New Amsterdam Records is the for-profit record label subsidiary of New Amsterdam Presents, a presenting and artists’ service organization that supports the public’s engagement with new music by composers and performers whose work grows from the fertile ground between genres. New Amsterdam Records helps to spread the awareness of this music through the release and promotion of premiere commercial recordings of new compositions, written and performed by highly-trained musicians with diverse musical backgrounds. Through these releases, New Amsterdam acts as a conduit between musicians and the public, promoting a wider awareness of these artists’ sophisticated, adventurous new music with an open embrace of the latest technological and cultural trends. Through a distribution relationship with Naxos of America, New Amsterdam has brought new music to thousands of listeners in a wide variety of formats and platforms. For its efforts, the label has been called ”the focal point of the post-classical scene” by Time Out NY and “emblematic of an emerging generation” by The New York Times.
Over the past three years, the New Amsterdam Records catalogue has grown to include nearly two dozen artists, including soloists and orchestras, small and large ensembles, big bands and rock bands, pop vocalists and opera singers. Far from crafting a label “sound”, this diverse catalogue reflects New Amsterdam’s commitment to supporting and nurturing projects that wholly fulfill the intent of their creators, disregarding existing genre norms and open to all influences from the entire world of music. The label specializes in music without filters, made by musicians who bring the breadth of their listening experience and the love they have for many different kinds of music into their own playing, writing, and producing – music without walls, without an agenda, and without a central organizing principle.
The critical response to this new model has been outstanding, with label and artist features on NPR’s All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Studio 360, in prominent print publications such as Newsweek, the New York Times, New York Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, Alarm Magazine, the Village Voice, and Time Out New York, and in tastemaker online magazines such as The Awl,PopMatters, BlackBook, 17dots, the Indie Handbook, textura, andNewMusicBox, in addition to album reviews and write-ups in hundreds of publications worldwide. Newsweek’s Seth Colter Walls called New Amsterdam “an upstart label that’s been releasing one quality disc after another since its founding”, and the Sunday New York Times lauded our first slate of releases in two separate year-end best-of articles.
2010 was a year of unprecedented praise for New Amsterdam releases – the label garnered it’s first Grammy Nomination, and our titles were included the New York Times Gift Guide, on the NPR and New York Times Top Ten Classical Releases of the Year List, eMusic’s Best Albums of the Year (3 titles), the Huffington Post‘s Top Alternative-Art Songs, WNYC New Sounds Top 10 albums, textura Magazine’s End-of-Year Top 10, Time Out New York and Time Out Chicago‘s Best Classical Releases of the Year, and NPR’s Top 5 Genre-Defying Albums of the Year – not to mention two effusive reviews on the tastemaker website Pitchfork.com. The label also started to make a “dent” in various music charts, with Darcy’s James Argue hitting #1 on the iTunes and Amazon jazz charts, NOW Ensemble’s sophomore release Awake hitting #2 on the Amazon Classical charts and the top 5 on iTunes classical, and Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope cracking the top 10 of Billboard’s Classical Crossover charts and the CMJ 200.