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Ted Perry, 71, the Founder of the Hyperion Record Label, Dies

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  • TeriNoelTowe@aol.com
    Truly sad news for all of us who love Classical music in general and Early Music in specific.
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 13, 2003
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      Truly sad news for all of us who love Classical music in general and Early Music in specific.

      Click here: Ted Perry, 71, the Founder of the Hyperion Record Label, Dies



      February 11, 2003

      Ted Perry, 71, the Founder of the Hyperion Record Label, Dies

      By ALLAN KOZINN


      ed Perry, the founder of Hyperion Records, a British classical music label known for exploring the byways of the repertory as devotedly as it does the core literature, died on Sunday in London. He was 71 and lived in London. The cause was lung cancer, said his daughter Nicola Perry. Mr. Perry, who was born in May 1931, came from a working-class background and became fascinated with music after a childhood hip operation left him in leg braces and unable to participate in sports. He began memorizing the details of record catalogs, not only the works and performers but also the selection numbers for each disc, and in his late teens he was employed to run the record department at EMG Handmade Gramophones, a small but well-known shop in London. When Deutsche Grammophon, the German classical label, opened a London office in 1956, he joined the company to oversee its first British releases. But he remained with the company for only a year, moving to Sydney, Australia, in 1957 to run the marketing and distribution department at Festival Records.Mr. Perry returned to London in 1961 and joined Saga, a small British label, as its director of artists and repertory. He left the company in 1963 after its management opposed some of his recording plans, but he returned in 1973. In the mid-1970's he left Saga again to start Meridian Records with a partner, John Shuttleworth. And in 1980 he left Meridian to start Hyperion with his wife, Doreen (from whom he was divorced in 1981), and a financial partner, Bill Singer. Hyperion quickly established itself as a label with a taste for the unusual. Among its earliest recordings where recordings of the Finzi and Stanford Clarinet Concertos, played by Thea King, and an organ transcription of Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," performed by Arthur Wills. Hyperion quickly won a following among collectors, both for its explorations of otherwise neglected British composers, early Romantics and medieval and Baroque works, and for the warm quality of its sound. Still, in those early years Mr. Perry drove a taxi to supplement his income, and his family spent its evenings packaging discs around the kitchen table. That changed in 1984 when the company released "Sacred Vocal Music of Monteverdi," with the soprano Emma Kirkby, the tenor Ian Partridge and the bass David Thomas, and "A Feather on the Breath of God," a collection of works by the 12th-century abbess Hildegard of Bingen. Both became huge and steady sellers for the label. Mr. Perry went on to build Hyperion into the largest independent classical label in Britain, with a catalog of about 1,200 titles. Among the highlights of its releases was a 36-CD survey of the complete songs of Schubert, overseen by the pianist Graham Johnson, with vocal performances by some of the best Schubert singers of the 1980's and 1990's, among them Dame Janet Baker, Elly Ameling, Arlee Auger, Lucia Popp, Edith Mathis, Anthony Rolfe-Johnson, Thomas Allen, Thomas Hampson and Margaret Price. Mr. Perry is survived by a son, Simon, of London, and two daughters, Louise, of London, and Nicola, of New York.

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      Teri Noel Towe



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