Universal Music Group has announced the creation of a new classical music label. Mercury Classics will aim to bring ‘a distinctive and fresh perspective to classical music’, working with young artists keen to explore new approaches to the genre, and with established musicians from outside the world of classical who are eager to expand their horizons. The label will build on Universal’s existing Mercury brand, which since the 1940s has brought a progressive approach to pop, jazz, folk and classical – not least with the Mercury Living Presence series.
‘There has rarely been so much opportunity to find new ways of looking at classical music,’ said newly appointed Mercury Classics managing director Alexander Buhr. ‘There is an audience hungry for new experiences and the boundaries between musical genres are becoming more penetrable. Mercury Classics will be a home for artists who are aware of classical music’s great heritage and who are searching for their own way of approaching it and extending the tradition for our time. The aim is to create, nurture and support music of integrity.’
Buhr was attached to Deutsche Grammophon for more than 10 years, where he worked with Lang Lang, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Elīna Garanča, Magdalena Kožená and Hilary Hahn. He was also responsible for two of 2011’s most high-profile releases - 'Mediterraneo' from guitarist Miloš Karadaglić, and Tori Amos’s 'Night of Hunters'.