Universal Music Group acquires UK classical label Hyperion Records

Universal Music Group acquires UK classical label Hyperion Records

Universal Music Group has acquired British classical label Hyperion Records. 

Founded in 1980, Hyperion Records will join UMG’s portfolio of classical labels, including Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Classics. 

“Hyperion’s unique and distinctive identity will strengthen and enhance UMG’s continuing long-term commitment to investing in classical music talent and in career-building for classical recording artists,” said a statement. 

Preserving its identity and legacy, Hyperion Records will remain a standalone recording label alongside Decca Classics and Mercury KX within Universal Music UK.

The award-winning, independent classical label was founded by the late Ted Perry. It has been managed by his son Simon for over 20 years, who remains managing director of the label. 

Hyperion is home to recording artists including Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt, Sir Stephen Hough, Alina Ibragimova, Steven Isserlis, Dame Emma Kirkby, Steven Osborne, the Takács Quartet, and many more. 

Devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the 12th century to the 21st, the repertoire on the label ranges from sacred and secular, choral and solo vocal to orchestral, chamber and instrumental. During its 43 years, the label has released over 2,500 recordings.

Its large-scale projects include 85 volumes of Romantic Piano Concertos, pianist Leslie Howard’s 99-CD complete Liszt Edition and the 40-CD Schubert Edition of all Schubert’s songs from many of the world’s finest singers. Hyperion has secured the prestigious Gramophone Record of the Year Award four times from 1996 to 2010, as well as Gramophone’s Label Of The Year. 

Hyperion has also received the Best Label Award by MIDEM's Cannes Classiques Awards, which are selected by a jury of editors of leading international classical music magazines.

Dickon Stainer, president and CEO, Global Classics & Jazz, Universal Music Group, said: “Hyperion is a jewel of a label and we are committed to continuing the magnificent work done by the Perry family and to preserving and building on the special place Hyperion occupies in the hearts of artists and music fans alike.”

Hyperion is a jewel of a label and we are committed to continuing the magnificent work done by the Perry family

Dickon Stainer

Simon Perry, director of Hyperion Records, said: “I’m thrilled to bring Hyperion to Universal Music Group, a company that shares Hyperion’s commitment to bringing the most distinctive and brilliant musicians to as wide a public as possible. By being part of UMG, while keeping our artists and staff together, we can continue to build on my father’s legacy and that of everyone who’s been part of the Hyperion family over the past 43 years. My debt to all of them is huge and I look forward to leading this incredible label into an exciting new chapter.”

Tom Lewis and Laura Monks, co-presidents of Decca Label Group, said: “We are enormously proud that Hyperion has joined Universal's family of classical labels to sit alongside Decca Classics in London. Simon and his father have created a very important recorded classical catalogue that serves a dedicated global audience. And the label continues to work with artists who are the best of the best. We are determined to celebrate the label's legacy and continue its extraordinary story.”

Forthcoming and new releases from Hyperion Records include Vaughan Williams Sinfonia Antartica and Symphony No.9 with BBC Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins; the launch of a series dedicated to the Masses and Magnificats of Cristóbal de Morales; Haydn’s String Quartets Opp. 42 and 77 from the London Haydn Quartet; and from Trinity College Choir Cambridge and Stephen Layton, a programme of choral works by Ivo Antognini, Come to Me in the Silence of the Night. 

Pianist Angela Hewitt, a Hyperion artist, said: “Almost 30 years ago we began our journey together, and you have been the greatest support and main ‘creator’ of my career, and for that I am eternally grateful. It has been a career built on integrity, quality, and inspiration, and with Ted, and then Simon, I have felt nothing but respect for both me and the music. I am proud to have been associated with Hyperion for so long, and of the catalogue we have built together. It is good to know that my Mozart Piano Sonata cycle will be finished and that there are other projects that will go forward as well. I completely understand why Hyperion has changed hands at this point and am thrilled that Simon Perry remains part of the team. Here’s to the next chapter in the life of a brilliant record label!”

Pianist Sir Stephen Hough added: “I started recording for Hyperion when digital technology was barely a decade old - in the early 1990s. It has been an amazing home for me over the past 30 years, allowing me to record dozens of albums, from the obscurest repertoire to mainstream classics to my own music. That Universal wants to take the label under its umbrella alongside DG and Decca is great news as it will give the widest possible exposure and support for Hyperion's catalogue of treasures.”

Hyperion artist violinist Alina Ibragimova said: “Over many years, Hyperion has been a wonderful artistic team for me, supporting me to discover, experiment and record incredible repertoire in exactly the way I wanted. Hyperion has become famous for discovering works by lesser-known composers as well as recording the standard repertoire but in a unique way, always with huge commitment and integrity. I am looking forward to many more years of working with Simon Perry and his team in this new chapter as they join Universal Music Group.”


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