×

Cutting Edge, Wood Creek buy Varese Sarabande

Duo purchase label for an undisclosed price

Cutting Edge has teamed with Wood Creek Capital Management to purchase Varese Sarabande Records for an undisclosed price.

The acquisition includes the entire operations of the label and its catalogue of over 1,500 albums.

The label was formed in the spring of 1978 by the merger of classical music-oriented labels. VSR is home to film scores written by Bernard Hermann, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Maurice Jarre, Elmer Bernstein, Alex North, Miklos Rozsa, Alexandre Desplat, Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer, James Horner, Randy Newman and Thomas Newman.

Currently, the label releases up to 60 albums a year, including packages of TV episodic and Broadway scores, classic rock, country, and jazz. The label’s domestic distributor is Universal Music Distribution.

Darren Blumenthal, founder of ICE Capital Corp. and a music label and publishing veteran, will become CEO of VSR. Chris Kuchler, who co-founded VSR, will assist during a transition period.

The purchase is the first between Wood Creek and Cutting Edge, which is now managing a combined $100 million of third party funds. CEG is aiming to expand operations a vertically integrated music services company.

London-based Cutting Edge has invested in 200 films — most notably “The King’s Speech” and “Looper” — with the money devoted to scoring, clearances and music supervision, then recoups from such sources as soundtrack and sheet music sales, licensing and royalties from international ticket sales and TV deals.

It has expanded its model into television with an investment in NBC’s “The Firm ” and is also providing music for the advertising world.

In 2008, Cutting Edge received an initial investment of $15 million from investor Aberdeen Asset Management; it set up its first multipicture deal with Joel Silver’s Dark Castle in 2009.

More Music

  • Harvey Mason Jr.., Chair of the

    Interim Grammy Boss Issues Memo Detailing Diversity Plan

    Not five hours after Sean “Diddy” Combs said “black music has never been respected by the Grammys” and demanded that the Recording Academy “get this sh– together” at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy Gala, members received a 1,000-word memo from chief Harvey Mason Jr. laying out steps the organization plans to take to become more diverse [...]

  • Black Pumas Billie Eilish Lizzo

    The Race Is On: Sizing Up the Grammys' Best New Artist Nominees

    The race is on for the Grammys’ best new artist with Lizzo and Billie Eilish positioned as frontrunners in an exceptionally exciting 2020 category. Survey the odds for all eight of the year’s contenders below. Black Pumas Eric Burton and Adrian Quesada have been a duo only since 2017, but they sound as if they’ve [...]

  • I Prevail

    How the Band I Prevail Did Just That, Heading Into Grammys With Two Rock Nominations

    The Grammys and metal have never had the easiest relationship. For every worthy win in the best metal performance category (Megadeth in 2017; 2018’s Mastodon) comes the questionable (Tenacious D in 2015; 1989’s still haunting Jethro Tull victory). Though relatively unknown beyond a rabid fan base, list I Prevail in the “worthy” category of nominees [...]

  • Lil Nas X Variety Cover Story

    How Lil Nas X's Grammy-Nominated 'Old Town Road' Was Made for 50 Dollars

    “There are so many layers to the song,” Columbia Records chairman Ron Perry says of “Old Town Road.” Just scratching the surface of its beat alone uncovers the connection between a 19-year-old Dutch Internet producer and veteran industrial act Nine Inch Nails, who are now forever intertwined in pop culture — along with Billy Ray [...]

  • Grammy placeholder

    How to Watch the 2020 Grammy Awards

    The 62nd annual Grammy Awards are just hours away. Music’s biggest night is set to light up Los Angeles’ Staples Center with Lizzo; Billie Eilish; Demi Lovato; the Jonas Brothers; Tyler, the Creator; Bonnie Raitt; and Camila Cabello set to perform. Ariana Grande will also be making her return to the Grammys after deciding against [...]

  • On the Record

    'On the Record': Film Review

    “On the Record,” a documentary that presents the former music executive Drew Dixon’s accusations of sexual harassment and rape against the hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons (it includes several other Simmons accusers as well), is the fourth major documentary of the #MeToo era to offer an incendiary indictment of men who have used their power within [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content