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Toronto Symphony Signs Three-Year Recording Deal with Harmonia Mundi

The deal will see the orchestra make three large-scale recordings on the French label


The Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has struck a new three-year recording partnership with the independent French label Harmonia Mundi. This landmark deal represents the first time in which Harmonia Mundi has afforded such a major project to an orchestra from North America.

Over the course of the partnership, the TSO will make three recordings, including Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie, Stravinsky's ballet Pulcinella, and Bartók’s ballet The Miraculous Mandarin — as well as two new works by the Canadian composers Kelly-Marie Murphy and Emilie LeBel.

Founded in France in 1958, Harmonia Mundi is part of the Belgian group PIAS — which specializes in independent recording. The label is responsible for raising the profiles of a number of prominent musicians, including Isabelle Faust, Emmanuelle Bertrand, Alexander Melnikov, and Jean-Guihen Queyras.

"I deeply enjoy my long-standing relationship with Harmonia Mundi, and am very inspired by this opportunity to bring that relationship to Toronto," said Gustavo Gimeno, the TSO's Music Director. "So when I was asked to select a work from the entirety of the repertoire, for my first recording with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, my decision was immediate."

"Not only is Olivier Messiaen’s Turangalîla-Symphonie historically significant to the TSO — as TSO Music Director Seiji Ozawa recorded it with the orchestra in 1968 — but it also embodies the sense of forward-looking intrepidity that characterizes both the orchestra and the label. This new artistic alliance is wonderfully apt, and I am thrilled to be a part of it."

"I'm delighted to be starting this collaboration with such a prestigious orchestra as the TSO," said Christian Girardin, the Director of Harmonia Mundi. "Each new signing in the world of symphonic music takes on particular importance, especially in our case."

"The upcoming projects outline an exploration of the repertoire far removed from any form of routine," he continued. "In any case, that's my dearest wish: with an orchestra capable of drawing on a glorious history while constantly challenging itself, and a conductor attentive to the smallest details, I'm convinced we will do a great job!"

You can hear a brief excerpt from the TSO's performance of the Turangalîla-Symphonie below.


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