LONDON, 15 MARCH 2023 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announces the acquisition of the renowned British classical label Hyperion Records. Hyperion (founded 1980) will join UMG’s portfolio of world-renowned classical labels, including Deutsche Grammophon (founded in 1898) and Decca Classics (established in 1929), further reinforcing UMG’s position as the definitive home for classical music globally.
Hyperion’s unique and distinctive identity will strengthen and enhance UMG’s continuing long-term commitment to investing in classical music talent and in career-building for classical recording artists. Preserving and securing its unique identity and legacy at the vanguard of classical music, Hyperion Records will remain a stand-alone recording label alongside Decca Classics and Mercury KX within Universal Music UK, the UK’s leading record company.
The award-winning independent classical label was founded by the late Ted Perry MBE and has been managed by his son Simon for over 20 years, who remains Managing Director. It is the home to such distinguished recording artists as Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt, Sir Stephen Hough, Alina Ibragimova, Steven Isserlis, Dame Emma Kirkby, Steven Osborne, the Takács Quartet, and many more. Devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of classical music of all styles and from all periods from the 12th century to the 21st, the repertoire available on the label ranges from sacred and secular, choral and solo vocal to orchestral, chamber and instrumental – much of it unique to Hyperion. During its 43 years the label has released almost 2,500 recordings.
For over four decades Hyperion has been a beacon of classical excellence, dedicated to the creation of often pioneering recordings of immense cultural value and broadening musical horizons for discerning music lovers. From the breakthrough album A Feather On The Breath Of God, which opened everyone’s ears to the 12th-century beauty of Hildegard of Bingen, the company has been responsible for so many invaluable large-scale projects. These include no 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 world’s finest singers. The level of excellence has been recognized many times over, including the prestigious Gramophone Record of the Year Award four times from 1996 to 2010, as well as Gramophone’s Label of the Year. Hyperion has also received the Best Label Award by MIDEM’s Cannes Classiques Awards, which are selected by a jury of editors of leading international classical music magazines.
Forthcoming and new releases from Hyperion Records include Vaughan Williams’ Sinfonia Antartica and Symphony No.9 with BBC Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins; the launch of an ambitious 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, a typically innovative programme of choral works by Ivo Antognini, Come to Me in the Silence of the Night.
President and CEO, Global Classics & Jazz, Universal Music Group Dickon Stainer 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.”
Director of Hyperion Records Simon Perry says, “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.”
Co-Presidents of Decca Label Group Tom Lewis and Laura Monks say, “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.”
Hyperion artist, pianist Angela Hewitt says, “Almost thirty 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!”
Hyperion artist, pianist Sir Stephen Hough says, “I started recording for Hyperion when digital technology was barely a decade old – in the early-1990s. It has been an amazing home for me over the past 30 years, allowing me to record dozens of albums, from the obscurest repertoire to mainstream classics to my own music. That Universal wants to take the label under its umbrella alongside DG and Decca is great news as it will give the widest possible exposure and support for Hyperion’s catalogue of treasures.”
Hyperion artist, violinist Alina Ibragimova adds, “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.”