Here's the first four paragraphs of an article from today's New York
Times. Note especially the third.
"Sony BMG Music Entertainment said yesterday that it would
restructure its classical music division with the introduction
today of Sony BMG Masterworks. The division will encompass
the former Sony Classical and BMG Classics lines.
"The individual labels, including subsidiary imprints, will
retain their names, logos and artist rosters. So, as examples,
the cellist Yo-Yo Ma, the pianists Emanuel Ax and Murray
Perahia, and the violinists Midori and Joshua Bell will
continue to be marketed as Sony Classical artists; the pianist
Evgeny Kissin and the tenor Ramon Vargas will still record
for RCA Red Seal; and the conductors Nikolaus Harnoncourt and
David Zinman will record for Deutsche Harmonia Mundi and Arte
"But Gilbert Hetherwick, who became president of the [classical
music] division in January, said yesterday that the new name
was meant to suggest a change of philosophy. It is intended
not only to evoke past glories - Masterworks was CBS's flagship
classical line long before Sony bought the company from CBS
in 1989 - but also to signal what Mr. Hetherwick described
as a renewed commitment to the core classical repertory.
"Mr. Hetherwick reports to Michael Smellie, the chief operating
officer of Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and both men repudiated
the notion, standard at classical labels since the mid-80's,
that pop-classical crossover projects were necessary to keep
a classics line afloat. Peter Gelb, who ran Sony Classical
until Mr. Hetherwick's appointment and who is to become
general manager of the Metropolitan Opera in 2006, was a
strong proponent of crossovers."
Are we beginning to turn the corner? Here's a link to the entire
article. Registration is required but free: