Here is how the classical record industry is changing.
The Welsh baritone, a DG artist for 20 years, wants to do other stuff that may not be suited to the label. But he doesn’t want to end the relationship.
So here’s the deal: Bryn sets up a joint-venture label, Snowdonia Records, operating out of the DG garage but editorially independent and allowing Bryn to develop a range of talent other than his own.
If it succeeds, DG shares the credit. If it flops, it’s all Bryn’s fault. Press release below.
Deutsche Grammophon is proud to announce that 20 years after he first joined the label, Bryn Terfel has signed a new, exclusive, long-term recording agreement with the company. As part of the deal the award-winning Welsh bass-baritone has affirmed his commitment to supporting the next generation of classical musicians by creating a unique joint venture label with Berlin-based Deutsche Grammophon.
Utilising Terfel’s unique artistic network, experience and insight, newly-formed “Snowdonia Records” will seek to identify, develop and record new talent in the classical arena – both local Welsh and British talent, as well as artists from the international stage. Housed within Deutsche Grammophon’s international label stable, and supported by Vice President for A&R, Ute Fesquet, the new imprint will work across vocal, instrumental and choral music, with the first projects set to be announced in 2014.
“I am very excited, at this stage of my career, to get really involved in finding and nurturing new talent,” said Terfel, on the eve of his appearance at the Proms in “Die Walküre” conducted by Daniel Barenboim. “I want to help give young artists the opportunity to record – the same opportunity I was given when I myself joined Deutsche Grammophon over twenty years ago.”
Thought to be the first time a classical artist has worked on such a venture with a major label, the announcement comes ahead of Terfel’s latest album release on Deutsche Grammophon – “Homeward Bound”, featuring the legendary Mormon Tabernacle Choir. This is the most ambitious studio album ever made in the label’s 115-year history, involving 360 choir members, 150 orchestral musicians, 2 guest singers, a conductor and a soloist. The project reunites Terfel with the Salt Lake City choir a decade on from his first appearance at its annual Christmas concert.
Highlighting the strong Welsh connections with the choir – some of the founding members in the mid-nineteenth century included Welsh immigrants – the new album features folk songs, hymns, spirituals, popular classics, and new songs, including “Faith’s Call”, written especially for Bryn and the Choir by Royal Wedding composer, Paul Mealor.
Commenting on the new partnership, Deutsche Grammophon’s Mark Wilkinson said: “We couldn’t be happier. I have been lucky enough to work closely with Bryn and his team for nearly 15 years now, so having the chance to make more records, and discover new emerging performers with him, is something that I and the whole label are looking forward to.”