Ondine (record label)
|Country of origin||Finland|
Ondine is a Finnish classical record label founded in 1985 in Helsinki, Finland, where the company is still based, and today offers an extremely eclectic catalogue of both contemporary Finnish music, as well as recordings with major Finnish and international artists. Ondine's extensive catalogue includes nearly five hundred recordings of artists and ensembles such as conductor and pianist Christoph Eschenbach, conductors Vladimir Ashkenazy, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Sakari Oramo, Leif Segerstam, John Storgårds and Mikko Franck, orchestras such as The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the London Sinfonietta, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Czech Philharmonic, the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Helsinki Philharmonic, sopranos Karita Mattila and Soile Isokoski, pianist Olli Mustonen, violinist Pekka Kuusisto and clarinettist Kari Kriikku. The label has also had a long and fruitful association with the Finnish composers Einojuhani Rautavaara, Kaija Saariaho and Magnus Lindberg, having recorded the premieres of many of their works and garnering many awards along the way.
History of the label
The roots of Ondine date back to 1985 when founder Reijo Kiilunen released the very first Ondine album under the auspices of the renowned Finnish Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival. The label's initial mission was to produce one live album at the Festival each season. The fourth album, however, featured Einojuhani Rautavaara's opera Thomas, raising major international attention and opening up the possibility for North American distribution. Kiilunen, who was running the Festival's concert agency and had begun the recording activity part-time, soon decided to devote himself fully to the development of this new business, producing and editing the first 50 releases himself. In 1991, Seppo Siirala joined as producer, and the Helsinki-based company has been expanding steadily since. Today, Ondine continues to uphold its reputation as one of the most respected labels in classical music, and its products have received numerous prizes at the Cannes (MIDEM) Classical Awards, the Gramophone Awards, the BBC Music Magazine Awards and the Classical Internet Awards.