank Centre, Renée recently released her latest album, Lieder, dedicated to the songs of Brahms, Schumann and Mahler.
Decca Classics is proud to be home to a sensational generation of young classical artists. 2018 saw the global break out success of cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, as well as label debuts by violinists Ray Chen and Hilary Hahn – the latter releasing her long-awaited second set of Bach solo violin works. In the first months of 2019, Decca Classics has already launched the recording careers of two of the most talked about artists of this year: saxophonist Jess Gillam from Cumbria and Norwegian soprano Lise Davidsen, both debuting at No. 1 in the UK classical charts. With the imminent release of Isata Kanneh-Mason’s first album and MILOŠ making his Decca Classics label debut later this year, Decca continues its strong commitment to young artists.
Simultaneously, the label has been busy celebrating its rich and diverse history as part of its 90th anniversary. The Decca Classics Summer Drinks represents the latest installment in a year-long celebration, which began with events in Paris, Berlin and London in February this year. There has also been a special focus on one of the label’s most iconic catalogue artists, Luciano Pavarotti, with the release of Ron Howard’s feature film documentary, coming to cinemas in the UK on 13th July.
Dr. Alexander Buhr, Managing Director of the Decca Classical Label Group, said: “Decca Classics is a label like no other – combining a great history with a vibrant roster of today’s leading performers and a unique generation of young musicians. Bringing so many artists, friends and colleagues together to celebrate in London, where the label first began, is a true joy.”
Decca Classics is home to internationally-renowned musicians who continue to push boundaries in classical music. Artists including Cecilia Bartoli, Nicola Benedetti, Riccardo Chailly, Mitsuko Uchida, VOCES8, Benjamin Grosvenor, Janine Jansen, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Aida Garifullina and Joseph Calleja continue to wow audiences in concert halls and opera houses around the world.
ABOUT ISATA KANNEH-MASON
A postgraduate student at London’s Royal Academy of Music, Isata Kanneh-Mason first stepped into the spotlight when she competed in the final of the piano category at the 2014 BBC Young Musician competition. She completed her undergraduate studies at London’s Royal Academy of Music as an Elton John scholar. Now a postgraduate student at the Academy, Isata has embarked on a successful and increasingly busy concert career as a solo artist, with concerto appearances, solo recitals and chamber concerts throughout the UK and abroad. Isata also continues to perform with her siblings, including regular duo recitals with her brother, the cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason.
Highlights this season include appearances at the Lucerne Festival, Zurich Tonhalle, Wigmore Hall, Amsterdam Concertgebouw and an extensive US tour, including her debut recital at New York’s Carnegie Hall with Sheku. This July sees the release of Isata’s first recording for Decca Classics, Romance, an album of Clara Schumann’s piano music in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the composer’s birth. At the centre of the album is the piano concerto, recorded with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and conductor Holly Mathieson.
ABOUT RENÉE FLEMING
Known for her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry, and compelling stage presence, Renée Fleming appears on the world’s leading opera stages and in concert halls, and has been an exclusive Decca artist for over 25 years. Winner of the U.S. National Medal of Arts and Female Artist of the Year at the 2018 Classic Brit Awards, the “people’s diva” has been sought after for numerous distinguished occasions, from the Nobel Peace Prizeceremony to the Diamond Jubilee Concert for HM Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
Her latest release on Decca Classics, Lieder, features songs by Brahms, Schumann, and Mahler, each of whom bring Romantic poetry to life through exquisite word-setting and sublime melody. Fleming is joined by Christian Thielemann and the Munich Philharmonic in a breathtaking performance of Mahler’s Rückert Lieder. For songs of Brahms, including the beloved Brahms’ Lullaby, she is partnered by her long-standing artistic collaborator Hartmut Höll on piano. Fleming and Höll also perform Schumann’s Frauenliebe und-leben, recorded after extensive Europe-wide touring, and described as a “youthful, buoyant, uplifting outpouring of love” (Financial Times).
Born in Montenegro in 1983, MILOŠ came to international attention in 2011 with his debut album Mediterráneo. In the space of just a few months, it had topped classical charts around the world, won him Gramophone’s Young Artist of the Year Award and went on to sell 250,000 copies around the world. He released his second album Latino in 2012 and went on to receive both Classic BRIT and Echo Klassik awards. 2012 was also a breakthrough year on the concert stage with sold-out debut performances and tours in the UK, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the USA, Canada, Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Australia. In 2014, he released his album Aranjuez, recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. It was followed by Blackbird – The Beatles Album in 2016.
MILOŠ has been the recipient of many national and international prizes, including the Julian Bream Prize. He is a passionate supporter of music education and acts as a Patron of the Mayor of London Fund for Young Musicians and the charity Awards for Young Musicians. He is passionate about bringing classical guitar to the widest possible audience. Following a hiatus due to injury MILOŠ made a triumphant returned to the concert hall at the 2018 Proms and is preparing for his first album release on Decca Classics, Sound of Silence, planned for September 2019.
ABOUT DECCA CLASSICS:
Decca is a legendary British record company established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Like its sister label Decca Records, Decca Classics is a label of great diversity, particularly renowned for its opera recordings and sound engineering, and home to many of the world’s most distinguished classical artists, such as Luciano Pavarotti, Nicola Benedetti, Joseph Calleja, Janine Jansen, Benjamin Grosvenor, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Cecilia Bartoli, Renée Fleming, Sir Georg Solti and Riccardo Chailly.
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