Posted on Leave a comment

Rachel Podger wins Gramaphone Award

Having won the BBC Music Magazine Concerto Award for Vivaldi L’Estro Armonicoearlier this year, “queen of the Baroque violin” (The Sunday Times) Rachel Podger, has won the Gramophone Classical Music Awards Baroque instrumental category for her recording of Biber Rosary Sonatas on Channel Classics.

Jessica Duchen writes “playing that offers real empathy and peerless attention to detail.”(Top ten CDs, 2015). The evocative works depict the main stories in the life of Christ and the disc was released as part of Channel Classics’ 25th anniversary celebrations and is Rachel’s 25th release on the label.

Rachel is delighted with the award and grateful to her recording team and to her continuo colleagues, Jonathan Manson, David Miller and Marcin Świątkiewicz, for their superb musicianship. Rachel will be appearing live on BBC Radio 3 In Tune at 17:00 today to talk about the Gramophone Classical Music Award, her upcoming concerts and new record release, Bach Art of Fugue.

For more information or to purchase a copy of Biber Rosary Sonatas please visit Channel Classics. Watch Rachel perform Biber Passacaglia ‘Guardian Angel’ live on Dutch TV for Vpro Vrije Geluiden.


Posted on Leave a comment

Channel Classics is Gramaphone’s Label of the Year 2015

jared-and-lydi-copyDear Channel Friends,

On September 17th 2015, Channel Classics was awarded Gramophone’s “Label of the Year 2015” in London at the Gramophone Classical Music Awards! This prize is known to be one of the most important achievements in the classical music world. We are very proud of this award, and of course proud of all the musicians of Channel Classics, past and present. This year, we are also celebrating our 25th Anniversary. In 1990, the first cd was released and 25 years later the catalog contains over 350 titles. We would like to thank our musicians who have helped to make this all possible.

Last but certainly not least, we want to thank you, the listeners, for your ongoing support of the recordings we make and the musicians they feature!

Best wishes,
Jared Sacks & Lydi Groenewegen



With Bernhard Haitink at the awards ceremony.

Posted on Leave a comment

Jared Sacks Knighted by Dutch King

Music has always been a passion for Needham High School alum Jared Sacks. Now a Dutch-U.S. dual citizen, that passion has led him all over the world and earned him a recent knighthood in the Netherlands. King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima of the Netherlands recently knighted Sacks for his contribution to classical music through his record label Channel Classics Records. According to Sacks the knighting took place Nov. 29 during his label’s 25th anniversary concert at which there were 400 people in attendance. The knighting came as a surprise for Sacks whose assistant organized the ceremony in secret.

“Before I knew it – I’m knighted,”

The knighthood is an honor said Sacks who has pursued music since high school in Needham. Growing up, Sacks, a French Horn player, played in the Needham High School band and youth orchestra in Boston. “I always liked musi;c it was always in the back of my mind,” he said. That interest led him to Oberlin College, which he attended for two years, and then on to play in Europe. It was such an amazing experience that Sacks never came back. He founded Channel Classics Records in 1990 and for the past 25 years has worked with famous musicians and composers, helped budding Dutch musicians and been at the forefront of developing high quality recording equipment for high quality sound.

Sacks’ decision to start the label stemmed from his interest in quality audio and a desire to not have to practice. Though based in the Netherlands, Sacks’ work is global. “I get into my van, I have all of my equipment and I drive to Budapest, to Stockholm, to Germany, it’s one big cultural event,” he said. The day before his interview with the Needham Times, Sacks had been recording in London and three weeks before that he had been working in Japan. Though he says he does not miss United States’ culture and politics, Sacks’ family’s house on Martha’s Vineyard remains an important part of his life he said. He stays close to Needham through his involvement in the Needham High School Class of 1971 group. “At least I can go to my high school reunion and say I do something,” Sacks said.

A leader in the field, Sacks comes to the United States to present on high-end quality equipment. According to Sacks, the quality of recording equipment makes all the difference in classical and jazz music. Though his label’s music is available on iTunes, for those who want to listen to top-grade audio, Sacks said listeners should go elsewhere. Specific to his label’s music, the high-quality versions are available through Channel Classics Records. Mainly focused on producing top-notch recordings, Sacks is partly motivated by a desire to introduce youth to quality sound they can’t find through iTunes. “You can’t be upset with youth today,” Sacks said. “What you’ve never heard you don’t miss.”

Music is where it starts and ends for Sacks. “At the end of the day I’m a musician,” he said.