was an American classical music record label
, issuing original recordings from 1949 to 1965.
It was founded in 1949 by Mischa Naida, the owner of the Westminster Record shop in New York City
, businessman James Grayson, and conductor Henry Swoboda
. Its trademark was Big Ben
and its slogan was "natural balance", referring to its single microphone technique in recording music, similar to Mercury Records
' Living Presence
series. Early on, its recordings were technically superior to most others currently in the marketplace, and the label became very popular among the growing community of audiophiles
. In the late 1950s, the company began issuing some stereophonic
recordings, including a rare performance of the music of Swedish composer Hugo Alfvén
(1872-1960) conducted by the composer.
The company was sold in the early 1960s to ABC-Paramount Records
, which continued to issue new material as well as reissue old material on the Westminster Gold label. While Westminster stopped issuing new recordings in 1965, ABC continued its active reissue of the back catalogue with sleeves, beginning in 1970, which incorporated whimsy and humor to garner sales from high school and college age classical music... Read More