Pentatone (record label)

Pentatone (stylized as PENTATONE) is an international classical music label located in Baarn, Netherlands. PENTATONE’s reputation for excellence is supported by a diverse catalogue, from the familiar to the unusual or unexpected, driven by the ambition to innovate classical music. PENTATONE works both with internationally renowned artists and rising stars, believing into genuine artistic expression as its driving force.

Founded2001 (2001)
FounderDirk van Dijk, Job Maarse and Giel Bessels
Country of originNetherlands


Three former executives of Philips Classics, Giel Bessels, Dirk van Dijk and Job Maarse, established the label in 2001.[1] The name comes from the words penta (five) and tone (sound), meaning five channels of sound. The label is renowned for its high-resolution multichannel surround sound recordings[2] which are released in the Super Audio CD format.[1]In January 2002, Pentatone recorded the official music which was performed during the wedding ceremony of the Dutch crown prince Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta.[3] The album, “The Music from the Royal Wedding”, sold more than 75,000 copies, thereby attaining the unique “triple platinum” status.

The label has also licensed recordings made by other labels such as Philips Classics and Deutsche Grammophon. Among these are recordings from the 1970s which were originally recorded for 4-channel quadraphonic sound. Pentatone has remastered them for re-release and presented them in surround sound for the first time. All PENTATONE's hybrid Super Audio CD discs can also be heard in 2-channel stereo on conventional Compact Disc players.

In 2013, a new management team has joined PENTATONE and the label expanded to multiple formats releases, including regular cd, vinyl, and all formats for streaming and downloads. The first vinyl was released in 2017 as a luxury 3LP edition. The label decided to honour Julia Fischer's Bach violin solo recordings (originally released by the label in 2005), often reviewed as the best Bach performance on violin to date.


Pentatone’s Managing Director, Simon Eder, collects the Gramophone's 2019 Label of the Year Award

In 2004, the label received a Grammy Award for their recording of Peter and the Wolf, narrated by Sophia Loren, Bill Clinton and Mikhail Gorbachev,[3] where the story is told from the perspective of the wolf and has the theme of letting animals live in peace. Other award-winning issues have included John Corigliano's The Ghosts of Versailles, part of the American Opera Series, which won multiple awards for the 59th Grammy Award as Best Opera Recording and Best Engineered Album.[4][5]

In 2019 Pentatone's premiere recording of the Mason Bates opera “The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs” won The Best Opera Recording at the 61st Grammy Awards Ceremony. Among the winners were composer Mason Bates, librettist Mark Campbell, the Santa Fe Opera, conductor Michael Christie, and the cast, which included Sasha Cooke, Jessica E. Jones, Edward Parks, Garrett Sorenson, Wei Wu, and Elizabeth Ostrow. The opera was nominated for Best Contemporary Composition but lost to the Kernis Violin Concerto.[6]

In 2019, the label has been awarded Label of the Year by the Gramophone Magazine.[7] In 2020, PENTATONE won the title of Label of the Year by the ICMA (International Classical Music Awards).[8]

Affiliated artistsEdit











  • Ana de la Vega
  • Jessica Sindell


  • Doug Perkins


  • Luc Bertin-Hugault
  • Peter Rose



  • Les Cris de Paris
  • NDR Chor
  • South Dakota Chorale




Catalogue seriesEdit

  • Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg series
  • Dances Series
  • REMASTERED CLASSICS Philips Classics
  • PENTATONE Oxingale Series
  • REMASTERED CLASSICS Deutsche Grammophon
  • RQR Series


  1. ^ a b Karl Erik Sylthe (2014-03-19). "PENTATONE - A portrait of an audiophile record label". Audiophile (Norway). Retrieved 2018-06-23.
  2. ^ Sylthe, Karl Erik. "PENTATONE - A portrait of an audiophile record label". Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  3. ^ a b Max Delissen (2015-02-02). "PENTATONE: Liefde poor Klassieke Muziek en Techniek". HiFi (Netherlands). Retrieved 2018-06-23.
  4. ^ Desk, BWW News. "THE GHOSTS OF VERSAILLES Wins Grammy Awards for Best Opera Recording and Best Engineered Album, Classical". Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  5. ^ "L.A. Opera wins two Grammys for 'Ghosts of Versailles'". Los Angeles Times. 2017-02-12. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  6. ^ "'The (R)evolution Of Steve Jobs' Wins The Grammy". 2019-02-10. Retrieved 2019-02-13.
  7. ^ "Label of the Year". Gramophone. Retrieved 2020-06-18.
  8. ^ "Winners 2020". ICMA (in French). Retrieved 2020-06-18.

External linksEdit