Premier New Zealand classical record label, Atoll, has an established reputation for quality recordings featuring leading ensembles, composers and soloists from New Zealand, South-East Asia and further afield. Established in 1997, it has appeared consistently in the New Zealand music awards since 2006, the diverse catalogue harnessing a broad mix of work within the “classical” genre. Productions include re-mastered significant historical tracks, and high quality modern recordings of outstanding New Zealand musicians - choirs, orchestras, chamber ensembles and soloists.
The Atoll label is not confined to living New Zealand composers, though it is strong in this area, but additionally represents the flourishing classical music performance scene in New Zealand. A feature of the catalogue is some emphasis on south-east Asian composers, and tracks involving cross-cultural fertilisation of European art-music with Pacific or Maori cultural components.
The historical artists’ catalogue includes such New Zealand greats as bass, Oscar Natzka and the legendary mid-twentieth century pianist, Richard Farrell in collections re-mastered by founder and producer of Atoll, Wayne Laird. A traditional classical catalogue of works by recognized international ensembles such as the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, New Zealand Chamber Soloists and New Zealand String Quartet is punctuated by established solo specialists such as Canadian prepared pianist, Tzenka Dianova, rising cellist, Colombian born, Santiago Canon-Valencia and Irish flautist, William Dowdell.
The contemporary classical catalogue is an accessible, challenging and ever developing masterpiece of distinctive musical flavour and juxtaposition. Atoll’s 100th release was a double CD of the WWII multimedia opera, “The Juniper Passion”, including digital effects and the new Klais Auckland Town Hall organ and is a feat of master record engineering. Included in the same category would be the mellifluous sounds of the Taonga Puoro (traditional instruments of the Maori) featured in the distinctive work of Martin Lodge’s Toru as well as in Notes From a Journey, the award winning CD by the NZSQ. The pounding Greek rhythms of Three Island Songs on Ahi(Fire) from New Zealand/Greek composer, John Psathas and the full scale orchestral works from Anthony Ritchie and Eve de Castro-Robinson, performed by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra are just a few of the diverse works that make up the Atoll Catalogue and give it the distinctive flavour of New Zealand, Aotearoa, The Land of the Long White Cloud.