In a blog entry posted yesterday evening, the Plain Dealer’s Frank Bentayou reported that Telarc International, Cleveland’s highly regarded recording company has cut 26 employees, reducing the number of employees by half, and Telarc’s founder, President and legendary classical recording producer Robert Woods will leave the company in March. Woods is setting up an independent production company which will manage classical music artists and produce their recordings.
Telarc was bought by the Concord Music Group in 2005. Telarc will no longer produce its own recordings, but will outsource the production to others. Physical production of the CDs themselves has been outsourced for years. (I note that most, if not all, of Telarc’s catalog is now available as downloads from emusic.com, and perhaps other online venues as well.)
Telarc has received numerous Grammy awards over the years, and has recorded such artists as Lorin Maazel and Christoph Von Dohnanyi and the Cleveland Orchestra (not simultaneously), Robert Shaw, both with the Atlanta Symphony and Chorus as well as with his Robert Shaw Festival Singers. How many singers who have gone on to high-flying careers made some of their first recordings on Telarc? (Christine Brewer and Renee Fleming are among them.) Telarc has always been known for the high production values of their recordings and pristine nature of their recorded sound. In more recent years Telarc had branched out to jazz recordings.
This is just more evidence of the sad state of the American recording industry.