EMI Classics

EMI Classics
Parent company EMI (1990–2012)
Parlophone Label Group
Warner Music Group
Founded 1990 (1990)
Defunct 2013 (2013)
Status Defunct
Genre Classical music
Country of origin United Kingdom
EMI Classics logo used until 2003

EMI Classics was a record label founded by EMI in 1990 in order to reduce the need to create country-specific packaging and catalogs for internationally distributed classical music releases. Following the European Commission's approval of the takeover of EMI Group by Universal Music in September 2012, EMI Classics was listed for divestment.[1] The label was sold to Warner Music Group, which absorbed EMI Classics into Warner Classics in 2013.

Classical recordings were formerly simultaneously released under combinations of Angel, Seraphim, Odeon, Columbia, His Master's Voice, and other labels, in part because competitors own these names in various countries. These were moved under the EMI Classics umbrella to avoid the trademark problems. Prior to this, compact discs distributed globally bore the Angel Records recording angel logo that EMI owned globally. Releases created for distribution in specific countries continued to be distributed under the historical names, with the exception of Columbia, since EMI had sold the Columbia name to Sony Music Entertainment. The red logo harkens back to the Red Seal releases, introduced by EMI predecessor the Gramophone Company in 1902: HMV classical releases were issued with red labels.

EMI Classics also included the Virgin Classics label.

With the sale of EMI to Universal Music Group in 2012, European regulators forced Universal Music to divest itself of EMI Classics, which was operated with other European EMI assets to be divested as the Parlophone Label Group.[2] In February 2013, Universal Music sold the Parlophone Label Group, including EMI Classics and Virgin Classics, to Warner Music Group.[3] The European Union approved the deal on May 2013, and WMG took control of the label on 1 July 2013.[4] It was then announced that the EMI Classics artist roster and catalogue would be absorbed into the Warner Classics label and Virgin Classics would be absorbed into Erato Records.[5][6]



Sir Paul McCartney in concert


Chamber ensembles

Choirs and vocal ensembles










Celebrated Indian sitarist and composer Ravi Shankar












Crossover acts

Catalogue series

  • 100 Best (6-CD budget series)
  • 20th Century Classics series (2-CD)
  • American Classics
  • Black Boxes (Virgin Classics 5-CD budget series)
  • British Composers
  • Debut (developing artist series)
  • Encore (1-CD budget series)
  • EMI Masters
  • EMI - The Home of Opera
  • Gemini (2-CD mid-price series)
  • Great Artists of the Century
  • Great Recordings of the Century
  • Historical (series of public domain recordings)
  • ICON series
  • The Karajan Collection
  • The Klemperer Legacy
  • Legend (CD+DVD series)
  • Maria Callas Edition
  • Opera Series (budget opera series without libretto)
  • The Perlman Edition
  • The Platinum Collection (3-CD budget series from EMI UK)
  • Recommends Series (Gramophone / Penguin Guide recommended series from EMI UK)
  • Références (historical series from EMI France)
  • Rouge et Noir (2-CD mid price series from EMI France)
  • The Classics (Virgin Classics budget series)
  • Triples (3-CD budget series)
  • Veritas (Virgin Classics original instrument recordings)
  • Virgin de Virgin
  • Virgo (Virgin Classics budget series)

See also


  1. Universal's £1.2bn EMI takeover approved – with conditions 21 Sep 2012 "Full list of divestments...EMI Classics/Virgin Classics artist and composers"
  2. "Parlophone Label Group's Kassler: 'We're effectively a mini major' | News168: All the latest news". News168. 2011-03-27. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
  3. "Warner to buy the Parlophone Label Group". gramophone.co.uk. 2013-02-07. Retrieved 2013-02-28.
  4. "Updated: Warner Music Group's Acquisition of Parlophone Approved by European Commission". Billboard.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  5. "EMI Classics and Virgin Classics to join Warners". Classic FM. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  6. Archived 26 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/19/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.