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|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
EMI Classics was a record label founded by Thorn EMI in 1990 to reduce the need to create country-specific packaging and catalogues for internationally distributed classical music releases. After Thorn EMI demerged in 1996, its recorded music division became the EMI Group. Following the European Commission's approval of the takeover of EMI Group by Universal Music in September 2012, EMI Classics was listed for divestment. 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 was also responsible for managing Pye Records' classical recordings acquired by Thorn EMI in 1990.
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. In February 2013, Universal Music sold the Parlophone Label Group, including EMI Classics and Virgin Classics, to Warner Music Group. The European Union approved the deal on May, and WMG took control of the label on 1 July. 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.
- Thomas Adès
- Craig Armstrong
- Howard Goodall
- Karl Jenkins
- Jon Lord
- Sir Paul McCartney
- Wim Mertens
- Michael Nyman
- Zbigniew Preisner
- John Rutter
- John Tavener
- Michael Tippett
- Mohammed Abdel Wahab
Choirs and vocal ensembles
- "Vote solid for Thorn demerger". Independent. 17 August 1996.
- "Universal's £1.2bn EMI takeover approved – with conditions". The Guardian. 21 September 2012.
Full list of divestments...EMI Classics/Virgin Classics artist and composers
- "Parlophone Label Group's Kassler: 'We're effectively a mini major'". News168. 27 March 2011. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "Warner to buy the Parlophone Label Group". gramophone.co.uk. 7 February 2013. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
- "Updated: Warner Music Group's Acquisition of Parlophone Approved by European Commission". Billboard.com. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "EMI Classics and Virgin Classics to join Warners". Classic FM. 19 July 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
-  Archived 26 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine