Hyperion Records bought by Universal

Wednesday, March 15, 2023

The British independent record label Hyperion Records becomes part of the same company as DG and Decca

Violinist Alina Ibragimova receives the 2021 Concerto Award from Isata Kanneh-Mason for her Hyperion album of Shostakovich concertos
Violinist Alina Ibragimova receives the 2021 Concerto Award from Isata Kanneh-Mason for her Hyperion album of Shostakovich concertos

Universal Music Group (UMG) has acquired the multi-Gramophone Award-winning British classical label Hyperion Records. Hyperion (founded by Ted Perry in 1980) will join UMG’s portfolio, taking its place alongside Deutsche Grammophon (founded in 1898) and Decca Classics (established in 1929). Maintaining its unique identity, Hyperion Records will remain a stand-alone recording label within Universal Music UK with Simon Perry remaining as its Director.

Welcoming the acquisition, Dickon Stainer, President and CEO, Global Classics & Jazz, UMG, 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.’

See also: Hyperion Records – 20 unmissable recordings

Simon Perry commented that ‘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.’

Gramophone readers will need no introduction to Hyperion’s position within the classical recorded world, and its consistent quality is saluted virtually every month in our pages. With a catalogue of over 2500 titles, the label was named Gramophone’s Label of the Year in 2008, and its most recent Gramophone Awards were in 2021 for Chamber (Beach and Elgar piano quintets with Garrick Ohlsson and the Takács Quartet) and Concerto (for the Shostakovich violin concertos with Alina Ibragimova and the State Academic Symphony Orchestra ‘Evgeny Svetlanov’ and Vladimir Jurowski). 

Hyperion artist, the pianist Angela Hewitt 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!'

Another Hyperion pianist, Sir Stephen Hough, commented: '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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