Record label subordinate to Nonesuch Records which is the trading name of Nonesuch Records incorporated. Please use this profile for the label and for company role which specifically credit "Nonesuch". For credits attributed to Nonesuch Records or Nonesuch Records Inc. please use those profiles.
In 1963, Jac Holzman of Elektra Records came up with an idea to start a Western classical-music label. Remembering back to his college days when he wanted to buy two classical albums but could only afford one, he wanted to make it possible for people to buy inexpensive classical records just like you were able to buy paperback copies of great literature.
To keep costs low, he knew that he would not be able to record the music himself, so he flew to Europe and saw the large classical record companies in Britain and France. He secured the cream of the crop of their classical music titles from their vaults for 0 per album plus a royalty. The record companies contacted were happy to lease Jac albums that they had no chance of ever marketing in the United States themselves.
Jac named the label Nonesuch, and Bill Harvey, the artistic director of Elektra, came up with distinctive packaging. The slogan for the Nonesuch line was "Quality Recordings at the Price of a Quality Paperback." Nonesuch records sold for .50, half the price of a classical album by the majors.
Over the years, Nonesuch grew to become much more than just a classical reissue label, and has released adventurous music from around the world. Its Explorer Series was the first of its kind, releasing field recordings of music from around the world. Nonesuch also specialized in world-premiere recordings of avant-garde Western classical composers and recordings of computer music.
After the buy-out of Elektra by Kinney (which became WEA) in 1970, Nonesuch and Elektra were active until the merger of the Elektra and Atlantic labels in 2004, when Nonesuch became a sub-label of Warner Bros. Records, a sister label in the Warner Music Group, even though it still uses the old Elektra UPC prefix and numbering system.
Note: From 1987 to 1995, the label was known as Elektra Nonesuch.