WGBH News and Media Relations


October 13, 2015

Warner Classics and 99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston Launch Partnership Around Young Artists

New initiative hearkens back to the early days of the recording industry, updating it with cutting-edge performances and recordings in WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio

(BOSTON, Mass. – October 13, 2015) – In a throwback to an earlier era, when radio stations and record labels often joined forces (or were even the same entity, as was the case with NBC and RCA), Warner Classics and WCRB Classical Radio Boston are proud to announce a new partnership centered around recordings and performances for fast-rising young classical artists. The initiative updates the old model, bringing it into the 21st century by using WCRB and WGBH’s cutting-edge production facilities to make recordings with exciting new artists and to present them in unique member events that give public media supporters one-of-a-kind access to a new generation of classical talent.

The first year of the partnership will see the release of recordings by three of Warner Classics’ up-and-coming stars: violinist Ben Beilman, piano duo twins The Naughtons, and one-handed UK pianist Nicholas McCarthy. The program also received a high-profile test-run with the recording of Conrad Tao’s sophomore album Pictures, out October 9th.

99.5 WCRB Classical Radio Boston, a part of public media powerhouse WGBH, locally hosts and produces classical programming 24/7. In addition to recording on-location performances from Boston’s Symphony Hall to Tanglewood, WCRB hosts live events and recordings at WGBH’s state-of-the-art Fraser Performance Studio. Through this unique arrangement of combined broadcast and recording expertise, Warner artists are able to record and produce their albums with the guidance of WCRB’s world-class engineering staff.

In addition to the recordings, the Warner artists will perform a series of membership and community events hosted by WCRB – including “Groupmuses,” which are large-scale classical music house parties facilitated by the startup of the same name. These events will give Boston’s classical community the first opportunity to experience live performances from some of the most exciting young musicians in the world.

“WCRB, and our parent organization WGBH, have been leaders in classical music for decades, and serving as a hub for the industry, we seek to expand the way classical music is produced and perceived. Through partnerships like this, we help to create and extend the art, and craft a new kind of active and engaged public radio experience,” said Anthony Rudel, WCRB station manager. “This approach is something that only WCRB can offer and we are proud to have an innovative collaborator in Warner Classics.”

Jean-Philippe Rolland, Warner Classics’ VP of A&R and Business Development, said of the partnership: “We are very proud to be partnering with WCRB on this exciting initiative, working with them to create a new model for recording and promoting young talent.”

The initiative will launch with an October 14th press event at WGBH’s Fraser Performance Studio, including a performance by Conrad Tao of his new album Pictures.

About WCRB
WCRB 99.5 FM is a non-commercial, independent, listener-supported public radio station dedicated to excellence in classical music broadcasting. Serving Boston and the New England region, it offers accessible classical radio of the highest caliber and operates under the core belief that classical music can and should be part of everyone’s life. WCRB is a key community convener for classical music in New England, partnering with local arts organizations including the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Early Music Festival, the New England Conservatory and more. Its online streaming reaches a global audience. WCRB is a service of national public media leader WGBH. More info at wgbh.org/995.

About Warner Classics
Warner Classics, born from the successive acquisition of the Teldec, Erato, EMI Classics and Virgin Classics labels, holds a special place in the history of recorded music. This new banner unites the iconic Maria Callas, Herbert von Karajan and Yehudi Menuhin with the next generation of legends (Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Samson François among them) and brings together the main part of recorded output by artists as diverse as Mstislav Rostropovich, Daniel Barenboim, Maxim Vengerov and Maurice André.


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