Windham Hill Records
company_name = Windham Hill Records
company_type = Private Subsidiary of
Sony Music Entertainment
Folk music World music Acoustic music New Age music
foundation = 1976
Palo Alto, CA New York City, NY, U.S.
parent = SonyBMG Music
homepage = [http://www.bmg.com BMG Homepage]
Windham Hill Records was an
Independent record label, founded in 1976 by guitaristand carpenter William Ackermanand 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 BMGthrough a series of buyouts from 1992 through 1996 and is currently a subsidiaryof SonyBMG Music Entertainment.
Windham Hill was originally a
folk musiclabel, releasing Ackerman's own work, as well as that of other guitarists. It then expanded to include electronic and world musicensembles. 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 musiclabel, 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 Recordsuntil PolyGrampurchased 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 Recordsand merged other music labels that they purchased (such as Peter Baumann's Private Musicand High Street Records) into Windham Hill, forming the Windham Hill Group. In doing so, artists such as Yanni, Ray Lynch, and Vangelisjoined the label, though they were not original Windham Hill artists. Jim Brickmanwas 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 Recordsand Dawn Atkinson left after the Sony BMGmerger in 2004. Now a majority of Windham's releases are distributed through Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony BMG. Sony BMG has no A&Rdepartment 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
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 Montalvoin Saratoga, Californianear 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.
* Celtic Harpist and Composer
* Celtic jazz group
* Folk Musician
* Fusion Classical group
Turtle Island String Quartet
* Guitarist (and founder)
Alex de Grassi
* Jazz Duo
Tuck & Patti
* Jazz Guitarist
* Jazz Keyboardist and Composer
* Mandolin player Mike Marshall
George Winston(Winston currently releases his recordings under his own label Dancing Cat Recordsthough Sony BMGdistributes them (see below))
* Pianist and composer
* Pianist and singer
* Violinist & Composer
* World Musician Samite
* World fusion ensemble Shadowfax
New ageand electronic composer Vangelis
List of record labels
Private Music(also a subsidiary of BMG, with some back-catalog releases under the Windham Hill Records imprint)
* [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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