Record news: EMI refugee lands new label

Under the terms of the takeover of EMI Classics by Universal, none of the EMI artists can appear on DG or Decca for the next ten years.

That left many of them in limbo, some struggling on with rump Warner Classics, others pursuing opportunities on niche labels.

We were delighted to hear today that Gabriela Montero, the brilliant Venezuelan pianist and composer, has signed with boutique label Orchid. A refugee from the Caracas regime, Gabi will launch with a Rachmaninov concerto.

 

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  • Before Myung-Whun Chung’s tenure, which started 9 years ago, the Seoul Phil was a second-rate (or even third-rate) provincial orchestra. Chung has re-built the orchestra from scratch, which is a rare feat in nowadays’s jet-setting times, and the orchestra has become an excellent one – the Deutsche Grammophon recordings and the international concert are shining proof of its impessive growth. Still, the orchestra needs to grow and to stabilize, and for this it surely needs a committed maestro of Chung’s stature for years ahead. If Chung resigns, things don’t look too rosy for the Seoul Phil. In Korea, there exists no possible candidate for replacing Chung, and no important foreign maestro would consider taking the post (especially considering the general institutional instability in Korea and the current CEO’s dubious reputation). To keep the orchestra in the right course it needs both Chung’s musicianship and his rootedness in Korean culture and society which is highly complex and nearly impenetrable for people from abroad. If Chung resigns, the following scenario is likely to happen: the politically well-connected CEO Park will search for a politically likewise well-connected local conductor. A steep decline into mediocrity will follow and the only Korean orchestra of international stature will fall into obscurity.

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