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LTR: Dr Clemens Trautmann, Peter Gregson, Agnes Obel, Dustin O’Halloran and Christian Badzura; performance at last night’s event

Photos © Nick Spanos


22 JANUARY 2020 (TORONTO, ON) - Capitol Studios in Los Angeles hosted a star-studded celebration of Deutsche Grammophon’s commitment to the contemporary classical scene. The exclusive DG Composers’ Label Night shone the spotlight on the wealth of cutting-edge music created in recent years by DG artists, including Joep Beving, Peter Gregson, the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, Agnes Obel, Dustin O’Halloran and Max Richter, not to mention Hildur Guðnadóttir, currently riding a huge awards-season wave of success. On stage last night: Peter Gregson, Dustin O’Halloran and Agnes Obel, playing to an invited audience of industry professionals, including movie producers, media content providers, independent music supervisors and senior figures from Hollywood’s major film studios.


Peter Gregson and five fellow cellists opened the evening by performing music from Bach Recomposed, the Scottish composer-cellist’s critically acclaimed Deutsche Grammophon debut album. Oscar-nominated, Emmy Award-winning composer and pianist Dustin O’Halloran, one half of A Winged Victory for the Sullen, was joined by composer and producer Bryan Senti to perform a set of new pieces, before special guest Danish singer-songwriter and pianist Agnes Obel and her band delivered a sequence of songs from Myopia, her Deutsche Grammophon debut album, slated for international release on 21 February.


“For over 120 years Deutsche Grammophon has combined classical and contemporary music in its repertoire. It’s the diversity, the mix, that our global success is based on,” noted Frank Briegmann, CEO & President Universal Music Central Europe and Deutsche Grammophon. “We foster innovation while always prioritizing authenticity and staying true to our quality standards. The wide variety of styles and genres reflected in our 2020 Grammy nominations illustrate the multi-faceted nature of our work, with the nominees in classical categories standing side by side with the incredibly talented performers and composers of a new generation – it’s truly amazing. Our label night in Los Angeles shows our cultural commitment to promoting young composers. Congratulations to all artists and colleagues involved in this fantastic evening.”


Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, introduced the event as a showcase of the Yellow Label’s diverse contemporary output. As he said afterwards, “We put brand-new music at the centre of our Composers’ Label Night in Los Angeles, in stunning performances delivered in person by some of today’s most sought-after composers. It has always been Deutsche Grammophon’s strength to stay authentic and close to artistic processes, and this also best enables us to serve both consumers and our partners in the creative industries. We feel privileged that all leading studios and agencies were present. Recent successes and landmark releases from, among others, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Max Richter and Joep Beving, as well as the late Jóhann Jóhannsson and the legendary John Williams, have further encouraged DG’s new repertoire strategy, which we’re pursuing with a specialised team entirely dedicated to the composers on our roster.”


The Yellow Label’s engagement with contemporary composers dates back to acclaimed collaborations with such luminaries as Stockhausen, Berio, Philip Glass (world premiere recording of the Violin Concerto), Steve Reich (world premiere recording of Drumming) and Osvaldo Golijov (the Grammy Award-winning Ainadamar). Recent and upcoming DG releases of world premiere recordings with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Orchestra include new works by John Adams, Thomas Adès and Andrew Norman. Built on solid foundations, DG’s contemporary classical production continues to go from strength to strength.



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