Music Industry News Network [03-27-2000]

BMG MUSIC PUBLISHING ACQUIRES FRENCH SERIOUS MUSIC CATALOGUE EDITIONS DURAND AND ITS CATALOGUES ESCHIG AND AMPHION

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Prestigious French Classical and Contemporary Instrumental Catalogue Includes
Works By Ravel, Saint-Saens, Debussy, Messiaen and Milhaud

NEW YORK March 22, 2000 - In what is believed to be the largest music
publishing acquisition ever made in France, BMG Music Publishing has acquired
one of the most prestigious serious music publishing groups, Editions Durand,
and its Eschig and Amphion subsidiaries. The acquisition places BMG among the
top three serious music publishers in the world and brings former Editions
Durand President Jean Manuel de Scarano to BMG Music Publishing International
as Vice President, Serious Music. The announcements were made by Nicholas
Firth, President, BMG Music Publishing Worldwide.

Composed primarily of French instrumental, symphonic and contemporary music,
Editions Durand is among the last remaining major independent music publishers
in France. Combined, Durand, Eschig and Amphion comprise one of the world's
most prestigious classical music catalogues and include works by Ravel
(Bolero), Saint-Saens, Debussy, Faure, Messiaen, Milhaud and Fenelon as well
as contemporary music from composers Hersant, Gagneux, Manoury and
Petitgirard. The catalogue represents -for France- such notable operettas as
"The Merry Widow," and standards such as "Just A Gigolo" and French pop gems
"Ignace" and "Je ne suis pas bien portant". Durand also represents the
important catalogue of Universal Editions of Vienna for France.

Former Editions Durand President and owner Jean Manuel de Scarano will
continue to work with the catalogue in his new post of Vice President, Serious
Music of London-based BMG Music Publishing International. De Scarano's
responsibilities will involve coordinating and integrating BMG Music
Publishing's various serious music businesses (Ricordi, EMB and Durand).
Editions Durand will also be managed by BMG Music Publishing France Managing
Director Stephane Berlow together with Editions Durand General Manager Bernard
Brossollet in Paris. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The Durand catalogue further solidifies BMG Music Publishing as a leading
serious music publisher particularly in Europe, the home of its German parent
company Bertelsmann. In addition to Durand, BMG Music Publishing's growing
classical and contemporary serious music catalogues include Italy's Ricordi
and Hungary's EMB Music Publishers Ltd. Ricordi, the legendary Italian music
publishing business established in 1808 and acquired by BMG Music Publishing
in 1994, is comprised of timeless classical works and contemporary music. With
roots dating back to Puccini and Verdi, Ricordi's classical music repertoire
is one of the largest owned by any music publisher. On the contemporary music
side, Ricordi includes works from such world-renowned composers as Berio,
Donatoni, Manzoni and Sciarrino as well as rising international talents such
as Corghi, Battistelli, Francesconi and Shohat. BMG Music Publishing's 1998
purchase of EMB Music Publishers Ltd., the oldest music publisher in Hungary
which among others represents compositions by Bartok, gave the company a
strong foothold in Eastern Europe.

"The acquisition of Editions Durand, Eschig and Amphion underscores BMG Music
Publishing's dedication to modern serious music," said Firth. "Since our 1994
Ricordi acquisition, which marked BMG Music Publishing's entry into serious
music, we have aggressively sought classical music catalogues which not only
complement Ricordi but also stand on their own. The repertoire of Ricordi, EMB
and now Durand, forms a vast and prestigious serious music catalogue further
diversifying BMG's global music publishing assets." Firth added: "The addition
of Jean Manuel de Scarano to our management team brings a world class serious
music publisher to BMG. He will, I am sure, make a significant contribution to
the growth and development of this sector of our business."

"Selling Durand was a difficult decision to make but the time has come," said
de Scarano. "We needed to relinquish our comfortable independence and give our
writers and their works the opportunities to reach a greater audience and
benefit from all means of promotion, diffusion and distribution - on and
offline--that only a large international group can provide. This is why I
chose BMG Music Publishing."

Jean Manuel de Scarano has had a varied career in the music business. He is a
guitarist, composer (songs and film music) and record producer (including the
worldwide smash hit by Santa Esmeralda, "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood").
After starting his career in music publishing at Intersong Tutti in France, he
purchased Editions Durand in 1982. De Scarano is president of the CEMF (the
French serious music Music Publishers Association) and on the board of the
French Mechanical Society, SDRM, where he was the former President of the
Committee for Mechanical Rights. He is Vice President of the International
Confederation of Music Publishers and President of the European Committee of
Music Publishers. Jean Manuel de Scarano is also a recipient of the Legion
d'Honneur.

Durand was founded by composer/organist Auguste Durand and pianist Louis
Schoenewerk in 1869 as Durand Schoenewerk et Cie. In 1891, Auguste Durand's
son, composer Jacques Durand, assumed the direction of the company. By the
time of Jacques Durand's death in 1928, Editions Durand had become one of
France's leading music publishers with works by legendary composers Ravel,
Saint-Saens, Debussy, Faure, Dukas & Schmitt.

For the next 55 years, the Durand family assumed control of the company until
1982 when Jean Manuel de Scarano purchased the enterprise and became
President. By the end of the 20th century, in addition to such composers as
Durufle, Dutilleux, Messiaen, Milhaud, Roussel, Desenclos, Daniel Lesur and
Villette, Editions Durand had also become a leader in contemporary music with
compositions from Aperghis, Bacri, Gagneux, Manoury and Hersant.

Editions Durand includes two other notable catalogues, Eschig (classical
music) and Amphion (contemporary music). Founded by Max Eschig in 1908 and
fully acquired by Durand in 1990, Eschig's repertoire includes hundreds of
works from such legendary composers as Ravel, Satie, Milhaud, Villa Lobos de
Falla and Poulenc. Acquired by Durand in 1987, the contemporary music
catalogue of Amphion includes 600 compositions from the likes of Boulez,
Dutilleux, Ohana, Constant and Bonnet. Amphion was founded in 1943 by Herve
Dugardin and expanded under the direction of Isabelle Berthou.

The Editions Durand acquisition also broadens the already diverse roster of
BMG Music Publishing France, which aims to be the top publisher of French
music. Established in 1988, BMG Music Publishing France has grown at an
exceptional rate and with this acquisition, becomes the third largest music
publisher in France. BMG's tremendous growth across all genres of music is a
result of major catalogue acquisitions and important writer/artist signings as
well as a commitment to steadily developing all areas of the music publishing
business - pop music, film/TV synchronization and Production music.

The addition of serious music repertoire via the Durand acquisition, positions
BMG Music Publishing France as a leader in all facets of the music publishing
business - a claim that can be made by no other French music publisher. The
diversity and scope of the company's pop, serious music, film/TV and
production music divisions enables BMG to provide its clients with all genres
of music for all kinds of uses. BMG's exclusive offering of 'one-stop
shopping' to clients puts the company in a uniquely strong position to meet
the future challenges of the music publishing industry and the Internet head
on.

BMG Music Publishing France has a diverse catalogue rich in French standards
and global pop hits. Included in the company's repertoire are pop classics
from Stevie Wonder via Black Bull/Jobete Music; the Rideau Rouge catalogue
(including "What Now My Love," "Let It Be Me" and other hits by Gilbert
Becaud); Alain Souchon; film scores by Michel Legrand ("I Will Wait For You");
JJ Goldman; Mylene Farmer and other catalogues of prominent French artists.

BMG Music Publishing France's commitment to artist development has paid off
with such major artist breakthroughs as MC Solaar (rap), Billy Ze Kick
(alternative), Tribal Jam (R&B), Menelik (rap), Cheb Mami (known as the King
of Rai music), Zoxea (rap) and Yann Tiersen (contemporary). The company has a
strong presence on the charts with multiplatinum rap Celtic group Manau (a
nominee for Best Group at the upcoming 2000 Les Victoires de la Musique),
Laam, Paris Combo and 'French Touch' acts Le Tone and Micronauts. Some of BMG
Music Publishing France's most promising acts for 2000 include
baroque/cross-over singer Thomas Otten, new hip hop sensation Saian Supa Crew
and artists signed via the association with DJ Cut Killer and his label Double
H.

Since the 1995 launch of BMG Music Vision, BMG's French film/TV music
division, the company's synchronization revenue has tripled and last year
accounted for 10% of BMG Music Publishing France's annual revenue. BMG Music
Vision, which is committed to marketing and exploiting the publishing
division's repertoire and providing film opportunities for artists, has placed
music in the hit films Peut Etre (nominated Best Original Soundtrack at the
2000 Victoires Awards), La Vie Revee des Anges, Belle Maman, Alice et Martin,
Mookie, Ceux Qui M'Aiment and in major commercials for Christian Dior, Lancome
and Les Banques Populaires. In 1999, the division was honored by France's
leading music trade publication La Lettre du Disque for its achievements.

BMG Music Publishing France is also a leader in Production music via its 1996
venture with Koka Media, the top ranked production music company in France.
Managed by Frederic Leibovitz with offices in France and Germany, Koka Media
has a catalogue of over 10,000 eclectic titles sold in over 25 countries. Koka
Media represents BMG Music Publishing's production music companies Killer
Tracks (U.S.) and Atmosphere (U.K) in France. With 47 offices in 36 countries
around the world, BMG Music Publishing is one of only four multinational music
publishing groups. BMG Music Publishing is a unit of BMG Entertainment, the
$4.6 billion a year music and entertainment division of Bertelsmann AG, the
$16.4 billion a year worldwide media enterprise. BMG Entertainment has
operations in more than 53 countries around the world.

Source: http://www.mi2n.com/press.php3?press_nb=6916

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