Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
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The orchestra enjoyed particularly close relationships with the United States and Austria. The ‘American Artists’ Series’ was hailed in Washington as ‘America’s musical embassy in Europe’. UK debuts were given to prizewinners in collaboration with seven American competitions including the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition and the Metropolitan Opera Auditions, appearing alongside a succession of America’s leading stars. UK first performances included works by John Adams, Stephen Montague, Jacob Druckmann, Donald Erb and Wallingford Riegger, and the European premiere of Samuel Barber’s last major orchestral work ‘The Lovers’ for baritone chorus and orchestra, of which the Times wrote “It would be hard to imagine a more assured first performance”.
From the mid–1980s until the Millennium the Academy of London, in association with the Anglo-Austrian Music Society, presented the largest orchestral series ever mounted in Britain involving Austrian soloists and choirs. This included concerto debuts by five principals of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, among them the Concertmaster Rainer Kuchl, appearances by Gundula Janowitz, Christa Ludwig, and Paul Badura Skoda, and nine separate concerts with the Vienna Boys’ Choir, eight under their conductor Peter Marschik with whom they also recorded Handel’s Messiah for the Capriccio label, and the ninth under Richard Stamp, their first British guest conductor. On the 200th anniversary of Mozart’s death the Arnold Schoenberg Chor made their UK debut performing the Mozart Requiem under Stamp in Westminster Abbey, and in 1995 Stamp and the Academy in collaboration with the Foreign Office performed the Brahms German Requiem in Villach in Carinthia, with the A Cappella Villach and Choir of Gurk Cathedral, to mark the 50th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. The following year the same choirs came to London to celebrate Austria’s Millennium, and in 1997 Stamp brought the legendary Vienna Singverein to London for the Schubert 200th anniversary, on their first visit for more than twenty years when they sang under Herbert von Karajan. On three occasions Stamp and the orchestra collaborated with the Vienna Volksoper, presenting gala concerts at the Barbican featuring ‘Stars of the Vienna Volksoper’. The last of these was a concert in celebration of the centenary of Johann Strauss, and was the first time in history that all thirteen of the his operettas were represented on a single evening.