Musical Heritage Society

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Musical Heritage Society, Inc., was an American mail-order budget record label founded in New York City in 1962 by Michael "Mischa" Naida, MD (1900–1991), co-founder of Westminster Records, and T.C. Fry Jr. (1926-1996). After a small initial group of pseudonymous issues licensed from the Telemann Society and Philips, MHS began to issue large numbers of recordings licensed from Erato. Eventually the label issued most of the Erato catalogue, including discs previously issued on several US retail labels. MHS also drew on such catalogues as Library of Recorded Masterpieces, Hispavox, Somerset, Amadeo, Expériences Anonymes, Boston, Angelicum, Muza, Arcophon, Lyrichord, Da Camera, Supraphon, Pelca, Iramac, Unicorn, Christophorus, Valois and Harmonia Mundi.[1] In the late 60's to early 70's, there was a piece of music found in a closet somewhere,[2] written by Johann Pachelbel, called Canon in D. MHS had it recorded and then had it played on WQXR in New York. T.C. Fry Jr. said it was the Rock 'N Roll of Pachelbel's day.[3] In 1976, Naida sold the firm to Albert Nissim (1923–2010), who moved the offices to Oakhurst, New Jersey. Albert Nissim's two sons, Jeffrey R. (born 1954) and Robert, assumed most of the duties for the family business.[4]

By 1980, the label had a catalog of over 3,000 discs, most of which were licensed from small European companies.[5] From May 1981 until 1999, MHS produced and sold retail its own recordings using the label Musicmasters. After that, MHS licensed standard repertory from EMI and Polygram.

In July 2011, Passionato LLC, based in Montclair, New Jersey, purchased Musical Heritage Society, which at the time, had over 100,000 CD, DVD, and SACD titles in its database. Passionato is a commercial provider of DRM–free classical music downloads. James G. Glicker (born 1954)[6] is CEO and founder of Passionato.


  1. ^ Jerome F. Weber, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians
  2. ^ personal experience and memory of T.C. Fry's son, Wendell K. Fry
  3. ^ personal experience and memory of T.C. Fry's son, Wendell K. Fry
  4. ^ Byron H. Belt (1928–2002) (Newhouse News Service), Springfield Republican (Massachusetts), November 23, 1980, pg. 105
  5. ^ Peter G. Davis, Small Classical Labels — The Industry's Rugged Individualists, New York Times, June 1, 1980
  6. ^ Who's Who in Advertising, First edition, 1990-1991, Marquis Who's Who, Wilmette, Illinois (1989) OCLC 21990384 ISBN 0837913500 ISBN 9780837913506