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Nielsen goes to New York

One of the world's leading symphony orchestras, the legendary New York Philharmonic, is to record all Carl Nielsen's symphonies and concertos for Dacapo Records. 

The unique collaboration between Denmark's national recording label Dacapo Records and one of the world's most prominent symphony orchestras, the New York Philharmonic, has come about thanks to a close dialogue with the orchestra's recently appointed music director, Alan Gilbert.

In the course of the next four years - up to 2015, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Carl Nielsen - the New York Philharmonic and Alan Gilbert will be giving concert performances of and recording Carl Nielsen's six symphonies and three solo concertos. The result will be a total of four CDs, the first of which will appear in the autumn of 2012, and the last of which is expected in 2015. The first CD will feature Nielsen's second and third symphonies, while the next in the series features three solo concertos performed with an international team of soloists consisting of the Canadian flautist Robert Langevin, the Puerto Rican clarinettist Ricardo Morales and the Danish violinist Nikolaj Znaider.

The recordings are a unique opportunity to market Carl Nielsen and Danish music in general abroad. The project is one of the most prominent export initiatives for Danish culture launched in recent years, and for the New York Philharmonic it is the biggest recording project in recent times.


Nielsen's time has come

After eight years as chief conductor of the Royal Swedish Philharmonic in Stockholm, Alan Gilbert, now music director of the New York Philharmonic, has developed a special interest in Scandinavian music. He says of Nielsen's music:

"Carl Nielsen's music comes out of a classic Germanic symphonic tradition, but it's so distinctly Danish! It's very gripping and has a craggy edge to it that is characteristic of life in the high North. I'm sure that Nielsen's time has now come, and I am looking forward to sharing this wonderful music with audiences and CD listeners."


A royal baton

The New York Philharmonic and Dacapo's so-called Nielsen Project was presented to the international press and HM the Queen at a press conference on 10 June at the Lincoln Center in New York City. The project is a continuation of a historic collaboration that has roots back in both the last generation's New York Philharmonic and earlier generations of the Danish Royal Family.

Dacapo Records' managing director Henrik Rørdam explains: "The New York Philharmonic has an old connection with Carl Nielsen's music. It was with this orchestra that Leonard Bernstein recorded Nielsen's symphonies and solo concertos back in the 1960s. At that time his work was followed with great interest by HM Queen Margrethe II's father, King Frederik IX, himself a keen amateur conductor. It would undoubtedly have pleased King Frederik to see that the baton is now being passed on to the next generation."


First-class sound productionand world-wide distribution

Dacapo Records has ensured that the New York Philharmonic's Nielsen recordings will be produced to the highest possible technical standards. The Danish production company Timbre Music has travelled across the Atlantic to capture the legendary orchestral sound in the new, exclusive format DXD (Digital eXtreme Definition) for the first gang in the history of the New York Philharmonic. This means that Nielsen's music will be experienced in first-class sound, in both stereo and Surround Sound, when it appears next autumn on both Super Audio CD and the new audio medium Pure Audio Blu-ray.

The new American Nielsen recording will be available to classical music lovers all over the world through Dacapo Records' international distribution agreement with Naxos, the world's largest independent distributor of classical music on CD and via download.


Photos from the press conference in New York on June 10

Music Director Alan Gilbert, his wife Kajsa William-Olsson and their daughter Noemi greeting Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark in front of Avery Fisher Hall for the event marking the launch of The Nielsen Project.


Credit: Chris Lee

Henrik Rørdam, CEO Dacapo Records, Music Director Alan Gilbert, Her Majesty the Queen of Denmark, Zarin Mehta, President & Executive Director of the New York Philharmonic and Ambassador Jarl Frijs-Madsen, Consul General of Denmark.


Credit: Chris Lee

Music Director of the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert.


Credit: Chris Lee

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