Dr. Peter G. Watchorn
Co-founder and President of the Board
Peter Watchorn is an internationally recognized harpsichordist, organist, writer and artistic advisor to various period instrument ensembles. One of the 1985 recipients of America’s premier Early Music prize, the Erwin Bodky Memorial Award, he has enjoyed a distinguished career in the field of Historically Informed Performance for over thirty years. In addition he is well known as a recording producer, and has served in this capacity for nearly all of Musica Omnia’s releases. He graduated from Boston University in 1995 with the Doctor of Musical Arts degree. A student of the Viennese harpsichordist, Isolde Ahlgrimm, he wrote her official biography, published in 2007 by Ashgate Publishing, London. He has made numerous recordings, and has achieved international recognition for his interpretations of the music of J. S. Bach. [Peter Watchorn Full CV 2014-09]
Co-founder and Business Advisor
As a successful technology entrepreneur, David brings expertise in distribution and business development. He has played harpsichord since 1980, taking his first lessons with Peter Watchorn. He moved to San Francisco in 1994 from Sydney, Australia to found a successful Internet company. David provided the initial funding to establish Musica Omnia.
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Co-founder, Producer and Sound Engineer
Joel Gordon has engineered and produced several hundred classical, contemporary and world music CDs, plus countless “live” and field recordings, recorded in the USA, Europe and Asia. His work can be heard on various recording labels throughout the USA and Europe. For over twenty years he has served as producer for WGBH Radio in Boston, MA, having overseen over one thousand live performance, concert and studio recordings as well as radio music special programs. His ethnographic field recordings can be heard on Smithsonian Folkways Records. His exemplary professional standards distinguish every Musica Omnia release and provide the label with its distinctive audiophile quality sound. Joel Gordon is also the founder of the internationally syndicated American new music resource, Art of the States.
Martin C. Basart
Director of Global Marketing & Sales and Vice President of the Board
Martin Basart has been involved in sales and marketing of classical recordings for almost forty years. Originally from the Netherlands he relocated to the USA in 1976 to train in record production under George H. de Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, founder of the world-famous VOX classical recording catalogue. In this role he created over one hundred classical albums, later becoming a regional VOX sales representative. In January of 1979 he joined Pickwick Records’ label division as National Sales Manager, after which he became Vice President Sales and Marketing for Intersound, Essex Entertainment and later BMG/Empire Musicwerks.
Director of Publicity
Dan Verdick has worked in publicity and media relations in music and book publishing for more than 20 years, and has garnered author and artist coverage in the largest publications and media outlets in the US and world, including CBS Sunday Morning, the New York Times, CNN, and a range of radio stations, daily newspapers, and more. Several of the titles he worked with charted on Billboard. More recently, he’s led several organizations’ social media marketing, reaching readers and listeners across the world with his creative engagement campaigns. Dan is also an accomplished percussionist and has played in several jazz and pop ensembles throughout the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area.
Graphic Design and layout
Nathan Lambshead, who is responsible for Musica Omnia’s album designs and the layout and creation of our famous extensive booklets, brings to the label his 34 years experience in commercial printing and book publishing, color correction and photo adjustments, as well as long-time expertise in general design and layout. He is the owner and sole proprietor of Goodnews Graphics.
It takes a phenomenal combination of talent, experience and expertise to create a significant new label in the current highly competitive field of classical music recording. It also takes taste, a capacity for self-criticism and a constant awareness of the fluidity of many different trends in musical performance. Moreover, it requires knowledge combined with innovation to develop an appropriate musical, technological and marketing philosophy, not to mention a willingness to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances of both technology and artistic trends.
Musica Omnia showcases the finest performances by today’s leading artists by offering the best presentation that modern technology can provide. Central to our philosophy is a constant awareness of the resources and sound world of every historical period, so that the music of each composer is represented as faithfully as possible. Our goal is to provide our listeners with a vital, contemporary musical experience, based on the best historical research and the highest aesthetic standards. We are conscious of both preserving the legacy of the past while advancing and constantly renewing our vision of music as art.
Our roster of performing artists, whom we proudly acknowledge as the most important members of the Musica Omnia family, includes both the most experienced and internationally famous musicians, as well as highly gifted members of the younger generation of performers who will carry our ideals through the 21st century. Our production staff includes some of the most experienced and respected members of the audio community. Our releases are enhanced by supporting material in the form of booklet notes written by the world’s leading scholars and musicians. Each release is designed to be as pleasing visually as it is distinguished musically.
Musica Omnia is a label conceived by musicians for musicians. Many of our board members and staff are also musicians. Our company takes seriously its commitment to bridge the gap between the professional musician, the experienced listener and that potentially limitless international community of new classical music aficionados. A glance at our catalogue will tell the story, as will a visit to our “artists” page. Musica Omnia is harvesting a wealth of creative talent to carry forward a revolution in the presentation of classical music for every generation of music lover, present and future.
Musica Omnia is a label devoted to preserving and disseminating performances of great music by the world’s leading musicians, with special emphasis on period performance. Those who recall the SEON label from the 1970s, where the listener could rely on the choice of artist, high aesthetic and historical standards and predictably excellent, state of the art sound, will find similar ideals here. Musica Omnia has been geared towards this end since its founding in 2000 by Peter Watchorn (artistic direction and artist liaison), Joel Gordon (recording and sound production/engineering) and David Fox (business and marketing). Based in the USA, Musica Omnia sets the same standards as the best, most prestigious audiophile labels in Europe and Japan.
In 2002, Musica Omnia expanded its identity and became a registered not-for-profit-corporation, in order to be able to maximize its flexibility both as a classical music CD company and as an educational resource, capable of raising capital for special projects. The years from 2002 to 2006 were also spent in consolidating the catalogue and building up Musica Omnia’s releases to the present number of around twenty, with six new releases planned in each coming year. In 2006 Musica Omnia is once again presenting itself for worldwide distribution and sales, under the leadership of Martin Basart, who has been with Musica Omnia from the very beginning, and who, prior to joining Musica Omnia has had many years of experience in the area of marketing and sales in the record industry. Distributors for our physical CDs, both in the US and in foreign countries, are being appointed at the present time.
Musica Omnia is governed by a corporate board which assists with fund-raising for special projects and helps oversee and maintain the high musical and artistic standards that the label has achieved in its first decade of operation. This unique structure enables Musica Omnia to compete in the market place, while pursuing funding for special projects through grants and private donor support.
Musica Omnia offers:
The finest performances of great music by leading musicians
As with Telefunken and SEON in the 1960s, Musica Omnia features legendary artists such as Jaap Schröder and Max van Egmond, exciting instrumental groups like the Atlantis Ensemble, the Adaskin String Trio, Magnificat, Publick Musick and the Boston Bach Ensemble, the Lydian String Quartet and many other of today’s finest instrumentalists and vocalists.
The finest recorded sound overseen by a consistent production/engineering team
With Joel Gordon, one of America’s most respected and experienced engineer/producers and Peter Watchorn as artistic coordinator, Musica Omnia has displayed over its nearly twenty releases a high and consistent standard of excellence that competes with the finest labels in the world. Musica Omnia’s reputation as a leader in the field has been confirmed internationally by numerous reviews and awards from publications such as The New York Times, Gramophone, International Record Review, BBC World Music Magazine and American Record Guide.
Unique and beautiful format with highest production standards
Musica Omnia’s products all have a distinctive and distinguished look, well organized, highly informative booklets and fine graphics. Musica Omnia’s concern with presenting the finest music performed by the greatest artists with state-of-the-art sound is fully matched by similar attention paid to all the visual aspects of CD production.
Supporting documentation by the world’s leading scholars and writers
Musica Omnia maintains close contact with the leading musicologists, university professors and writers and scholars such as Susan Youens, Larry Todd, Howard Schott, John Daverio, Rufus Hallmark, Robert Mealy and Bradley Lehman, whose contributions have regularly enhanced Musica Omnia releases. We always choose leading writers in any particular field to produce our extensive and detailed booklet notes. Many of these scholars have literally “written the book” in their respective fields.
Extensive mailing list
Musica Omnia is constantly updating its extensive mailing list of enthusiastic repeat customers. Currently we directly email several thousand music lovers, keeping them informed of upcoming releases and other Musica Omnia news. This data base is expanding all the time, and we are deeply committed to spreading the word about “historically informed” performance far and wide.
Coherent catalogue planning and development
The catalogue is intelligently planned by artist, historical period and composer. Our releases are designed to follow logically from one another. This makes the label desirable for everyone from the casual listener to the highly selective connoisseur, professional musician or school, college or university music librarian who is looking specifically for particular works, groups or performers. We plan our new releases to proceed sequentially from our existing catalogue. This results in unrivalled continuity of genre, composer and artist. Because of these high standards, many of our artists choose to record exclusively with us.
Highly competitive pricing structure
Our basic pricing structure is designed to make the highest quality product readily and affordably available, while maintaining the highest artistic, technical and aesthetic standards. Our recordings are equal to the best in the world and are specially priced to be universally affordable.
Musica Omnia is set to work with various partners, to ensure worldwide availability of its products, both as physical CDs and increasingly important online digital formats. In addition, our newly-designed website is created specifically to facilitate direct purchase of all our releases. We stock our entire catalogue at all times, and never delete any release.
We invite you to investigate what is arguably one of the most exciting and innovative classical labels in the world today.