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Dickon Stainer appointed President of Global Classics at Universal

Max Hole, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group (which includes Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon in its stable of classical labels) has promoted Dickon Stainer to a new position within Universal: President and CEO of Global Classics.

Stainer is a great-great-grandson of the composer John Stainer and as a child was head chorister at Ely Cathedral. He spent four years playing in the National Youth Orchestra of Great

Grigory Sokolov will allow selected live recordings to be released by DG

Grigory Sokolov signs exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon

Deutsche Grammophon has announced the exclusive signing of one of the world’s most enigmatic pianists, Grigory Sokolov. Sokolov, who according to DG’s press release ‘refuses to play pianos that are more than five years old’ and who doesn’t make studio recordings, will permit DG to release a 2008 recital from the Salzburg Festival in January 2015 featuring works by Chopin and Mozart. Mark Wilkinson, President of Deutsche Grammophon, said, ‘The wait is finally over, as we warmly welcome Maestro Sokolov to the Yellow Label, and herald a new and rare album release. Inspiring complete devotion from his extraordinary army of fans, many of whom aim to attend every single one of his extraordinary concerts, he is an “anti-star” par excellence. Critics and pianophiles alike have known of his work for many years, and we now want to connect the broadest possible audience with this life-affirming, revelatory and enigmatic artist.’

indication of the approach to the new release on DG.

‘The business of making records has worried me so much and I’m only just beginning to come to terms with it or, rather, I’ve found a solution. I’m delighted to say that I’ve made my last “studio” disc. From now on everything will be live, all or nothing, selected from a mountain of tapes waiting for me in Paris. I cause lots of problems because I don’t believe in editing and splicing – a bit of this, a bit of that. I never play anything the same way twice, the acoustics vary from hall to hall and so do the offstage noises of my audiences. My producers and engineers tear their hair out on my behalf but I refuse to compromise.’

Space for Tim Kirkby cartoon

Sokolov, who rarely grants interviews, spoke to Bryce Morrison in a fascinating interview for Gramophone in 1997, in which he described his views on recording, and which may give an


Gijs Leenaars to replace Simon Halsey in Berlin The Berlin Radio Choir has announced that Gijs Leenaars will replace Simon Halsey as its Principal Conductor and Artistic Director. He will begin his five-year contract on August 1, 2015.

Since 2012 Leenaars has been Principal Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Choir; he will not be extending that contract beyond 2015, so he can concentrate entirely on his new job. In May 2015 Halsey will become Conductor Laureate of the Berlin choir, which has enjoyed a particularly close relationship with Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic under his leadership. Julian Rachlin named Principal Guest of Royal Northern Sinfonia Following its appointment earlier this year of a Principal Conductor better known as a pianist, Lars Vogt, the Royal Northern Sinfonia now completes its artistic team with a Principal Guest Conductor better known as a violinist, Julian Rachlin.

Rachlin made his conducting debut with the orchestra in October 2013 and has since also conducted the Israel Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields.

As violinist, Rachlin was just 14 years old when he appeared as a soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic, still the youngest soloist to have appeared with that orchestra.

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