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|Parent company||Sony Music Entertainment|
|Country of origin||U.S.|
Masterworks is a record label, the result of a restructuring of Sony Music Entertainment's classical music division. Before the acquisition of Bertelsmann's shares in the former Sony BMG, the label was known as Sony BMG Masterworks.
Its formation marked the merger of the Sony Classical and BMG Classics (including RCA Red Seal) product lines. Gilbert Hetherwick was the president of the label from January 2005 through November 2006, displacing Peter Gelb who was the head of Sony Classical before the merger. Hetherwick claimed (as of 2005) the label may reissue between one hundred and two hundred historical recordings per year. Hetherwick left in November 2006, to be replaced by Alex Miller, a former BMG Employee.
The label owns rights to famous recordings dating from the 20th century and late 19th century, by artists such as Enrico Caruso, Arturo Toscanini, Mario Lanza, Fritz Reiner, Artur Rubinstein, Jascha Heifetz, Vladimir Horowitz, Eugene Ormandy and Van Cliburn as well as from more recent performers such as Yo-Yo Ma, and Joshua Bell. It is also responsible for Sony BMG's immense archives of film scores (including scores for such films as Star Wars, The Phantom of the Opera, Memoirs of a Geisha and many others). It also maintains the archive of theater soundtracks, via its Masterworks Broadway imprint. It also issues jazz recordings through its Okeh Records imprint. Sony Masterworks also handles the Portrait Records and Flying Buddha Records imprints.
The merged label's name echoes the moniker used by Sony Classical's predecessor, Columbia Masterworks (later CBS Masterworks). The label's name was changed after CBS sold its records division to Sony in the late 1980s. Sony Masterworks has several imprints, used primarily for newer recorded material for its imprints itself and compilations and reissues for its imprints in conjunction with Legacy Recordings.
- Sony BMG announces new classical division
- Kozinn, A. (2005, April 12). In restructuring, Sony BMG introduces classical label. In The New York Times, CLIV, B1, B7.