BERLIN, GR (CelebrityAccess) – Deutsche Grammophon, the world’s oldest record label, is celebrating its 120th anniversary this year. According to Billboard, the Yellow Label, as it is affectionately known, will be marking the momentous occasion with a big birthday bash.
The party, which will take place on October 10th at the site of Beijing’s historic Imperial Ancestral Temple (Taimiao) just outside the Forbidden City, will be part of an ambitious year-long international programme of activities dubbed DG120 aimed at celebrating the label’s rich and storied history.
Key DG120 events include an on-site performance by the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Long Yu, performances at Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts by the Berlin Staatskapelle and Maestro Barenboim, as well as further concerts throughout the year from DG’s roster of artists which currently includes Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lang Lang, Seong-Jin Cho, and Max Richter among others.
To coincide with the 120th anniversary, DG and Google Arts & Culture will also be creating digitized versions of a number of rediscovered and previously unreleased tracks. Among the tracks, which are being extracted from rare Galvano metal masters found in the DG archives and originally recorded in the early 1900s, are readings done by iconic Russian author Leo Tolstoy, early recordings by American jazz legend Louis Armstrong, and countless other gems.
From these incredible finds, the label plans to release some four hundred shellac records over the next several months, with the first 40 out today. Additionally, DG has a special 120-CD cross-genre anniversary collection spanning 120 years of recorded music, due out in September.
Other DG120 products on the way include a vinyl edition of Herbert von Karajan’s 1963 cycle of Beethoven’s nine symphonies, which will be issued in a limited edtion of 1,200 box sets and in a super limited deluxe version (only 120 copies will be available), a range of exclusive merchandise, a revised and updated version of State of the Art: Deutsche Grammophon – The Story (available in German/English, French and English/Mandarin editions), and lastly a mini-series documentary that explores the art of recording as invented by the Yellow Label itself.
Commenting on the forthcoming DG120 festivities, Clemens Trautmann, president of Deutsche Grammophon said: “These are exciting times for classical music. Deutsche Grammophon’s 120th anniversary is about sharing classical music’s emotional force and expressive beauty with as many people as possible around the world. The Yellow Label’s founders used new technology to inspire millions and — together with our family of artists — we are determined to continue what they started as we engage established and future audiences with our DG120 campaign.”