Read this and weep

Read this and weep


norman lebrecht

March 30, 2007

EMI is the label that introduced us to Schnabel, Richter, Argerich, Barenboim and Pollini. Myleene Klass is a pop singer who was chosen for stardom on a television talent contest and has followed up with appearances on reality shows. She has just signed to EMI Classics.
It would be tempting to imagine that an EMI producer, straying beneath her window in South London as she practised Chopin, decided that he was hearing the next Argerich; or that Simon Rattle conducting her in a concerto, demanded that his label sign this phenomenal performer.
The reality, which Myleene is so expert at simulating, is sadly otherwise. We don’t need to be told why ‘classical’ record labels sign ‘talent’ like Myleene. We know all too well.
Don’t ask who killed classical recording. The evidence is inscribed in its own press releases (after the jump).

Press Release
EMI Classics UK signs multi-album deal with Myleene Klass

On Friday 23rd March 2007 EMI Classics UK is delighted to announce the signing of a multi-album contract with classical pianist Myleene Klass. On top of the record contract, EMI Classics has created an ambassadorial role for Myleene to help build profile for EMI Classics and its artists over the coming months.
The albums under the series title ‘Myleene’s Music’ will be compiled from the EMI Classics catalogue, with the tracks on each album united by a particular lifestyle theme. Each 2-CD set will carry the added bonus of at least two tracks performed by Myleene herself on the piano to complement the theme of the album. The first album ‘Myleene’s Music for Romance’ featuring Myleene performing Ennio Morricone’s Cinema Paradiso and Erik Satie’s Six Gnossiennes No. 1 will be released in May 2007 and the remaining four will follow through to the new year.
Perhaps better known in recent months as the ‘Queen of the Jungle’ in ITV’s successful ‘I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here’ reality show, as a TV presenter for the new CNN International movie show ‘The Screening Room’ and as the new face of Marks & Spencer, Myleene is delighted to have the opportunity to return to her classical roots by forming a relationship with EMI Classics. Another exciting new development for Myleene will be starring in a new primetime Saturday night show on BBC1 ‘The National Lottery: The People’s Quiz’ which commences on Saturday 24th March and runs for 12 weeks.
In addition to her television roles, Myleene now hosts her own Sunday evening show on London’s Capital FM from 8-10pm as well as the Classic FM Breakfast Show every Sunday from 7-9am. The shows feature two hours of Myleene’s favourite pieces of music, providing the perfect soundtrack to Sunday mornings. She also writes a monthly feature in Classic FM Magazine entitled ‘Myleene’s Hot Property’, focusing on an up and coming young artist or group each month.
Myleene says of the new deal “I’m delighted to be working with such a great and well-established record label as EMI Classics – I really hope that my new collection of accessible lifestyle CDs will reach out to audiences who might not have tried classical music before or feel intimidated by it. There really is something here for everyone!”
EMI Classics was the obvious choice for Myleene, with its rich cultural heritage and back catalogue boasting such artistic legends as Maria Callas, Nigel Kennedy, Sir Simon Rattle and Maxim Vengerov as well as more recent successes Natasha Marsh, Alfie Boe, Alison Balsom and Natalie Clein.
Thomas Kaurich, Head of EMI Classics UK says “It’s great to have Myleene as the newest member on our roster of young and dynamic artists, and we are very excited about working with her. Her unique appeal, passion, and desire to bring classical music to a wider audience fits perfectly with our own EMI Classics ethos.”
Contrary to what most people may think, Myleene was a professionally trained classical musician long before she was spotted by the creators of the pop band Hear’Say. Myleene began playing the piano and her grandfather’s violin at age of four. She studied voice at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she also added harp to her repertoire. After completing her studies Myleene then won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music where she later graduated.
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  • Beate says:

    Not having heard anything of Myleene’s musical offerings I cannot comment on her quality. It seems that she has problems with both sides; from Lebrecht because she was on this awful TV show and he uses that to reflect on her playing ability (though to be fair, if she were brilliant, we would have heard of her sooner); and from EMI who blithely refer to her as ‘Myleene’ throughout the press release. I suspect this is not the normal way of writing about a classical musician – would they write about Nicola (Benedetti) or ‘Slava’ (Rostropovich) in the same way? Should I feel sorry for her or is she milking this for another Helfgott situation where a middling performer shoots to stardom for non-performing reasons?