The acquisition will have mutual benefits between the organisations in an aim to change the face of music education and performance experiences in the future


© Matthew Washburn/San Francisco Conservatory of Music

The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) announced that it is the new home of Pentatone Music, a partnership that will enable students, artists and the public to benefit from the combined resources of a leading conservatory and a record label.

Pentatone joins an existing alliance between SFCM and the artist management company Opus 3 Artists which the Conservatory acquired in October 2020. As a trio, SFCM, Opus 3 Artists and Pentatone present a platform to reimagine the model for professional music education and to invent the performance experience of the future.

’Bringing Pentatone in–house creates an extraordinary backdrop to explore new ideas for performing, recording and distributing music. For the first time, professional artists have access to a research and development engine in the form of SFCM’s students and Pentatone’s skill and creativity producing musical experiences of quality and enduring importance,’ said SFCM President David Stull.

’Our collaboration will provide invaluable opportunities to students while giving new life to one of the world’s greatest labels,’ said Stull. ’Together, we will continue to push boundaries that advance the cause of music worldwide.’

Pentatone, which is based in Baarn, Netherlands, will continue to operate as an independent company. Like SFCM students, its artists now have access to SFCM’s state–of–the–art recording studio in the Ute and William K. Bowes, Jr. Center for Performing Arts in San Francisco’s Civic Center Arts District.

In addition to sharing engineers, orchestral talent, educational resources, masterclasses and professional development sessions, SFCM expects to invite the Pentatone team to campus to participate in a project with students and faculty during the Conservatory’s 2023 winter term, ultimately resulting in the release of an album.

’The team at Pentatone is excited for the potential that comes with a profound partnership with SFCM and the constituent companies of its larger organisation,’ said Pentatone Managing Director Sean Hickey. ’We are pleased that it affords us the potential for meaningful collaboration in the areas of higher education, recorded music, and music management and the shared resources that we hope to enjoy as a result. The record industry is changing drastically and now is a good time for one of the largest and most– celebrated independent classical labels to forge deeper and more strategic partnerships.’

The label has released recordings by cellists Alisa Weilerstein and Johannes Moser, pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Denis Kozhukhin,  vocalists Magdalena Kožená, Ian Bostridge and Piotr Beczała and ensembles including the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin.