The Philadelphia Orchestra and Ondine announce their recording partnership (03.05.2005)

The Philadelphia Orchestra announced today the details of a new partnership with Ondine Records. The three-year agreement - the Orchestra's first recording contract in 10 years - includes a yearly extension option and calls for a minimum of three recordings to be released per year. The resumption of a regular recording program was one of Christoph Eschenbach's stated priorities when he assumed the position of music director of The Philadelphia Orchestra in 2003. The Orchestra will record, edit, and produce the recordings, which will be taken from live concerts, and Ondine will manufacture and distribute the final product to an international market. The first recording is scheduled to be released in fall 2005. Ondine, based in Finland, also records Christoph Eschenbach with the Orchestre de Paris.

Kevin Kleinmann, formerly vice president of PolyGram/Universal Classics, was instrumental in developing the partnership concept with Ondine and bringing the contract to fruition, and will serve as executive producer of the recordings made under the agreement with Ondine.

In the coming years, The Philadelphia Orchestra and Christoph Eschenbach will record many of its concerts, including works that reconnect the Orchestra with its rich recording history. Determining what recorded material will be best suited for distribution on the classical music record market will be a joint decision among The Philadelphia Orchestra, Mr. Eschenbach, and Ondine, following a review of the recorded material. Recorded works will include Béla Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 5, Bohuslav Martinu's Memorial to Lidice, and Gideon Klein's Partita for Strings, as well as some of the works in the Orchestra's multi-year Mahler cycle. It has been 25 years since The Philadelphia Orchestra recorded Bartók's Concerto for Orchestra. It was previously recorded three times under Eugene Ormandy - in 1954, 1963, and 1979. The Orchestra has recorded Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony seven times over a 71-year span. Mr. Eschenbach will be the Orchestra's fourth music director to record the full work. (The Orchestra recorded the second movement only in 1923 under Leopold Stokowski.) In addition, Mr. Eschenbach will share his artistic versatility by recording six movements (January - June) from Tchaikovsky's piano work The Seasons, his first extensive solo piano recordings in nearly 30 years.

For further information about the recording partnership, please also visit the website of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

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