Brilliant Classics is a classical music label based in the Dutch town of Leeuwarden. It is renowned for releasing super-budget-priced editions on CD of the complete works of J.S. Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and many other composers. The label also specialises in new recordings of early music, chamber, organ and piano music. Since its inception, Brilliant Classics has sought to bring art music to the widest possible public by releasing all its recordings at budget and super-budget price. The distribution strategy of selling through supermarkets and drugstores (see History below) introduced classical music to a mass market when most other labels were selling to a specialised audience. One of its best-known sets is the complete works of J.S. Bach on 155 CDs: this has sold more than 500,000 units. Though CD is still the primary medium for Brilliant Classics, all its new releases are available as downloads, and many are available on streaming services. The label was founded in 1995, and its artistic director since then has been Pieter van Winkel, a pianist and record producer. Brilliant Classics releases were initially sold exclusively by the retail outlets of Kruidvat, a chain of drugstores in the Netherlands and Belgium. The retail price of each release was very low, encouraging mass consumption in a different business model to the release, distribution and marketing network then prevalent in the classical music world. The success of this venture led to international distribution in other European countries including the UK, where Brilliant Classics releases were sold in the Superdrug chain of stores, and Aldi and Rossmann supermarkets in Germany. In 2007 Brilliant Classics became part of Foreign Media Music, one of the Foreign Media Group (FMG) of companies based in Leeuwarden. In September 2010 the label was sold to a Dutch investment company, Triacta B.V., who performed a 'corporate carve-out' before selling the company on to Edel AG, a German entertainment group with a long presence in the core classical market through its ownership of Berlin Classics. Berlin Classics continues as a division of Edel as well as licensing content to Brilliant Classics. The label is now distributed across Europe and in North America, Australia and Far East. (Rondo DB)

Parent label Edel AG
Wikipedia Brilliant_Classics
Country Netherlands
Started 1996
Official website