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Classicalite Recording News: Virgin Chief Alain Lanceron Reported to Stay Beyond Warner Move

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Aug 02, 2013 06:55 PM EDT | Classicalite Newsdesk

Classicalite Recording News: Virgin Chief Alain Lanceron Reported to Stay Beyond Warner Move

Born in Nice in 1949, Alain Lanceron has produced more than 600 classical recordings--featuring pretty much anyone who is anyone within the classical music realm. (Photo : Jean-Baptiste Millot)

A piece of good news from the EMI Classical/Virgin Classics move to Warner: Alain Lanceron, one of the great A&R men, is reported to be staying with the catalogs with which he has worked for many years.

Let's recap...

EMI, which emerged somewhat scarred from the years when it was owned by a venture capitalist (nothing wrong with VCs per se, of course, but this one didn't realize how much he was biting off and, consequently, was never really able to convincingly chew it), has been bought by Universal.

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Universal, in turn, sold off the classical operations of EMI and sister label Virgin (once owned by Richard Branson before EMI bought it) but--and here's where it gets a mite confusing--not the brand names.

Warner will publish catalog and new recordings that would once have been billed EMI or Virgin under Warner Classics and the long-dormant (and much-respected) line Erato.

The first issues under the new formation, from two musical knights, have already come out--one from Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic, the other from Sir Antonio Pappano and the Academy of St. Cecilia.

So, back now to Alain Lanceron.

Lanceron started in recordings of pop music, but he always saw that as a way to move across to classical, which eventually he did, rising to run Virgin. There he gathered and groomed a stable of world-class talents.

Among these have been: Natalie Dessay, Philippe Jaroussky, Rolando Villazón (who subsequently moved to DG), the Capuçon brothers, Nicholas Angelich, Max Emanuel Cenčić, Joyce DiDonato, Valery Sokolov, Diana Damrau and various others.

In many cases, this talent remains loyal to Lanceron.

Other execs in the record industry (including those already at Warner Classics) have their own talents and reputations. But Lanceron staying with the company to which he has made such an enormous contribution will be welcomed both by his new colleagues and by lovers of fine recordings, in general.

As a reminder of Alain Lanceron's talents, here's a little something from the 20th anniversary concert of Virgin Classics in Nice back in 2009.

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