James Steven Ginsburg

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James Steven Ginsburg (born September 8, 1965) is an American music producer. He is the founder, producer and president of Cedille Records, a classical label, which launched in 1989 when Ginsburg was a student at the University of Chicago.


Ginsburg was born into a family of lawyers. Father Martin D. Ginsburg taught at Georgetown University Law Center. Mother Ruth Bader Ginsburg currently sits on the U.S. Supreme Court. Sister Jane teaches law at Columbia University. James Ginsburg attended the University of Chicago, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in 1987, and attended its Law School for one year.[1][2]

Cedille Records[edit]

James Ginsburg was raised in New York City's Upper East Side, where he began collecting records of classical music at an early age. While attending college he also immersed himself in the music genre, taking charge of classical programming at the mixed-format radio station which the university sponsored. After graduation he began reviewing classical recordings for American Record Guide magazine.[3]

In 1989 Ginsburg launched a record label, Cedille Records, to focus on classical music produced by artists and composers associated with Chicago, Illinois. The label is based in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. Encouraged by the critical and commercial response to his early recordings, Ginsburg abandoned law school in his second year to devote full-time to Cedille.[4]

Ginsburg has produced a large percentage of the label's recordings. He also helped establish a nonprofit foundation in 1994, The Chicago Classical Recording Foundation, to operate the label.


In 2009 The Chicago Tribune nominated Ginsburg as "Chicagoan of the Year", writing "Let's hear it for James Ginsburg. The Chicagoan is one of the last independent entrepreneurs in classical recording, a man who has stuck to his artistic vision and made a success of it at a time of market shrinkage and industry downsizing."[5]

In 2010 Ginsburg won the "The Helen Coburn Meier and Tim Meier Charitable Foundation for the Arts Achievement Award". In making the award, the Foundation wrote "We applaud Jim for seeing that Chicago has an abundance of stellar musicians. With his recording projects, Jim believes he can advance musicians' careers and serve the listening public in equal measure."

Cedille Records' output has won multiple Grammys, including a 2008 win for "Best Chamber Music Performance" by the artist "eighth blackbird."[6]


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