Four months after launching its own classical music streaming service via Deutsche Grammophon, Universal Music Group has acquired British classical label Hyperion Records.
Hyperion will now join UMG’s portfolio of classical labels, including Deutsche Grammophon and Decca Classics, UMG said in a press release on Wednesday (March 15).
Hyperion was founded in the UK in 1980 by the late Ted Perry MBE. His son, Simon Perry, has been managing the label for over 20 years.
The label’s portfolio includes artists like Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt, Sir Stephen Hough, Alina Ibragimova, Steven Isserlis, Dame Emma Kirkby, Steven Osborne, the Takács Quartet, and more.
Hyperion’s repertoire presents what UMG calls “high-quality recordings” of classical music of all styles and from all periods from the 12th century to the 21st, says UMG.
Its genres range from sacred and secular, choral and solo vocal to orchestral, chamber and instrumental.
“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.”
Dickon Stainer, Universal Music Group
Following UMG’s acquisition, Perry will remain as Hyperion’s Managing Director and the company will remain a stand-alone recording label alongside Decca Classics and Mercury KX within Universal Music UK.
“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,” said Perry.
“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.”
Since its founding, Hyperion has released almost 2,500 recordings including fewer than 85 volumes of Romantic Piano Concertos, pianist Leslie Howard’s 99-CD complete Liszt Edition and the 40-CD Schubert Edition of all the composer’s songs from many of the singers globally.
The label has won numerous awards including the Gramophone Record of the Year Award four times from 1996 to 2010, and Gramophone’s Label of the Year.
MIDEM‘s Cannes Classiques Awards also awarded Hyperion with the Best Label Award. The award is selected by a jury of editors of classical music magazines from around the world.
UMG’s acquisition of Hyperion comes as the label prepares to release Vaughan Williams’ Sinfonia Antartica and Symphony No.9 with BBC Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins.
Hyperion is also set to launch 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 Stephen Layton and the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, as well as a program of choral works by Ivo Antognini, Come to Me in the Silence of the Night.
“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.”
Simon Perry, Hyperion Records
Dickon Stainer, UMG’s President and CEO of Global Classics & Jazz, says: “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.”
“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,” added Co-Presidents of Decca Label Group Tom Lewis and Laura Monks.
UMG says the transaction will reinforce its position as “the definitive home for classical music globally.”
In November, UMG launched STAGE+, a high-res classical music streaming service described by Deutsche Grammophon as “ground-breaking,” and the “latest milestone in classical music’s digital development.”
The subscription-based service costs EUR €14.90 per month, or €149 per year.
“We want to revolutionize the way people access classical music and, working together with our wonderful partners and family of musicians, bring them the very best of what the art form has to offer,” said Dr Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon, at the time.
UMG’s efforts in the classical music space comes as the genre continues to attract new listeners in the streaming age.
In 2021, tech giant Apple acquired Netherlands-based classical music streaming service Primephonic.
Earlier this month, Apple announced the launch of its standalone ‘Apple Music Classical’ app.Music Business Worldwide