A highly-respected veteran of the industry, he was honoured by Gramophone at last year’s Awards with a Special Achievement Award, when we described him as ‘a man of exquisite musical taste’.
‘If you possess a recording by Natalie Dessay, Philippe Jaroussky, Rolando Villazón, the Capuçon brothers, Nicholas Angelich, Max Emanuel Cencic, Joyce DiDonato, Valery Sokolov or Diana Damrau,’ wrote Gramophone editor-in-chief James Jolly at the time, ‘then you’ll have engaged with the A&R genius of the French-born Alain Lanceron, the guiding spirit behind Virgin Classics since 1996.’
If you include Lanceron’s time as director of the classical department of Pathé Marconi-EMI from 1978, he has presided over some 600 recordings, a third of which are of music from France. Many of Lanceron’s projects have managed to be both musically superb but also commercially successful, whether in core repertoire or intriguing and imaginative ‘crossover’ projects (to use that term positively and correctly, for example in bringing together artists and listeners from different genres) such as that by Christina Pluhar.
According to Warner Music Group, Lanceron will lead the group’s ‘global classics operations’, overseeing A&R and catalogue development. He will remain based in Paris, as he was when President of Virgin Classics and Director of EMI Classics France. The group says it will continue to maintain teams in the UK, US, Germany, France and Japan, though is not revealing further details at present.
In a statement, Lanceron said: ‘The depth and richness of the music we represent only fuels our ambition to sign and develop more remarkable artists and continue to innovate around their work to ensure that Warner is synonymous with the greatest classical music of yesterday, today and tomorrow.’