Andreas Ottensamer Joins Mercury Classics

March 05, 2013

Limitless dynamic range . . . he plays with a vitality that pushes boundaries.”  –  Der Tagesspiegel


London, March 2013. — The charismatic 23-year-old Austrian clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer has entered an exclusive recording partnership with Mercury Classics/Deutsche Grammophon, making him the first ever solo clarinettist to sign an exclusive agreement with the Yellow Label.

Acclaimed for the great depths of his playing, his musical versatility and stunning stage presence, Ottensamer has been widely recognized as one of the leading clarinettists of his generation.

His first album, Portraits – The Clarinet Album, will be released this summer. Andreas has selected a programme of wide-ranging musical styles, with concertos from Copland and Spohr as centerpieces. From the operatic elegance of Cimarosa and the early-Romantic intensity of Spohr to the jazz inflections of Copland and Gershwin, Portraits shows the endless musical variety of the clarinet as much as its player. The album was recorded with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra led by Yannick Nézet-Séguin.

Dr. Alexander Buhr, Managing Director of Mercury Classics, said: “Andreas is one of the most naturally musical characters I’ve ever met and a clarinettist with heart and soul. His dedication to the quality of music-making, as soloist, chamber musician or as orchestral musician, is truly inspiring. I am very excited to welcome him to the label and convinced that with his passion and drive, he will champion the clarinet on new grounds.”

Andreas Ottensamer said: “Having the opportunity to work with such an extraordinary team is a great privilege. It is very exciting to be accompanied by these prestigious labels from such an early stage on. I’m looking forward to everything to come.”

The beauty of tone and distinct musicality over a wide range of styles have won extensive critical plaudits for Andreas Ottensamer. Sybill Mahlke wrote in Der Tagesspiegel of his “limitless dynamic range . . . he plays with a vitality that pushes boundaries.” NRC Handelsblad said: “Andreas Ottensamer melts with his clarinet . . . he is an ‘Übersolist’ and a phenomenon.” Rebecca Schmid wrote for “Solo clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer played with particular finesse . . . and a touch of melancholy.” As principal clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer has played with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin from July 2010 to February 2011 and with the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Born in 1989, Ottensamer comes from an Austro-Hungarian family of musicians and was drawn to music early, receiving his first piano lessons when he was four. At the age of ten he began studying cello at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, then changed to the clarinet under Johann Hindler in 2003.

Ottensamer gained his first orchestral experience as a deputy player in the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic and as a member of the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester. In 2009 he interrupted his liberal arts studies at Harvard University to become a scholar of the Orchestra Academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker.

In March and May 2013 Andreas Ottensamer will be touring Korea and Japan, playing repertoire from his debut album.

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