Warner Music Creates Arts Music Division, Launches Joint Venture With Sh-K-Boom Records

Courtesy of Warner Music Group 

Kevin Gore, formerly of Rhino Records, joins as president of new division focusing on classical, musical theatre, jazz and more non-pop genres.

Warner Music has doubled down on music outside the pop mainstream with the creation of a new repertoire division called Arts Music. Announced on Tuesday, the new umbrella will focus on signing, developing and marketing releases across the genres of classical, musical theatre, jazz, children's music and film scores, with the Warner Classics family of labels serving as the new division's foundation.

Heading up the new division is industry veteran Kevin Gore, the former president and CEO of Rhino Entertainment, WMG's reissue-happy catalog division. Gore joins as president of Arts Music and will be based in NYC and report to Eliah Seton, president of WMG indie label services arm, ADA.

As part of the new structure, Arts Music will be the home of Warner Classics, as well as the revived Erato label. Both were greatly enriched when EMI Classics and its catalog, including the Virgin Classics label, were sold in 2013 to WMG's WEA, the company's artist and label services arm. Warner Classics & Erato president Alain Lanceron will now report to Gore and continue to be based in Paris.

WMG is also welcoming a new member of the family through a joint venture with Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, the New York City-based label specializing in musical theatre releases, such as the cast recordings for Tony Award-winning hits including The Book of Mormon and In the Heights (Lin-Manuel Miranda's pre-Hamilton hit). As part of the venture, Sh-K-Boom co-founder Kurt Deutsch will continue to serve as president of the imprint but report to Gore. This new role for Deutsch is on top of his recent appointment as senior vp of theatrical and catalog development for Warner/Chappell Music, WMG's publishing arm. 

Beginning Aug. 1, Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight release will be distributed by ADA.

Gore rejoins WMG after a three-year stint as president/COO of DMI Music & Media, a boutique agency with a Greek diner-sized menu of services, including digital music activations, live event production, retail music curation, custom music production and other marketing services. Before his lengthy stretch with Rhino (2002-2014), Gore was president of Universal Classics US.

“The diverse genres encompassed under Arts Music all share passionate and devoted fan bases that have been largely underserved in the current marketplace," Gore said in a statement. "What’s particularly exciting is that since these fans have favored physical and download formats, there is an enormous promise for growth as they migrate to streaming services and curated experiences. The timeless appeal of so much of this music, combined with rapidly evolving opportunities in the live music and partnership marketing arenas, opens up a wealth of possibilities for both established and emerging artists across a vast creative spectrum."


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