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Seattle Symphony Adds Landmark Recordings to Naxos American Classics
Works by Piston, Creston, Diamond, Hovhaness and Lazarof scheduled for release in 2003

On April 15th, the Seattle Symphony joined Naxos for the release of the first three recordings in a 10-CD series of remastered recordings featuring the Seattle Symphony under the direction of Music Director Gerard Schwarz. The landmark recordings, dedicated to the music of American composers Piston, Creston, Hovhaness, David Diamond, and Henri Lazarof, also include world-renowned artists such as Janos Starker, the Juilliard String Quartet, and Dennis Russell Davies.

Once of the first CDs includes works by Alan Hovhaness, Symphony No. 22 and the Cello Concerto. Symphony No. 22, "City of Light," is conducted by the composer. The Cello Concerto-a world premiere recording-features Janos Starker on cello and the Seattle Symphony under the direction of Dennis Russell Davies.

Several works by Walter Piston have been collected onto another CD, which includes performances by Scott Goff on flute, Glen Danielson on English horn, and Therese Elder Wunrow on harp; the Juilliard string Quartet; and the Seattle Symphony conducted by Music Director Gerard Schwarz. The suite from the ballet The Incredible Flutist headlines the CD.

Janos Starker returns to add a masterful touch of cello to the third CD, a program of works by David Diamond. Also conducted by Gerard Schwartz, the disc includes Diamond's Symphony No. 3, Psalm, and Kaddish.

The remaining seven titles in the series will be released throughout the remainder of 2003 and will include Piston's Symphonies Nos. 2, 4, and 6; Diamond's Symphonies Nos. 1, 2, and 8 and his Violin Concerto No. 2; Creston's Symphony No. 5; and Henri Lazarof's Violin Concerto, Symphony No. 2, and Tableaux (with pianist Garrick Ohlsson). Several of the performances in this series previously were available on the Delos label.

According to Maestro Schwarz, "the 20th century witnessed the flowering of a great American symphonic tradition . . . Seattle Symphony is proud to bring this vital repertoire to a wide audience through its recordings. Walter Piston, David Diamond and Paul Creston have each given voice to the American experience. Seattle Symphony feels privileged to bring these engaging and inventive scores to greater awareness through the medium of recording."

Vibrant support for American music is nothing new for the Symphony. "For most of its 100-year history, Seattle Symphony has been a strong advocate of music by American composers, and these recordings reflect that tradition with undiminished vigor," Scwarz comments. "We are pleased to partner with Naxos in their acclaimed AMERICAN CLASSICS series."

Commenting on the new relationship with Naxos, Seattle Symphony Executive Director Deborah R. Card states, "Seattle Symphony takes great pride in its series of widely acclaimed recordings of music by American masters and is pleased to have these vivid digitally-recorded performances available on the Naxos label. Naxos's international reputation and broad distribution network will help introduce the Seattle Symphony and symphonic music by American composers to new audiences worldwide. We are grateful to Naxos for their enthusiastic commitment to this example of 'electronic touring' of the Seattle Symphony."

The Seattle releases are a key addition to the acclaimed Naxos AMERICAN CLASSICS series. Currently numbering more than 80 titles, AMERICAN CLASSICS is the most ambitious recording project of American concert music ever attempted. Now in its fifth year of releases, the series is expected to encompass well over 200 titles and will feature a wide-ranging survey of the composers who have contributed to the rich tapestry of American music from the 18th century to the present.


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