In a surprise move, Mike Spring has resigned from Hyperion Records, where he has been a significant creative and commercial force for 25 years.
‘After 25 years of working for one company I feel I want to run my own life and do exactly what I want,’ Mr Spring said. He admitted that he was not sure where that desire would take him, but thought it would involve several areas.
Expanding APR (Appian Publications & Recordings) ‒ a label specialising in historic recordings of piano repertoire which Spring bought on the retirement of its founder, Bryan Crimp ‒ is ‘a possibility’, he said. However, he is wary of the difficulties the recording industry faces. He does hope to be involved in organising events involving piano repertoire.
Officially Hyperion’s sales, export and advertising manager, Mr Spring brought his knowledge of 19th-century piano music and performance practice to bear on many releases soon after joining the label in 1988.
His knowledge in that area complemented the interest of the label’s late founder, Ted Perry, in vocal and choral music.
A year later, coincidence brought Hugh MacDonald to Hyperion’s door. He had taught Mr Spring when he was studying for a postgraduate degree at Stirling University and subsequently became a BBC producer for the Scottish Symphony Orchestra. Mr MacDonald had approached Hyperion to suggest it should record neglected 19th-century piano concertos. Mr Perry was reluctant.
‘Hyperion was a small label then and could not afford to record concertos,’ Spring recalled. ‘But I felt there was potential there and we decided we would do two or three and see what happened.’ Hyperion’s series The Romantic Piano Concerto now numbers 64 volumes and has garnered a host of awards.
Mr Spring has recruited several pianists to the label but his interests have in recent years taken him beyond Hyperion. He lectures internationally on piano repertoire and performance practice and has served on competition juries.