Hailed as “the best historical CD label in the world” (Musical America), Biddulph Recordings was founded in London in 1989 by leading violin expert Peter Biddulph. With the advent of digital technology, he set out to create an archive of recordings to document the great string players of the past. Working in close collaboration with Eric Wen, the eminent musicologist and historian of string performance practice, Biddulph established the first label to specialize in the restoration and commercial reissue of historical string recordings.
The early Biddulph titles included the first digital reissues of recordings by violin legends Fritz Kreisler, Joseph Szigeti, Jacques Thibaud and Yehudi Menuhin. By the mid-1990s, Biddulph Recordings had also released complete editions of the work of such master string players as Bronislaw Huberman, Mischa Elman, Jan Kubelik, Henri Temianka, Ossy Renardy, Toscha Seidel, Nathan Milstein, Ruggiero Ricci, Alfred Dubois, Lionel Tertis, William Primrose, Pablo Casals and Emanuel Feuermann. The label soon expanded to include historical piano recordings, with the first digital reissues of recordings by Alfred Cortot, Harold Bauer and Percy Grainger, followed by Myra Hess, Moritz Rosenthal, Raoul Koczalski, Wilhelm Backhaus and Shura Cherkassky. Biddulph subsequently branched into historical orchestral and chamber music, reissuing the work of conductors Willem Mengelberg, Serge Koussevitzky, Leopold Stokowski, Thomas Beecham, Max Fiedler and Hermann Abendrot, as well as such legendary chamber ensembles as the Budapest, Busch, Capet and Primrose String Quartets.
In tandem with historical reissues, Biddulph Recordings has also produced a number of important original recordings. The first of these was the landmark recital recording debut of superstar violinist Maxim Vengerov, then an unknown 14-year-old prodigy. This was followed by Ruggiero Ricci’s accounts of the Beethoven and Brahms Concertos featuring 16 and 14 different cadenzas respectively (both concerto albums were tracked to enable the listener to choose which cadenza to program into each performance). Other notable new recordings on the Biddulph label include the luminous Bach interpretations of pianist Edward Aldwell, and the masterly violin performances of Oscar Shumsky, Aaron Rosand and Arnold Steinhardt.
Biddulph Recordings’ numerous honors include the Gramophone 1999 ICRC award for “Historical Recording of the Year”.