Deutsche Grammophon (DGG) is a German classical music record label that was the precursor of the corporation PolyGram. Headquarted in Berlin Friedrichshain, it is now part of Universal Music Group (UMG) since its merger with the UMG family of labels in 1999. It is the oldest surviving established record company.
|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Country of origin||Germany|
|Location||Stralauer Allee 1|
Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft was founded in 1898 by German-born United States citizen Emile Berliner as the German branch of his Berliner Gramophone Company. Berliner sent his nephew Joseph Sanders from America to set up operations. Based in the city of Hanover (the founder's birthplace), the company was the German affiliate of the U.S. Victor Talking Machine Company and the British Gramophone Company, but that affiliation ended with the outbreak of World War I in 1914. Though no longer connected to the British Gramophone Company, Deutsche Grammophon continued to use the "His Master's Voice" trademark featuring the dog Nipper in Germany until the late 1940s.
In 1941, Deutsche Grammophon was purchased by the Siemens & Halske electronics company.
In 1949, Deutsche Grammophon sold the German rights of the His Master's Voice trademark to the Electrola unit of EMI. The dog and gramophone were replaced by the crown of tulips, designed by Siemens advertising consultant Hans Domizlaff.
In 1962 Siemens formed a joint venture with Netherlands-based Philips to create the DGG/PPI Record Group, which became PolyGram Records in 1972. By this time, DGG had built a reputation for high-quality recording in the classical field as well as a notable roster of contracted singers, musicians, and conductors. Through its subsidiary label Archiv Produktion it also stimulated interest in Western medieval and renaissance music, 15th–16th century choral polyphony, Gregorian chant, and pioneering use of historical instruments and performance practices in recordings.
Deutsche Grammophon pioneered the introduction of the compact disc to the mass market, debuting classical music performed by Herbert von Karajan and the Berlin Philharmonic for sale in the new medium in 1983, the first recording being Richard Strauss's Eine Alpensinfonie.
DGG/Polydor's entrance into the US market in 1969 (DGG had distribution deals in the US with Decca Records and MGM Records beforehand) came at a time when the big US classical music labels RCA Victor Red Seal and Columbia Masterworks were dropping their unlucrative classical artists and pressing poor-quality records. The fine quality both of recording and of pressings helped DGG succeed in America and attract artists such as Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra (after a 35-year association with RCA Victor) to DGG/Polydor. In 1987 Siemens sold off its interest in PolyGram, and Philips became the majority shareholder. In 1998, the Seagram company of Canada purchased Deutsche Grammophon and PolyGram on behalf of its Universal Music Group subsidiary. Since then, UMG was sold and became a division of Vivendi.
Deutsche Grammophon has a huge back catalogue of notable recordings. The company is reissuing a portion of it in its Originals series; compact disc releases are noted for their vinyl record stylized design. It is also releasing some of American Decca Records' albums from the 1940s and 1950s, such as those that Leonard Bernstein made for Decca in 1953, and the classic Christmas album that features Ronald Colman's starring in A Christmas Carol and Charles Laughton's narrating Mr. Pickwick's Christmas. Along with the American Decca Records classical music catalogue, Deutsche Grammophon also manages the classical music catalogue of ABC Records, including Westminster Records which, along with American Decca, were part of MCA Records.
Although Deutsche Grammophon acquired the reputation of releasing mainstream classical recordings, from the 1960s onwards it released an increasing number of avant-garde recordings (initially under the Avant-Garde imprint), including Bruno Maderna, David Bedford, Cornelius Cardew, Luigi Nono and improvisations. It also released the majority of the compositions of Karlheinz Stockhausen until the composer bought the rights to the recordings and re-released them on his own label. Other German composers associated with the label included Paul Hindemith and Hans Werner Henze.
Contemporary composers whose works were released by Deutsche Grammophon include Sofia Gubaidulina, Oliver Knussen, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Mohammed Fairouz, Péter Eötvös, Luigi Nono, Sven Helbig, Jonny Greenwood, Bryce Dessner, Witold Lutosławski, Philip Glass and Max Richter.
The conductor most associated with the label is Herbert von Karajan. Other conductors under contract included Ferenc Fricsay, Carlos Kleiber, Karl Böhm, Karl Richter, Eugen Jochum, Rafael Kubelík, Leonard Bernstein, Pierre Boulez, Claudio Abbado, and Christian Thielemann. Recent signings include Long Yu, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Gustavo Dudamel, and Myung-whun Chung.
Anna Yuryevna Netrebko (Russian: Анна Юрьевна Нетребко, born 18 September 1971) is a Russian operatic soprano. She holds dual Russian and Austrian citizenships and resides in Vienna, Austria, and in New York City. She is a frequent guest of the Metropolitan Opera, Vienna State Opera, Mariinsky Theatre, and Royal Opera House in London.Anne Sofie von Otter
Anne Sofie von Otter (born 9 May 1955) is a Swedish mezzo-soprano. Her repertoire encompasses lieder, operas, oratorios and also rock and pop songs.Anoushka Shankar
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Carlos Kleiber (3 July 1930 – 13 July 2004) was a German-born Austrian conductor who is widely regarded as being among the greatest conductors of the 20th century.Edith Mathis
Edith Mathis (born 11 February 1938) is a Swiss soprano and a leading exponent of the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart worldwide. She is known for parts in Mozart operas, but also took part in premieres of operas such as Henze's Der junge Lord.
Her voice was featured in a key scene of the film, The Shawshank Redemption, joining with that of Gundula Janowitz in a duet from Le Nozze di Figaro, "soar[ing] over a prison yard, signifying joy and hope in a world of despair," according to a 2014 article in The New York Times.Emerson String Quartet
The Emerson String Quartet, also known as the Emerson Quartet, is a professional string ensemble – in residence at the Stony Brook University. During the 1980s the musical ensemble was in residence at The Hartt School located in West Hartford, Connecticut. Choosing American poet and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson as namesake, the quartet formed at the Juilliard School as a student ensemble. They turned professional in 1976, with both of their violinists having studied under the tutelage of the renowned Oscar Shumsky, alternating as first and second violinists. When it was formed, the Emerson Quartet was one of the first with the two violinists alternating chairs.The Emerson Quartet was inducted into the Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2010. As of May 2014, they have released more than thirty albums and won nine Grammy Awards, as well as the prestigious Avery Fisher Prize.Il Sogno
Il Sogno is the 20th studio album by Elvis Costello, released in 2004 by Deutsche Grammophon. It is performed by the London Symphony Orchestra conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas, recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London. It peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Classical Music albums chart.Katia Ricciarelli
Katia Ricciarelli (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkatja rittʃaˈrɛlli]; born 16 January, 1946) is an Italian soprano.Krystian Zimerman
Krystian Zimerman (born 5 December 1956, Zabrze) is a Polish pianist and conductor who has been described as one of the finest living pianists. In 1975, he won the IX International Chopin Piano Competition.Mischa Maisky
Mischa Maisky (Latvian: Miša Maiskis, Hebrew: מישה מייסקי; born January 10, 1948) is a Soviet-born Israeli cellist.Narciso Yepes
Narciso Yepes (14 November 1927 – 3 May 1997) was a Spanish guitarist. He is considered one of the finest virtuoso classical guitarists of the twentieth century.Plácido Domingo discography
Plácido Domingo has made hundreds of opera performances, music albums, and concert recordings throughout his career as an operatic tenor. From his first operatic leading role as Alfredo in La traviata in 1961, his major debuts continued in swift succession: Tosca at the Hamburg State Opera and Don Carlos at the Vienna State Opera in 1967; Adriana Lecouvreur at the Metropolitan Opera, Turandot in Verona Arena and La bohème in San Francisco in 1969; La Gioconda in 1970; Tosca in Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 1971; La bohème at the Bavarian State Opera in 1972; Il trovatore at the Paris Opéra in 1973 and Don Carlo at the Salzburg Festival in 1975, Parsifal in 1992 at the Bayreuth Festival; and the list continues until today; the same role is often recorded more than once.Other than full-length opera performance recordings, Domingo has also made many music albums, recording opera arias, live opera performances and concerts, and crossover songs in solo and duet. His albums have simultaneously appeared on Billboard charts of best-selling classical and crossover recordings; contributing to many gold and platinum records and nine Grammy awards.Below are the lists of his recordings in full-length opera performances, music albums and compilation albums (including concerts) with other singers. However, the lists cannot be used to reflect his total number of performances because some of his operas and concerts have never been recorded and commercialized out of the stage.Polydor Records
Polydor is a British record label and company, that operates as part of Universal Music Group. It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. In turn, Polydor distributes Interscope releases in the United Kingdom. Polydor Records Ltd. was established in London in 1954 as a British subsidiary of German company Deutsche Grammophon GmbH. It was renamed Polydor Ltd. in 1972.
Its artists have included The Moody Blues, The Who, Samantha Mumba, Years & Years, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Slade, Bee Gees, The Jam, Cheryl and Girls Aloud, The Saturdays, Take That, James Brown, Fickle Friends, The Fauves, Ellie Goulding, Duffy, James Blake, Snow Patrol, Elbow, Status Quo, Elton John, Marie Osmond, Waldo de los Ríos, and American artists Lana Del Rey, Soraya, Haim, Keith O'Conner Murphy, LANY, and Azealia Banks.Prima Donna (Rufus Wainwright album)
Prima Donna is a double album recording of Rufus Wainwright's 2009 opera of the same name, released internationally by the German classical record label Deutsche Grammophon (Universal Music Group) on September 11, 2015 and on October 2, 2015 in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The recording features performances by Janis Kelly, Kathryn Guthrie, Antonio Figueroa, Richard Morrison, and Jayce Ogren conducting the BBC Symphony Orchestra. The album's release coincided with Prima Donna: A Symphonic Visual Concert.Rafael Kubelík
Rafael Jeroným Kubelík (29 June 1914 – 11 August 1996) was a Czech-born conductor and composer.
Son of a well-known violinist, Jan Kubelík, he was trained in Prague, and made his debut with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra at the age of 19. Having managed to maintain a career in Czechoslovakia under the Nazi occupation, he refused to work under what he considered a "second tyranny" after the Communist Czechoslovak coup d'état of 1948, and took refuge in Britain. He became a Swiss citizen in 1967.
Kubelík was music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (1950–53), musical director of The Royal Opera, Covent Garden (1955–58), and music director of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (1961–79), and was a frequent guest conductor for leading orchestras in Europe and America.
As a composer, Kubelík wrote in a neo-romantic idiom. His works include five operas, three symphonies, chamber music, choral works, and songs.Rolando Villazón
Rolando Villazón Mauleón (born February 22, 1972) is a French/Mexican tenor. He now lives in France, and in 2007 he became a French citizen.Villazón has published several books, including the novels Malabares and Paladas de sombra contra la oscuridad which have been translated into French and German. He is a member of the Collège de 'Pataphysique in Paris.Sergiu Celibidache
Sergiu Celibidache (Romanian: [ˈserdʒju tʃelibiˈdake]; 11 July [O.S. 28 June] 1912, Roman, Romania – 14 August 1996, La Neuville-sur-Essonne, France) was a Romanian conductor, composer, musical theorist, and teacher. Educated in his native Romania, and later in Paris and Berlin, Celibidache's career in music spanned over five decades, including tenures as principal conductor for the Munich Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Sicilian Symphony Orchestra and several European orchestras. Later in life, he taught at Mainz University in Germany and the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Celibidache frequently refused to release his performances on commercial recordings during his lifetime, claiming that a listener could not obtain a "transcendental experience" outside the concert hall. Many of the recordings of his performances were released posthumously. Nonetheless, he earned international acclaim for celebrated interpretations of the classical music repertoire and was known for a spirited performance style informed by his study and experiences in Zen Buddhism. He is regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century.Shlomo Mintz
Shlomo Mintz (Hebrew: שלמה מינץ) (born 30 October 1957) is an Israeli violin virtuoso, violist and conductor. He regularly appears with orchestras and conductors on the international scene and is heard in recitals and chamber music concerts around the world.The Journey and the Labyrinth
The Journey and the Labyrinth is a live music album performed by Sting and Edin Karamazov. It was released in 2007 on Deutsche Grammophon.