Universal Music Group Acquires Classical Label Hyperion Records
The new standalone will sit alongside Decca Classics under the Universal Music U.K. umbrella.
Universal Music Group has acquired the British indie classical label Hyperion Records, the company announced Wednesday (March 15).
The 43-year-old label — which is home to artists like Marc-André Hamelin, Angela Hewitt and Stephen Osborne and represents a catalog of 2,5000 recordings, some of which date back to the 12th century — will operate as a standalone label within Universal Music U.K. alongside Decca Classics. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Hyperion will now join Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon in UMG’s classical portfolio, while Simon Perry — who has overseen the label for more than 20 years, after taking over from his father, Hyperion founder Ted Perry — will remain as managing director.
“I’m thrilled to bring Hyperion to Universal Music Group, a company that shares Hyperion’s commitment to bringing the most distinctive and brilliant musicians to as wide a public as possible,” Perry said in a statement. “By being part of UMG, while keeping our artists and staff together, we can continue to build on my father’s legacy and that of everyone who’s been part of the Hyperion family over the past 43 years. My debt to all of them is huge and I look forward to leading this incredible label into an exciting new chapter.”
Hyperion is next set to release Vaughan Williams’ Sinfonia Antartica and Symphony No.9 with BBC Symphony Orchestra, a series it says is dedicated to the Masses and Magnificats of Cristóbal de Morales, as well as recordings from the London Haydn Quartet and Stephen Layton and the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge, among others. In a statement, UMG president/CEO of global classics and jazz Dickon Stainer called Hyperion “a jewel of a label,” adding that “we are committed to continuing the magnificent work done by the Perry family and to preserving and building on the special place Hyperion occupies in the hearts of artists and music fans alike.”
The acquisition comes amid a veritable wave of news spilling from the world of classical music lately. In November, Deutsche Grammophon launched a new standalone streaming service, Stage+, catering to its own catalog and that of Decca Classics. And earlier this month, Apple Music announced its own standalone streaming app, Apple Music Classical, which will roll out later this month and stems from its August 2021 acquisition of Primephonic.
“We are enormously proud that Hyperion has joined Universal’s family of classical labels to sit alongside Decca Classics in London,” Decca Label Group co-presidents Tom Lewis and Laura Monks said in a statement. “Simon and his father have created a very important recorded classical catalogue that serves a dedicated global audience. And the label continues to work with artists who are the best of the best. We are determined to celebrate the label’s legacy and continue its extraordinary story.”