Accentus Music is a leading production company that specializes in the audio and video recording of international concerts, operas, and ballets. The label also produces feature-length documentaries about music-related subjects that draw upon culture, politics, and society as well as film portraits of artists. Founded in 2010 and based in Leipzig, Accentus Music is today one of the leading audiovisual production companies in the world of classical music. Its program of 15 to 25 productions per year, produced entirely in-house, is offered internationally via TV networks and online portals as well as on the company’s own DVD and CD label.
Emmy Award–winning director and producer Paul Smaczny, the founder and CEO of Accentus Music, has assembled a highly qualified team for his company. Together with many freelance artists, writers, and technicians who work together with the team, Accentus Music guarantees maximum competency and international networking while maintaining a lean and efficient structure. The company’s broad network is based on close personal contacts and includes artists and production partners from all over the world.
The productions of Accentus Music meet the highest artistic as well as technical standards and have received numerous awards. Accentus’ productions to date include many acclaimed artists such as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Andris Nelsons, Sir Simon Rattle, Gustavo Dudamel, Plácido Domingo, Anna Netrebko, Gidon Kremer, Joshua Bell, Evgeny Kissin, Nikolai Demidenko, Gidon Kremer, Martha Argerich, Zhu Xiao-Mei, Mischa Maisky, Hélène Grimaud, Christine Schäfer, Anna Prohaska and Anne-Sophie Mutter. Ensembles such as the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the New York Philharmonic, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra and the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra are featured as well.
Highlights in the field of award-winning documentaries include films such as Die Thomaner, celebrating the 800th anniversary of the Leipzig St. Thomas Boys Choir; John Cage – Journeys in Sound, essays including In Between: Isang Yun in North and South Korea as well as Satiesfictions – Promenades with Eric Satie and Maestras – The Long Journey of Women to the Podium; portraits like Gidon Kremer – Finding Your Own Voice or The Lost Paradise celebrating the 80th anniversary of Arvo Pärt, Zhu Xiao-Mei – How Bach Defeated Mao or Music – A Journey for Life, a film about the conductor Riccardo Chailly; series like Music in the Time of the War and Revolution commemorating the centenary of World War I.
Accentus Music maintains long-standing and reliable partnerships with all major music and cultural television stations worldwide and regularly works with broadcasters such as ZDF, ARTE, ARD and 3sat (in Germany), NHK (in Japan), TV Brasil (in Brazil), CCTV and SMG (in China), WNET (in the USA), BBC (in the UK), RAI (in Italy), SVT (in Sweden), NRK (in Norway) and SF (in Switzerland). Accentus Music always uses the latest camera audio and transmission technology in its productions to achieve the highest audio and video quality.
For Accentus Music, music is more than just sound. With its creative audiovisual presentation of classical music, the production company shows that music is an essential part of social, cultural, and political life. Its images enable the viewer to experience sound in a new dimension, placing music at the heart of society.
“With its impressive number of nominations and winning productions, Accentus Music is a label the ICMA Jury has closely observed over the last few years, appreciating its careful and judicious release policy. The production standards of Accentus DVDs and CDs are hard to beat and the musical performances of the highest quality.” Remy Franck, Jury President, ICMA
Established in 2010, Accentus Music quickly became recognized in the music industry as an outstanding CD and DVD/Blu-ray label featuring a top line of artists. In 2015, the Leipzig-based company was named “Label of the Year” by the International Classical Music Awards, adding a coveted accolade to a long list of honors and distinctions presented by, among others, the BBC Music Magazine, Diapason, Gramophone, Classica, Res Musica (Clef d’Or), Pizzicato, and the German Record Critics’ Award.
As an in-house label with a select team of producers, directors, recording engineers and editors, Accentus Music boasts a catalog that presents some of the finest, artistically relevant, and most interesting classical repertoire available on the market today. It features studio and live productions for audio release, an extensive array of DVD and Blu-ray video productions of operas, ballets, and concerts performed by leading soloists, opera and dance companies, and orchestras, and a long list of award-winning documentary films that showcase the world of classical music from around the globe.
Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Herbert Blomstedt, Pierre Boulez, Riccardo Chailly, Gustavo Dudamel, Andris Nelsons, Valery Gergiev, Zubin Mehta, Barbara Hannigan, Christian Gerhaher, Juan Diego Flórez, Gidon Kremer, Evgeny Kissin, Martha Argerich, Joshua Bell, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Arvo Pärt, the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, the Berliner Philharmoniker and the Staatskapelle Berlin – these are just some of the many exceptional names and ensembles with which Accentus Music has worked.
Behind its careful and judicious release policy is Accentus Music’s uncompromising pursuit of excellence in audio and video engineering, which shuns mass production and maintains the latest industry standards of High-Resolution Audio for its CD releases and 4K HDR for its video productions. The label’s search for the perfect venue has taken Accentus to some of the most legendary opera houses, concert halls and recording studios in the world. The Staatsoper Berlin, the NCPA in Beijing, the Opernhaus Zürich, the Abbey Road Studios in London, the legendary Jesus Christus Kirche in Berlin-Dahlem, the concert hall of the KKL Lucerne, the Gewandhaus in Leipzig, the Philharmonie Berlin and the Philharmonie de Paris are just a few of the many locations where Accentus Music’s underlying philosophy of capturing the uniqueness of the musical experience is realized. Each recording and video production by Accentus is an attempt to reveal the inner language of music and to establish the relationship between the artist and listener – a relationship that, ultimately, is the cornerstone of what music is all about.
Following this aim, Accentus Music produces documentary films and portraits that explore the world of music and the artist’s personal relationship with music. Portraits of composers such as Arvo Pärt, Isang Yun, John Cage, Erik Satie or Charles Ives and of musicians like Gidon Kremer, Barbara Hannigan, Zhu Xiao-Mei or Riccardo Chailly are just a few examples. Many of these films have won distinguished prizes at numerous renowned festivals worldwide, including, among others, the Golden Prague Festival, the FIFA in Montréal, the Chicago International Film Festival, and the Nashville Film Festival.
While Accentus Music has produced and released new versions of monumental works on both CD and DVD/Blu-ray – including Claudio Abbado’s last years in Lucerne, the complete cycle of Beethoven symphonies with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig under the direction of Herbert Blomstedt, and the cycle of Mahler Symphonies under the direction of Ricardo Chailly –, the label has also delved into musical rarities and excursions into lesser-known territory: Bach cantatas with Michael Volle and the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin; Berg’s Wozzeck with Christian Gerhaher in Andreas Homoki’s unparalleled staging at the Opernhaus Zürich; solo violin works ranging from Bach’s sonatas and partitas performed by Midori to the caprices of Niccolò Paganini and Salvatore Sciarrino performed by Michael Barenboim; the staged performance of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion performed by the Gaechinger Cantorey under the direction of Hans-Christoph Rademann; and Christian Spuck’s acclaimed choreographed production of Verdi’s Messa da Requiem at the Opernhaus Zürich.
In a world where the unlimited availability of music has all but destroyed the poetry of the encounter, Accentus firmly believes that there is still an inherent need for discovery, poetry, and personal encounter – a need that cannot simply be determined by algorithms and playlists. Passionate about sound, images, and music, Accentus Music is synonymous with the discovery of the unique musical experience.