Classical label Hyperion starts streaming for the first time following Universal Music acquisition

The Dvořák album from the Grammy Award-winning Takács Quartet (pictured) is now streaming

Hyperion Records, a classical label founded 43 years ago, has made 200 albums from its catalog available for streaming for the first time on Friday (July 28), four months after being acquired by Universal Music Group.

Founded in the UK in 1980 by the late Ted Perry MBE, the label has been managed by his son, Simon Perry, for over 20 years.

Hyperion aims to stream its entire catalog of over 2,000 recordings by spring 2024. The initial release of 200 albums includes the latest Dvořák album from the Grammy Award-winning Takács Quartet; a collection of choral anthems from Stephen Layton and Trinity College Choir Cambridge; and a new issue in The Orlando Consort’s survey of French poet-composer Guillaume de Machaut.

The label will release subsequent collections every fortnight from September 15. The second phase will feature some of Hyperion’s piano and keyboard artists like pianists Danny Driver, Stephen Hough, Pavel Kolesnikov, Steven Osborne, and harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani among others across more than 70 albums.

“These first 200 albums tell our story, and we look forward to presenting all our work from the past four decades to a new global streaming audience artist-by-artist, series-by-series.”

Simon Perry, Hyperion Records

The succeeding ‘release chapters’ will highlight different genres, including choral music, string quartets, Baroque, early music, and solo vocal performances. New chapters will be unveiled every two weeks, leading up to the complete availability of the entire catalog for streaming by spring 2024.

In addition to releasing its existing catalog for streaming, Hyperion says it will continue to ensure that all new titles are available for streaming, physical purchase, and download. 

The label added that its editorial standards will be maintained in the streaming world, including cover artwork and detailed digital booklets in multiple languages.

The transition to streaming comes after Universal Music Group acquired Hyperion in March, integrating the label into UMG’s collection of classical labels, which includes names like Decca and Deutsche Grammophon. 

It also comes as UMG sharpens its focus on classical music after launching its own streaming service for classical music through Deutsche Grammophon in November 2022.

“The arrival of Hyperion on the world’s streaming platforms offers a special moment of discovery for this precious and pioneering label,” said Dickon Stainer, UMG’s President of Global Classics & Jazz.

Simon Perry, Managing Director of Hyperion, added: “We searched for and found a long-term home that is committed to our values, artists, recordings and editorial style and we are delighted that our entire back catalogue as well as new and future releases will be available on streaming platforms in the coming months.”

“These first 200 albums tell our story, and we look forward to presenting all our work from the past four decades to a new global streaming audience artist-by-artist, series-by-series. Each had their challenges and now they come together to tell a narrative, hopefully a powerful one, of what can happen when you make space for musicians to thrive: it’s why Hyperion has worked.”

The move also comes as the appetite for classical music returns. Apple Music debuted its standalone Apple Music Classical app in March after acquiring classical music streaming service Primephonic.

Martin Kudla, Deputy Director and Digital Marketing Manager at Czech record label SUPRAPHON, had earlier said in an interview with MBW that classical music “is not subject to trends and fads [like] popular music.”

“The genre shows longer-term value across generations,” Kudla said.

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