The contract is the orchestra's first since 1996, when EMI ended a long relationship. It calls for three CDs a year, to be recorded live at Verizon Hall or other venues, edited and produced by the orchestra, and distributed by Ondine. The first release is due in late fall.
Record labels have largely abandoned American orchestras in recent years because of the high fees that must be paid to musicians. But in the contract they signed last fall, Philadelphia Orchestra musicians agreed to a new revenue-sharing arrangement in exchange for smaller fees.
"We are delighted that our agreement with Ondine will allow Philadelphia Orchestra recordings to be available to music-lovers all over the world once again," said Philadelphia Orchestra pesident Joseph H. Kluger. "We believe the recordings we release should be taken from live performances, to capture the spontaneity and freshness of the live concert experience, and to convey the excitement and magic of The Philadelphia Orchestra to future generations, who may not have the opportunity to hear a performance in the concert hall."
Further details, including repertoire and a release schedule, will be announced on May 3.