Tuesday, September 8, 2009

White Pine Music Thrives on Diversity in Classical Music, Gives CDs to Radio Hosts

[Take the 'A' Train; Harlem String Quartet; White Pine Music (2007)]

AfriClassical interviewed Scott Burgess on Sept. 1, 2009 about two Copland Fund grants in 2009. We wrote about 'From the Diary of Sally Heming' on Sept. 1, 2009 and 'Songs of William Grant Still' Sept. 4, 2009. We also asked Scott how White Pine Music sells its recordings.

A. “We're on Amazon and CDBaby, we have our own website and frankly where we do the best sales is when the artists take the discs and sell them outside their concerts. We worked with the Harlem Quartet, we did their debut disc. They move a lot of little silver platters when they're out playing, because if you've ever seen them perform, they really engage the audience! So their CD's done well for us.”

Q. “So that is still very much something that's drawing attention?”

A. “Definitely!”
Q. “Do you envision doing any of the orchestral or large-form music, or are you oriented towards the smaller style?”

A. “We have one orchestral project in the works, its a disc of piano and orchestral music by Francisco Mignone, the Brazilian composer.”

Q. “What are the label's financial terms?”

A. “We don't pay anything up front, but we split things. Once our costs are recovered we're able to share the love at that point.”

Q. "What is your system of distribution to Public Radio music hosts?"

A. “What we've done is we just send out copies whenever we get a new one. We've got a list of about 190 stations.”

Q. “How do stations get on the list?”

A. “We've dug them up. We looked at several different listings of classical radio stations, public radio stations.”

Q. “What else you would like to point out to our readers?”

A. “I'm particularly proud of and happy to have this ongoing relationship with the Sphinx Organization and we look to have some more recordings out there in the fairly near future.

Q. Do you have any CDs to highlight?

A. “Well certainly the three that we've done with the Sphinx – the first Harlem Quartet disc, Elena's project, and the very first one we did, which was with the 2006 Laureate, Gabriel Cabezas and Ron-Miguel Hernandez.”

Q. “Is there anything else that you think you'd like to bring up today?”

A. “I guess the only other thing I'd say is that I am interested in ideas that you or any of your readers might have about other projects – things that ought to be out there but nobody has done.”

Q. “Oh, you'll get some if you say that!”

A. “I bet I will! Of course we can't do them all. We do probably four, five, six releases a year, because I do have a day job, if you will, keeping things going here at the Department.”

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