Universal Music Classics (UMC) is the U.S. home of the prestigious Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and Mercury Classics labels, while continuing its ongoing relationship with the esteemed ECM label. UMC is also a thriving imprint with its own U.S. based signed artists including Time For Three, The Hot Sardines, Twin Danger, Mohammed Fairouz and Black Violin among others. UMC is committed to the best that “classics” stands for – music rooted in the classical tradition, while also encompassing a variety of genres including contemporary, jazz, Broadway and world music.
For over 80 years Decca has been synonymous with quality, from the talented artists who have recorded for Decca to the excellence of their recordings. Decca Classics is the legendary label that is home to countless classical music stars, including many of the top musicians and performers in the world today who are building on this priceless legacy. These include; Cecilia Bartoli, Riccardo Chailly, Valentina Lisitsa, Nicola Benedetti, Leonidas Kavakos and Pumeza Matshikiza. Throughout his long and distinguished career, Decca was the exclusive label for the most successful classical recording artist in history, Luciano Pavarotti.
With a heritage of artists from across the musical spectrum, Decca Records is one of the most established names in music. Today, it continues to be a label of great diversity, thriving on discovering talent in areas such as pop, rock, folk, Americana, and many more.
One of the greatest names in classical music, since it was founded in 1898, Deutsche Grammophon has always stood for highest standards of artistry. Today, the label continues to be known for musical excellence with a roster of artists including many of the world’s most admired talents such as Bryn Terfel, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Krystian Zimerman, Claudio Abbado, Placido Domingo, Valery Gergiev, Magdalena Kozena, Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon. The catalogue also features recordings from many of the finest classical artists in the history such as Leonard Bernstein, Vladimir Horowitz and Herbert von Karajan.
Founded by producer Manfred Eicher in 1969, ECM soon established an early reputation with standard-setting jazz recordings by artists such as Keith Jarrett, Paul Bley, Jan Garbarek, Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, before expanding the program to include contemporary compositions in the late 1970s. The ECM New Series was launched in 1984, originally to introduce Arvo Pärt’s “Tabula Rasa”, and has since become a broad platform for a wide variety of composed music from the pre-baroque era to the present day. Eicher’s own background, as a musician active in both jazz and classical music, provided an unusually broad vantage point from which to survey the genres, and the producer has been credited with helping to bring form to improvised music and a sense of ‘improvisational’ flexibility to recordings of contemporary composition.
Mercury KX is the first post-classical imprint operating within a major music group. The label aims to identify and work with composer-performers of strong creative individuality that bring a distinct perspective to contemporary music, focusing on new instrumental music – crossing borders between electronic, modern, classical, alternative and ambient. Mercury KX is home to artists such as Icelandic composer Òlafur Arnalds, London duo Solomon Grey, Australian composer and pianist Luke Howard and the mysteriously masked pianist, Lambert.