Veteran Nonesuch Records exec David Bither has been co-president of the label, effective January 1, 2016, Warner Music Group announced this week.
Bither, who joined the label 20 years ago as senior vice president, has played a key role in developing the long-running label’s roster over that period, maintaining its art-house profile while bringing in artists closer to the mainstream than the classical and avant-garde artists upon which the label built its reputation. His signings include the Black Keys, Emmylou Harris, Wilco, Laurie Anderson, Rhiannon Giddens and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Youssou N’Dour and Robert Plant. He was also instrumental in bringing the World Circuit label to Nonesuch in North America, shortly before the 1997 release of the Buena Vista Social Club’s Grammy-winning eponymous album.
The move label president Bob Hurwitz’s announcement in September that he will be gradually moving away from the day-to-day operations of the label, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014. When the transition is complete in 2017, Bither will become sole president, with Hurwitz moving to Chairman Emeritus while continuing to work with certain label acts as an executive producer. Bither’s involvement with Nonesuch extends back to the mid-1980s, when he began serving as an advisor to Hurwitz. In 1986, Bither moved to Warner’s Elektra Records division, where he served as VP/International, followed by stints as VP/Marketing and SVP/GM.
WMG CEO Steve Cooper said, “I am thrilled that David will be assuming the Nonesuch presidency as Bob transitions into his new role. David has been involved with the label for more than 30 years, and we are truly fortunate to have someone with his deep knowledge and experience take over the helm.”
Warner Bros. Records Chairman & CEO Cameron Strang said, “David is one of the most accomplished and devoted executives in our business, with great ears and impeccable taste. Among his many achievements over the years, David has been responsible for broadening Nonesuch’s musical scope, signing a number of seminal artists and shaping the label’s musical point of view.”
Bob Hurwitz said, “I have worked closely with David Bither for the last 30 years, and throughout that time he has been a terrific friend and colleague. He has made deeply meaningful contributions to Nonesuch and has been an integral part of our culture. Now that we have arrived at this moment, there is no-one more suited to take Nonesuch into the future.”
David Bither said, “I have had the privilege of working next to Bob Hurwitz for more than three decades. Much of what I know about the business – and even more, what I believe a record label can accomplish – comes from the daily conversations that Bob and I have had over the years. I take on this new responsibility with the single-minded intention of carrying on the tradition that has taken root here over the years. I am also grateful to our friends at Warner Bros. and the Warner Music Group for their steadfast faith in Nonesuch.”