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Warner Announces Arts Music Division for Classical, Musical Theatre, Jazz, More

Variety logo Variety 6/6/2017 Jem Aswad
© Provided by Variety

Warner Music Group on Tuesday announced the creation of a new division called Arts Music, a repertoire center that will focus on signing, developing and marketing artists and releases across genres including classical, musical theatre, jazz, children’s music, film scores, and other fields generally outside the pop mainstream.

Veteran executive Kevin Gore — whose experience includes serving as president & CEO of WMG’s Rhino Entertainment/Global Catalog Division as well as president of Universal Classics U.S. — has been appointed president of Arts Music. He will be based in New York and report to Eliah Seton, President of ADA Worldwide, WMG’s independent distribution and services arm.

As part of the creation of Arts Music, WMG has entered into a joint venture with Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records, the theatrical music company founded by Kurt Deutsch in 2000. Deutsch, who will continue to serve as President of Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight, is based in New York and will report to Gore. Deutsch was also recently appointed SVP Theatrical & Catalog Development for Warner/Chappell Music.

Warner Classics, including the Erato label, will also come under the Arts Music umbrella, and its president Alain Lanceron will report to Gore and continue to be based in Paris.

Eliah Seton said: “By bringing together these diverse genres and labels under unified leadership, Arts Music will provide a dynamic, focused infrastructure devoted to nurturing outstanding artists and projects, encouraging creative cross-pollination, and strengthening our capacity for growth. I am thrilled to welcome Kevin back to the WMG family, and I am also very pleased to welcome Kurt Deutsch into the WMG fold.”

Stu Bergen, CEO, International and Global Commercial Services for WMG, noted: “As we continue to grow our global footprint, we are constantly enhancing and fine-tuning our operations to ensure best-in-class support for exceptional artists and music across all styles. Recognizing that there is tremendous untapped potential in music that falls outside the pop mainstream, Arts Music will leave no stone unturned in bringing the richest variety of music in the business to the widest audience possible.”

Kevin Gore commented: “The diverse genres encompassed under Arts Music all share passionate and devoted fan bases that have been largely underserved in the current marketplace. What’s particularly exciting is that since these fans have favored physical and download formats, there is an enormous promise for growth as they migrate to streaming services and curated experiences. The timeless appeal of so much of this music, combined with rapidly evolving opportunities in the live music and partnership marketing arenas, opens up a wealth of possibilities for both established and emerging artists across a vast creative spectrum.”

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