|Country of origin||United States|
Crystal Records is an American producer and distributor of classical chamber and solo music recordings. The company was founded in 1966 by Peter George Christ (born 1938) and is incorporated in the state of Washington.
Christ, who has served as President of Crystal Records since its inception, is also an oboist and founding member of the Westwood Wind Quintet (founded 1959). Initially, Crystal Records produced vinyl records featuring woodwind and brass musicians, but, eventually expanded to percussion, strings, orchestra, accordion, organ, and vocal.
Christ has played the oboe in orchestras and in chamber ensembles large and small, and has taught the instrument at a variety of colleges and universities. But, he holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from UCLA (1960) and a Master of Arts in Mathematics from San Diego State University (1962). He studied music, but has no formal degree in it. His main oboe teacher for six years was Bert Gassman – former principal of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and former student himself of Marcel Tabuteau.
Known for wind and brass recordings
The majors may be giving up on recital recordings, which surely are among the least marketable commodities in the business today, but smaller firms, like Crystal, seem to be carrying on admirably.
Crystal Records is one of those unique and specialized labels that, for several decades, has been issuing a compendious catalog of works, both chamber and orchestral, featuring outstanding soloists, primarily but not exclusively players of wind and brass instruments. In this distinctive role, Crystal, under its founder and chief executive Peter Christ, has been filling important gaps in the recorded repertoire that no other label comes close to matching.
Notable musicians and ensembles on Crystal Records
- John Sargent Rockwell, The Return of the Small Label, The New York Times, pgs 24 & 27, July 14, 1974
- International Who's Who in Music and Musicians' Directory, 10th edition, Cambridge, England (1984)
- Who's Who in American Music: Classical, R.R. Bowker, New York (1983)
- Peter Graffam Davis (born 1936), Small Classical Labels – The Industry's 'Rugged Individualists, The New York Times, pgs 19 & 22, June 1, 1980
- Raymond Sunessen Tuttle, PhD, Rendezvous and Dreams, Fanfare, Issue 25:5, May/June (2002)
- John W. Lambert, Balancing Act – Bill Booth, Fanfare, Issue 24:2, Nov/Dec 2000
- Peter A. Snook, Beck and Call – Carolyn Beck, Fanfare, Issue 30:4, Mar/Apr 2007