Pappano and Warner Classics renew recording contract

Martin Cullingford Mon 12th October 2015

Announcement follows release of the partnership's studio Aida

Pappano and Lemanski

Antonio Pappano is presented with a memento of his first 20 years with Warner Classics by Patrick Lemanski, Head of Classics, Warner Music UK (photo: Eliana Pelaggi)

Antonio Pappano and Warner Classics are to continue their long-standing recording relationship.

Music Director of The Royal Opera and of the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Pappno began working for the label – then called EMI Classics – 20 years ago. In subsequent years, Gramophone Awards to have emerged from the partnership include recordings of Rossini's Stabat mater, Puccini's Madama Butterfly, Rachaminov piano concertos with Leif Ove Andsnes, Massenet's Manon, Puccini's La Rondine, and a DVD of Verdi's Don Carlo.

The announcement was initially made at the recent launch of the new recording of Aida from Pappano and Warner Classics, featuring soloists Anja Harteros and Jonas Kaufmann, held at the Italian Cultural Institute in London and co-hosted by Gramophone. The release – which was Gramophone’s Recording of the Month in our Awards issue (read the review: Verdi's Aida) – has also since entered the UK Classical Charts at No 1. 

Though described as exclusive, the partnership, in common with those of most major artists, also allows scope for projects to appear on other labels – just as, indeed, Kaufmann, a Sony Classical artist, appears on this Warner Aida. Future projects between Pappano and Warner Classics include a new disc of songs with tenor Ian Bostridge to mark Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary year celebrations, Rossini’s Messa di Gloria, Bernstein symphonies and Mozart’s Requiem.

'I can enthusiastically say that I'm very happy that I will be continuing my relationship with Warner Classics,' says Pappano about the agreement. 'The bond is very strong indeed, and I am very lucky to have Alain Lanceron [President of Warner Classics and Erato] and his team on my side. This past season they showed tremendous courage and vision putting together the Aida project, a risk if there ever was one. This signal was very important to me personally and to the classical recording business as a whole. Difficult but important projects can and must be realised. Thank you Warner Classics and I am very much looking forward to our future together.'

Lanceron, meanwhile, recalled that 'The first recording Antonio Pappano made for us was as a pianist, a collection of Rossini songs with tenor Rockwell Blake. As conductor, he continued with a benchmark recording of La bohème starring Roberto Alagna. This was exactly 20 years ago but I remember it as if it were yesterday. Since then, Tony has remained exclusive to our label and his recording activities tell an ongoing success story across various genres – from operas, symphonies and concertos to intimate vocal recitals. The renewal of his exclusive contract means a great deal to me as the continuation of a collaboration – and friendship – that has already yielded such thrilling results. I’m delighted that the next chapter of this musical adventure will be written with Warner Classics.'

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