Costa Pilavachi, former Decca Music Group president, is expected to make a return to the classical music business with EMI, sources tell Billboard.biz.

Costa Pilavachi, former Decca Music Group president, is expected to make a return to the classical music business with EMI, sources tell Billboard.biz.

Pilavachi is said to be taking a prominent role at EMI Classics after his recent surprise departure from Decca, part of Universal Music Group International, where he served for 17 years.

During his tenure at Decca, he was responsible for amalgamating the classical and jazz music labels at Philips Music Group and Decca. This gave UMGI one of the industry's most respected classical and jazz operations.

With sister label Deutsche Grammophon, Decca represented an estimated 40% of the global classical music market.

In addition to helping advance the careers of Cecilia Bartoli, Andrea Bocelli, Luciano Pavarotti, Jessye Norman and Hayley Westenra, he was also instrumental in establishing Decca's foothold in the increasingly popular classical-pop cross-over recordings by acts such as Britain's Russell Watson.

At EMI Classics, Pilavachi could end up boosting the company's investment in audio and video digital recordings.

Speaking at a May 17 London-based seminar on the digital delivery of classical music, Pilavachi said: "When we think digitally, we have to think of both the audio and the video; the days of thinking only audio are over."

He also expressed his disapproval of selling classical CD albums at a low price as part of a label's marketing strategy.

Referring to some CDs priced at £5.00 ($9.28), he said they were being "offered at far too low a price; for me, that is another nail in the coffin" for sales.