Brilliant Classics was formerly part of Foreign Media Music B.V., but was acquired by Triacta in March 2011. The company is notable for its ultra-budget market approach, turning around the decline in classical records sales with issues such as the complete Mozart Edition, Bach Edition and Beethoven Edition.
Founder Pieter van Winkel, a former pianist, whose first recording was of "Nocturnes" by John Field on the former Columns Classics label, is married to the Hungarian-Dutch pianist Klára Würtz (nl). In 2005, the French magazine L'Express described Winkel as an ace marketer. Winkel's strategy was to place box-sets of mainly re-issued mainstream classical works in Kruidvat retail stores across the Netherlands. In France, he worked with Abeille Musique (fr) to supply Fnac. In Germany, he supplied Aldi.
Brilliant Classics' catalogue features a range of classical music including orchestral, choral, chamber, opera and Gregorian chant. Recordings include works by Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninoff, Telemann and Haydn, as well as performances by Maria Callas, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Boris Christoff, Tito Gobbi, Jaap van Zweden, Emil Gilels, Evgeny Kissin, David Oistrakh and Sviatoslav Richter.
- Mozart: Complete Edition
- Bach: Complete Edition
- Special Editions
- "Een tuitje in de aardkorst / druk 1: oude muziek in nederland", author: J. van der Klis, Publisher: Uitgeverij Kok, 20 Aug 2007, 576 pages, "Zijn eerste opname uit 1995 met Nocturnes van John Field werd door Pieter van Winkel gered uit een failliete boedel en in 1997 op Columns Classics uitgebracht", Retrieved: December 6, 2012
- "Letture", Volume 61, Issues 628–632, Page 78, 2006, "E il patron Pieter van Winkel ora ci riprova con Bach. In Francia, dove il successo è stato più I clamoroso, non sono mancate le reazioni scandalizzate: non si può trattare Mozart come uno yogurt, da vendere a chili in un discount.", "Pieter van Winkel, ex pianista, ora felice marito di pianista (Clara Wùrtz, interprete delle Sonate nell'integrale), nonché felicissimo patron dell'etichetta olandese Brilliant, se la ride delle polemiche: tutta pubblicità gratuita.", Retrieved: December 6, 2012
- L'express international, Publisher: Groupe Express, Issues 2826–2843, Page 80, 2005, "C'est bien parce qu'il a eu l'idée, en inondant les drugstores des Pays-Bas, de diversifier la distribution de la musique classique qu'il a fait de Brilliant Classics le n° 1 néerlandais. Mais c'est aussi un musicien passionné.", Retrieved: December 6, 2012
- Billboard, 4 March 2006, Vol. 118, No. 9, Page 11, Title: "Mozart Box Set Strikes Gold In France", by Aymeric Pichevin, Paris, "Dutch label Brilliant Classics compiled the complete works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart for the boxed set "Mozart: L'Oeuvre Integrale" to mark the 250th anniversary of the composer's birth.", "The success in France is exceptional," Brilliant Classics managing director Pieter Van Winkel says." "He confesses being bemused by the French market's enthusiastic embrace of the set, but praises the support of market-leading French music retailer Fnac, which backed Abeille/Brilliant's national press and radio ads with in-store promotion.", Published by Nielsen Business Media, Inc, Retrieved: December 6, 2012
- Focus, Issues 49–52, 2002, page 53, "'Es gibt viele Menschen, die klassische Musik mögen, aber nichts davon verstehen', sagt Brilliant-Macher Pieter van Winkel, 'die gehen nicht in den Plattenladen.' Deshalb beliefert er auch Aldi.", Retrieved: December 6, 2012
- "Pieter van Winkel" by Jean-Baptiste Millot, Les Tetes de L'art, 15 March 2011 (French)