Partnership for digital age

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Published: 2nd September, 2014

It’s good news for lovers of classical music as Unitel Classica and Deutsche Grammophon renew their partnership, extending their market in global digital platforms, the two companies have just announced.

Unitel Classica, one of the world’s leading producers and distributors of classical music for audiovisual media, and Deutsche Grammophon, the world’s foremost classical record label, have renewed their partnership for a further ten-year term and for the first time included digital exploitation.

The current agreement, which covers well over 100 music projects, has been expanded to encompass digital rights so that a curated selection of concerts, recitals and operas will now be available to buy, rent and stream on global digital platforms. This will include an exclusive new series with iTunes – “Classical Video Essentials” – set for launch by the end of 2014. In addition, plans are in place for the release of a rich variety of new productions and events over the coming years, such as a new Max Raabe and Palast Orchester concert from Berlin’s Admiralspalast this November.

Mark Wilkinson, President of Deutsche Grammophon, says: “Unitel is one of the most important producers of audiovisual music recordings in the world, and our collaboration with them immensely enriches our library of works.”

The Unitel/Deutsche Grammophon catalogues already include best-selling and award-winning content featuring Anna Netrebko, Herbert von Karajan, Gustavo Dudamel, Leonard Bernstein, Rolando Villazón, Christian Thielemann and many more top-line artists.

Unitel produces operas, concerts, operettas and ballets with acclaimed artists and in the highest technical quality, and currently offers a film stock of 1,400 productions. Founded by Herbert von Karajan and Leo Kirch more than 40 years ago it was one of the first companies to produce music films in colour and stereo, and records today exclusively in HDTV picture quality.

Since 2004 Unitel and DG have together released high-profile productions that include the celebrated Salzburg Festival production of Verdi’s La traviata with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón; the sensational M22 project of the 2006 Salzburg Festival which entailed recording all 22 of Mozart’s stage works for TV, DVD and new media; and the theatrical film of La bohème, again with Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón.

Jan Mojto, Unitel’s CEO, says: “The collaborative expansion into the digital space is particularly exciting, as classical music lovers from around the world continue to embrace the ever-growing medium and its many opportunities to access and enjoy music as it is meant to be.”

Information supplied to Classic Melbourne in a Media release