Chandos is proud to announce that it has signed up six new exclusive artists to its label: the conductors Sir Andrew Davis and Edward Gardner, the violinist Jennifer Pike, the cellist and conductor Paul Watkins, the pianist Kathryn Stott, and the Aquarelle Guitar Quartet.

These new artists range from the young and up-and-coming (the highly promising Jennifer Pike) to the well established (Sir Andrew Davis, one of the world’s most renowned conductors and Edward Gardner, the Musical Director of the ENO), and all will contribute to Chandos’ recording policy of adding to its catalogue fresh and innovative repertoire with the best possible production values.

These artists will strengthen Chandos’ already impressive roster of performers, which includes such recent additions as the much-praised Karen Geoghegan and Jean-Efflam Bavouzet.

Ralph Couzens, the MD of Chandos Records, comments: ‘Chandos’ strength has been its dedication to providing great music, new and old, in great sound and by using artists who are able to provide great performances that stand the test of time. This new group of artists, with their different strengths, will take us forward, producing many exciting recording projects for the next thirty years, and I am very proud and honoured that they are all exclusive to the Chandos label.’

For Sir Andrew Davis, recording plans include large scale works for chorus and orchestra by Grainger with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and concertos and large-scale choral works by Delius with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. His first recording, to be released in November, will offer the complete music for The Crown of India by Elgar, performed by the BBC Philharmonic.

Edward Gardner, Music Director of English National Opera will record British orchestral songs this autumn with Susan Gritton and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra with whom he works regularly. Together with the BBC Symphony, Gardner will start a new series devoted to Polish music featuring works by Lutosławski in the first disc to be recorded next year. In recognition of his successful first season at ENO together with his commitment to music in the UK, Edward received the Royal Philharmonic Society Conductor award at the 2008 ceremony and earlier this year was awarded an Olivier for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Opera’.

Kathryn Stott will focus on French music, in the near term concentrating on solo piano and chamber works by Saint-Saëns, Fauré and Dutilleux, and teaming up with artists such as Christian Poltéra and the Hermitage Trio.

Jennifer Pike will start with a recording of works for violin and orchestra, including the Violin Concerto by Rózsa, whose Cello Concerto will be recorded by Paul Watkins for another volume in our series of the composer’s orchestral works. Both discs will feature the BBC Philharmonic conducted by Rumon Gamba. Paul Watkins will also record the cello sonatas of Martinů as part of an ongoing project of solo and concerto performances for Chandos.

Each of the new exclusive artists has issued a statement concerning the exclusive contract with Chandos Records:

Sir Andrew Davis: ‘I am delighted to have signed this exclusive new contract with Chandos Records. The opportunity to record works of some of my favourite composers for this great British label is enormously exciting and I am truly relishing the prospect.’

Edward Gardner: ‘I’m thrilled to be starting an association with Chandos – with its reputation and recording legacy, it will be a privilege for me to work together with the company, exploring known and lesser-known repertoire with some of the world’s top orchestras. I look forward to a long and fruitful partnership!’

Kathryn Stott: ‘When Ralph approached me at the end of last year to join Chandos on an exclusive contract, I couldn’t have been more delighted. Working with the Chandos team has been one of my great recording joys over the past decade and to make our relationship more of a commitment seems only natural. Our recording history already goes back to the very beginnings of both our careers, when Chandos made a recording of a programme I was filming for television. Since then, we have embarked on a fantastic mix of repertoire and the way Ralph and I discuss future projects couldn’t be easier – one really feels to be part of the family. So, it is with particular pleasure that we all go forwards together in this celebratory year for Chandos; our recording life and friendship will continue long into the future.’

Paul Watkins: ‘I am delighted to be forming a relationship with Chandos, one of the world’s outstanding independent labels. Our first two ‘unofficial’ projects, concertos by Richard Rodney Bennett and Cyril Scott, convinced me that Chandos was the label for me. They not only make atmospheric, detailed and rich recordings, but are also open to interesting and innovative repertoire. I’m eagerly looking forward to the future with this great company.’

Jennifer Pike: ‘I’m delighted to be joining such an active and highly regarded record label at this point in my career. The opportunity to record repertoire that is close to my heart, working with some of the wonderful artists and orchestras with whom Chandos work, is a very exciting step in my career.’

Aquarelle Guitar Quartet: ‘We are thrilled to be joining the Chandos family in this, its thirtieth anniversary year. To be associated with such a well-respected label is a real honour and we hope that our contribution will add to the tremendous success they have enjoyed over the last thirty years.’


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