Telarc’s Jack Renner has died at the age of 84 following a battle with cancer. A trumpeter since the age of 10, he studied at the Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He worked as a professional trumpeter before turning his talents to recording, with notable success. His recording philosophy was to reproduce what he described as the ‘best seat in the house’. He also taught audio recording for three decades at the Cleveland Institute of Music, who awarded him an honorary doctorate of Musical Arts in 1997.
In 1977, with Robert Woods, Renner founded Telarc, based in Cleveland, Ohio. The company made its reputation for its audiophile approach, capturing the work of ensembles like the Cincinnati Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony and, later, the Vienna Philharmonic. It was an approach that secured it numerous Grammy nominations and awards (Renner won Best Engineered Classical Album 22 times), Gramophone’s Label of the Year in 2004 as well as Gramophone’s Choral Award in 1988 for the Robert Shaw recording of Verdi’s Requiem (‘to clinch the Telarc's superiority, they have the most exciting, immediate recording of a chorus I have yet encountered in this work’ wrote Alan Blyth at the time of the recording’s release). Telarc was the first label to sign the young Lang Lang whose 2001 BBC Proms concert – Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto and solo works by Scriabin – was his debut release.
Telarc released over 1200 recordings and would earn the gratitude of audiophiles and music-lovers the world over for the astounding immediacy of the company's recorded sound, the work of Renner and his colleague and fellow engineer Michael Bishop.