Industry News

Universal Creates New Label Group for Classical

May 19, 2016 | By Susan Elliott, MusicalAmerica.com

Universal Music Group (UMG) will broaden its 60-year-old Verve imprint, largely a jazz/crossover label, to incorporate Deutsche Grammophon, Decca Classics, Mercury Classics, and ECM. The Verve Label Group, as it is to be called, will be headed by Tony Bennett’s son and manager Danny and headquartered in New York. Bennett’s title is president and CEO, with immediate effect.

UMG maintains that the individual labels will still maintain their own A&R and marketing/promotion staffs.

A new head for the classical labels will be announced shortly. He or she will report to Bennett who will report to Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President of UMG.

Current Verve label head David Foster has “decided to return full-time to producing,” says UMG.  

The new arrangement is “making a strong statement about the high value we place on building on our robust jazz and classical repertoire,” said Anthony in her comments. “We are committed to growing our presence in these genres even further and creating crossover successes.” 

Danny Bennett’s CV includes Grammy and Emmy awards and being named a Top 100 Marketer by Advertising Age. Through his company, RPM productions, founded in 1979, he has managed his father’s career for over 35 years. Among Tony Bennett’s 17 Grammy-awarding albums is the recent Cheek to Cheek, with Lady Gaga.


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