Experienced Decca exec will relocate to renowned label’s Berlin HQ


BERLIN, March 13, 2012 – Deutsche Grammophon, the world’s most renowned classical music label, has a new President.  Mark Wilkinson is appointed to the post with effect from April 9, assuming command of a 114-year-old company associated with many of the most celebrated musicians in recorded music history, as well as a roster of new, 21st century stars.

He will report to Frank Briegmann, President, Universal Music Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Deutsche Grammophon, who announced the appointment today.  Mr. Wilkinson, 46, will assume responsibility for all aspects of DG’s operations, based at its Berlin headquarters.  He will relocate from London, where he has held senior management and marketing posts with Universal Music for the past 19 years.  Currently, he is Managing Director of Decca Records.

Deutsche Grammophon, known for an uncompromising attitude to quality in music and an innovative approach to marketing, has an extraordinary roster, which includes such established names as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Gustavo Dudamel, Elina Garanca, Hélène Grimaud, Hilary Hahn, Anne-Sophie Mutter, Anna Netrebko, Maurizio Pollini, Bryn Terfel, Rolando Villazón and Yuja Wang.  Among its celebrated newcomers are Lisa Batiashvili, Mojca Erdmann, Miloš Karadaglic, Alice Sara Ott and Mikhail Simonyan.

Frank Briegmann said, “I am delighted that Mark will be taking over the leadership of Deutsche Grammophon.  In addition to his expertise and his Universal Music experience, he has a strong reputation as a champion for classical music and its artists.  Just like our long-standing label, he stands for quality, creativity and brilliance – and I know it’s his ambition to stimulate and increase people’s appetite for the music of this beautiful, diverse label.  I am looking forward to working with Mark, and wish him in this new post, as well as the entire DG team, much success!”

During his long tenure with Universal Music, Mark Wilkinson has worked with a wide spectrum of UK and international artists.  They include Nicola Benedetti, Andrea Bocelli and the afore-mentioned Miloš Karadaglic, Bryn Terfel, Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón, and, more recently, composers Ludovico Einaudi, Eric Whitacre and Paul Mealor.  For the past three years, he has been co-Chairman of the UK’s Classic Brits awards.  He holds a music degree from the University of Durham, and was an accomplished amateur flautist.

Mark Wilkinson commented: “Deutsche Grammophon LPs from the giants of classical music recording history were a central part of my own musical upbringing, so the opportunity to work with the Yellow Label’s dynamic team, its unique roster of both new and established artists, and its peerless catalogue is a genuine honour.”

Max Hole, Chief Operating Officer, Universal Music Group International, said:  “This is a time of great change and opportunity in classical music, and it’s a new era for Deutsche Grammophon.  Mark will bring energy, enthusiasm and innovation to this great company.”

Deutsche Grammophon was founded in Hanover in 1898 by brothers Emile and Joseph Berliner.  Among the artists whose historic recorded music catalogue it maintains are Leonard Bernstein, Enrico Caruso, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Herbert von Karajan and Wilhelm Kempff.  The company has frequently innovated, releasing the first complete recording of an orchestral work in 1913, recording only on magnetic tape from 1946, starting the first industrial CD production in 1982, releasing laser discs, and becoming the first classical label to sell recordings through its own online web shop.

Mark Wilkinson succeeds Michael Lang, who departed as President of Deutsche Grammophon at the end of 2011, after 10 years at its helm.