DG snatch ex-Naxos man to boot up sluggish backlist

DG snatch ex-Naxos man to boot up sluggish backlist


norman lebrecht

October 19, 2010

Deutsche Grammophon and Decca have signed the former Naxos head of marketing Barry Holden to manage their classical catalogues. The move, announced as part of ‘a significant expansion programme for (the) flagship classical labels’ is singular and significant.

Holden was putting cheap classics into gas stations while DG talked of price protection. He signed the England football manager, Sven-Goran Eriksson, to front a classical album ahead of a World Cup campaign (inevitably, a loser) and he snapped up dead labels to boost the Naxos cat with high-quality English music of a prior era.

He’s a competitive animal. It could get hot in the bargain basement.

Other label signings – cellist Alisa Weilerstein and soprano Alexsandra Kurzak to Decca, violinist Mikhail Simonian to DG. Lut Behiels is the new director of classical marketing

The driving force behind the expansion is Universal Music Group COO, Max Hole.