Friday, December 10, 2010

Legendary EMI producer Peter Andry dies


One of the legendary figures of the classical music industry Peter Andry (above left) died on December 7th 2010 in the St John & St Elizabeth Hospice in St John's Wood, London.

Peter Andry was educated in Australia before joining Decca in England in 1954. He moved to EMI as a producer in 1957 working for David Bicknell who ran HMV while Walter Legge was still managing the Columbia label. Following Legge's departure in 1964 Peter Andry moved to an executive producer role and took over the management of all EMI's classical music activities under what was to become the International Classical Division. The artists who recorded for EMI during Andry's years with the company are a role-call of the greats of classical recording and include Karajan, Callas, Rostropovich, Domingo, Beecham, Muti, Previn, Giulini, du Pré and Klemperer. During his tenure many classics of the gramophone appeared on the HMV label, including Karajan's Dresden Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and the Beethoven Triple Concerto recorded in Berlin with Oistrakh, Richter and Rostropovich.

In 1988 Peter Andry left EMI to become president of the newly formed Warner Classics, where his projects included marketing the pioneering 1992 Nonesuch recording of Henryk Górecki 's Symphony No. 3, Op. 36 "Symphony of Sorrowful Songs. He remained at Warner Classics until his retirement in 1996.

In the mid-1970s, in response to the increasing globalisation of the record industry, Peter Andry was sent by EMI on a marketing course at INSEAD, the prestigous French business school. As a result of this course he decided to recruit an international marketing manager who would combine marketing experience with the ability to differentiate Boyce from Boulez. The marketing executive recruited into EMI was me and the header photo dates from my time at EMI. It shows Peter Andry with Herbert von Karajan at the 1978 launch my marketing team organised for Karajan's recording of Debussy's Pelléas et Méliande.

Peter Andry was one of the last of the entrepreneur producers. For him budgets were to be watched rather than worshipped. And the wisdom of that approach can be seen in the legacy of great recordings that grace EMI's back catalogue. More on Peter Andry in No flowers please for Herbert von Karajan, More maestros myths and madness, Rostropovich - reaching out for the music and Schoenberg on Toscanini.

Also on Facebook and Twitter. Header photo is (c) On An Overgrown Path 2010. Report broken links, missing images and errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk

1 comment:

Pliable said...

Nice tribute to Peter Andry in Music Week, which is the UK music industry bible - http://www.musicweek.com/story.asp?sectioncode=1&storycode=1043634&c=1