Penguin to Develop a Classical Music Label in Partnership with Polygram Classics and Jazz

Penguin today announced plans to launch a new classical music label in conjunction with Decca Records and its sister labels, Philips, Deutsche Grammophon, and Verve all wholly-owned subsidiaries of the PolyGram entertainment group.

Through a trademark licensing agreement with Decca Records, Penguin will expand the franchise of one of the world's most famous media trademarks: the Penguin logo will be used to promote "Penguin Music Classics", a distinctive and highly innovative range of classical music CDs. Recordings for the series will be drawn from all four of PolyGram's world famous music catalogues, and Penguin envisages developing a label, with the marketing expertise of Decca Records that will appeal strongly to millions of readers familiar with the values and designs of the Penguin Classics paperback series.

Michael Lynton, Chairman and Chief Executive of the Penguin Group, said he hoped to see a launch of the new series before the end of the year, probably starting in the US and the UK. He commented "We said last year that building the value of the Penguin brand would be a priority. Books and classical music have a natural affinity, and we're delighted to be exploring the commercial potential of this link with the best names in the music business."

Chris Roberts, President of PolyGram Classics and Jazz commented, "The relationship with Penguin provides our labels with the ideal partner with whom we can broaden our consumer base both through traditional and new methods of marketing books and music."

Penguin Books is one of the world's foremost publishers of English-language consumer books, in both hardback and paperback. It owns a wide range of imprints and trademarks in addition to publishing in its own name, and also produces maps, audio books and other media products. The Penguin Group is a subsidiary of Pearson plc, the international media group.

The Decca Record Company, a division of the global entertainment group PolyGram, is one of the world's most distinguished music labels and its artist roster includes Luciano Pavarotti, The Three Tenors, Cecilia Bartoli and Renee Fleming. The Philips roster includes Andrea Bocelli and Jessye Norman; the Deutsche Grammophon roster includes Gil Shaham and Pierre Boulez; and the Verve roster includes Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.

For further information

Sally Beavan


Penguin UK


Tel: 0171 416 3257


Amanda Conroy


PolyGram International


Tel: 0171 747 4217


Chrissy Wild


The Decca Record Company


Tel: 0181 910 3125