Sony, BMG Combine Euro Classical Operations

Brüggemann to oversee new division.

Sony and BMG are combining their classical music departments to form a single European division.

The unit will be managed by Michael Brüggemann, who takes the joint titles of director of classical marketing for Sony BMG Germany and VP of Sony BMG Classical Europe. He was previously director of classical marketing at Sony Music Germany.

Brüggemann, who is based in Berlin, will oversee Sony BMG’s German classical department and the European division. In the German capacity, he reports to Willy Ehmann, managing director of international for Sony BMG Germany. In his European role, he reports to Gilbert Hetherwick, who was named worldwide president of classical last month.

As part of the changes, Munich-based BMG Classics worldwide senior VP/COO Stefan Piendl is exiting. He was appointed to his position in June 2003; prior to that, he served as MD of BMG Ariola Classics for Germany/Switzerland/Austria.

Sony BMG’s classical division comprises the RCA Red Seal, Sony Classical, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, Odyssey and Arte Nova labels.