Windham Hill Records

Infobox Company
company_name = Windham Hill Records
company_
company_slogan =
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company_type = Private Subsidiary of Sony Music Entertainment
genre = Folk music
World music
Acoustic music
New Age music
foundation = 1976
founder = William Ackerman
location = Palo Alto, CA
New York City, NY, U.S.
origins =
key_people = William Ackerman
Anne Robinson
Dawn Atkinson
Steven Miller
area_served =
industry =
products =
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
parent = SonyBMG Music
Bertelsmann AG
subsid =
owner =
homepage = [http://www.bmg.com BMG Homepage]
footnotes =

Windham Hill Records was an Independent record label, founded in 1976 by guitarist and carpenter William Ackerman and his then-wife Anne Robinson. During its height in the 1980s, Windham Hill was a successful and well-respected independent music label Fact|date=December 2007. It was purchased by BMG through a series of buyouts from 1992 through 1996 and is currently a subsidiary of SonyBMG Music Entertainment.

Windham Hill was originally a folk music label, releasing Ackerman's own work, as well as that of other guitarists. It then expanded to include electronic and world music ensembles. While the artists of Windham Hill may not have used the term, the label eventually became known in the industry mainly as a New Age music label, with its Billboard charting albums appearing primarily on the New Age genre charts. The label is best known for its high sound quality, groundbreaking music, unique flagship collections and tasteful album art within the form of an identifiable label brand identity.

The label's records were distributed by A&M Records until PolyGram purchased A&M in 1989. Since then it has been distributed by BMG, which had distributed A&M from 1979 until the sale. Ackerman sold half of the company to BMG in 1992 and the rest in 1996. BMG began distributing Windham Hill through RCA Records and merged other music labels that they purchased (such as Peter Baumann's Private Music and High Street Records) into Windham Hill, forming the Windham Hill Group. In doing so, artists such as Yanni, Ray Lynch, and Vangelis joined the label, though they were not original Windham Hill artists. Jim Brickman was the last artist signed to the label pre-buyout and he was the last artist to leave Windham Hill in 2006, joining Savoy Records. Dawn Atkinson and Bob Duskis, former executive producers of Windham Hill, headlined the BMG-absorbed company and were executives for RCA Victor (which oversaw Windham Hill) and ran Windham Hill's day-to-day business. Duskis left the label in 1997 to form Six Degrees Records and Dawn Atkinson left after the Sony BMG merger in 2004. Now a majority of Windham's releases are distributed through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony BMG. Sony BMG has no A&R department in Windham Hill and records no new music at this time. It is uncertain whether or not Windham Hill will ever release any new material, though, as part of the Legacy Recordings branch, Windham Hill consistently recycles tunes previously released.

For Windham Hill's 30th Anniversary, Sony BMG released a special collection kit, with an article from Will Ackerman.

For the first time in over 15 years, many of the early Windham Hill artists who recorded under Ackerman performed together on August 27, 2006 at the Villa Montalvo in Saratoga, California near San Jose. Though more "30th Anniversary" concerts are set, this was the only planned concert of this magnitude. Artists included: Barbara Higbie, Jim Brickman, Tuck & Patti, Alex de Grassi, Liz Story, Philip Aaberg, Michael Manring, Samite, David Cullen, Tracy Silverman, Lisa Lynne, George Tortorelli, Sean Harkness (who also planned and invited the musicians), and, of course, Will Ackerman.

Artists

* Bassist Michael Manring
* Celtic Harpist and Composer Lisa Lynne
* Celtic jazz group Nightnoise
* Composer Mark Isham
* Composer Ray Lynch
* Flautist George Tortorelli
* Folk Musician John Gorka
* Fusion Classical group Turtle Island String Quartet
* Guitarist (and founder) William Ackerman
* Guitarist Sean Harkness
* Guitarist Alex de Grassi
* Guitarist David Cullen
* Guitarist Michael Hedges
* Jazz Duo Tuck & Patti
* Jazz Guitarist Ray Obiedo
* Jazz Keyboardist and Composer Philip Aaberg
* Mandolin player Mike Marshall
* Pianist George Winston (Winston currently releases his recordings under his own label Dancing Cat Records though Sony BMG distributes them (see below))
* Pianist Jim Brickman
* Pianist Liz Story
* Pianist Scott Cossu
* Pianist Yanni
* Pianist and composer Øystein Sevåg
* Pianist and singer Barbara Higbie
* Violinist & Composer Tracy Silverman
* Violinist Darol Anger
* World Musician Samite
* World fusion ensemble Shadowfax
* Acoustic Jazz group Montreux
* New age and electronic composer Vangelis

See also

* List of record labels
* Private Music (also a subsidiary of BMG, with some back-catalog releases under the Windham Hill Records imprint)

External links

* [http://www.windham.com Official site] (defunct as of July 2007)
* [http://www.onamrecords.com/Windham_Hill.html Windham Hill Records] Label history 1982-1989; US and international discographies; Billboard performance, photo galleries, more.
* [http://www.legacyrecordings.com Legacy Recordings] Reissues much of Windham Hill's catalog


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