VAI im Portrait
Video Artists International (VAI) incorporated in 1983 and became the first US-based company to offer a selection of home video featuring opera, concert and ballet performances from international performance centers. In 1991 VAI began producing compact discs.. In 2001 VAI released its first DVD.
Initial VHS releases included ballet films from Russia followed by a series of complete operasstarring Anna Moff, Renata Tebaldi in Tosca and Beverly Sills All these remain best sellers for VAI. Also issued were recitals by Rosalyn Tureck, Anna Russell, Renata Scotto and others. All of these have been issued on DVD.
In the mid-1990?s VAI began a relationship with the Canadian Broadcasting Company that yielded memorable performances, among others, by Joan Sutherland, Jon Vickers, Renata Tebaldi, Jean- Pierre Rampal, Sir Thomas Beecham, Sviatoslav Richter, Martha Argerich, Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli, and Ida Haendel.
In 1998 VAI began a long term agreement with the copyright holders of broadcasts from The Bell Telephone Hour, America?s premiere cultural television program from 1959 to1967. Performers caught live include Renata Tebaldi, Brigit Nilsson, Joan Sutherland, Anna Moffo, Rudolph Nureyev, Leontyne Price, Isaac Stern, Michael Rabin, Yehudi Menuhin, David Oistrakh, Claudio Arrau, Jorge Bolet, Van Cliburn and other great artists.
1999 saw an arrangement with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for a series of historic television broadcasts under music giants Fritz Reiner, George Szell, Pierre Monteux, Charles Munch, Leopold Stokowski and Paul Hindemith.
2003 began a relationship with Showcase Productions which has yielded the best selling ?Ethel Merman and Mary Martin ? The Legendary Ford 50th Anniversary Program? and two legendary ballets featuring Margot Fonteyn.
The television archives of The Boston Symphony Orchestra are now being made available to the world by VAI beginning in 2004. Initial releases feature Sir John Barbirolli, Charles Munch, and Pierre Monteux. Future releases will focus on former music directors Eric Leinsdorf and Seji Ozawa. 2004 brought around working relationships with France?s INA and Italy?s RAI which will see the release of many historic opera and concert videos from the vaults.
As a result of VAI?s presence in the marketplace, independent producers are approaching VAI with projects for production and distribution. ?What the Universe Tells Me?, a documentary on Mahler?s Third Symphony and ?Khachaturian: A Music and His Fatherland? are two fruits of these collaborations.
Aside from the afore mentioned Merman/Martin title, 2004 saw VAI release a Cole Porter Tribute,featuring Merman and other stars of the American Musical Theater. 2005 will see a continuing series of DVD titles to the great musical stars of stage and screen.
VAI CD issues feature rare recordings of Joseph Hoffman, William Kapell and other legendary pianists. The art of singers Jon Vickers, Evelyn Lear, Phyllis Curtin, Renata Tebaldi, and Eleanor Steber are captured in live and studio recordings. Many other legendary singers are featured on disc. VAI has issued a number of historic opera performances including 12 live recordings from the archives of the New Orleans Opera. Recently, VAI has begun issuing live performances from Sarah Caldwell?s legacy with the Boston Opera Company that includes performanes of Joan Sutherland, Marilyn Horne, Beverly Sills, and Jon Vickers. In recent years VAI has begun to record young, outstanding artists as Francesco Libetta and Pietro De Maria. VAI is the official label of the Miami International Piano Festival of Discovery.
VAI has 200 plus DVDs and videos and over 200 CDs in its catalog.
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