About MSR Classics
New Releases

MSR Classics is an independent record label committed to a culture of musical discovery and excellence. Founded in 1997, MSR offers recording artists the opportunity to create and release a Compact Disc, and to have it distributed and promoted in a worldwide marketplace. Whether releasing a debut or adding to an existing catalogue of recordings, artists benefit from the MSR team’s decades of experience. As part of its commitment to excellence, MSR partners with only the most talented recording, design and editorial professionals in the industry, assuring an uncommon integrity in concept, content and realization.

MSR is under the ownership and direction of Robert LaPorta, a 30-year veteran of the music industry. Just prior to taking over the MSR label in 2006, LaPorta was the Studio Manager of Squires Music Production in Elmsford, New York (2003-2006). He also served as Director of Classics at the Angel Records group, which encompassed EMI Classics, Virgin Classics and Angel Records (1993-2001); Marketing and Production Manager with London-Decca Records, Deutsche Grammophon and Philips Classics of the PolyGram Records label group (1989-1993); and Publicity and Contracts Associate at ICM Artists management (now Opus3) in New York (1987-1989). Don't ask what he did in 2002. Many, many years ago, LaPorta worked as a studio engineer and on-air host at WRCU-FM Radio in Hamilton, New York (1985-1987). An active participant in the music industry, he has been a voting member of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) since 1993 and is a former member of the Grammy Classical Committee. LaPorta is a highly skilled recording engineer, and is active documenting concert events in Fairfield County, Connecticut, and in southern New York State and Manhattan.

In the performing arts arena, Robert LaPorta is the Founder and previous Personnel Director of the Hudson Valley Wind Symphony and was Founder and Board President of the Westchester Symphonic Winds. He performed as Principal Euphonium with the Hudson Valley Wind Symphony and Westchester Symphonic Winds, and on trombone and percussion with the Westchester Philharmonic, Norwich Festival Orchestra, Hamilton Festival Orchestra, Cornell Chamber Orchestra, Larchmont Concert Band, Bronxville Concert Band and Armonk Community Band. LaPorta was also Principal Timpanist with the Colgate Concert Orchestra (1985-1987), and Director of the Colgate Jazz Band. He has composed several pieces for symphonic band and orchestra, and has arranged Baroque works for brass quintet. He is currently working to form The Newtown Brass.

Born in the "Queen City on the Sound" (New Rochelle, New York) in March 1965, LaPorta earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and took advanced coursework in music at Colgate University, where he studied composition with Dexter Morrill and orchestration with the late William Skelton, himself a former student of Paul Hindemith. He studied classical and folk guitar with Gus de Gazio, percussion with John F. Sammel and euphonium with Thomas Reichert and Dolores Beck. He also completed course work in graphic design and advertising at Iona College in New Rochelle.

World-class package design and layout is available to MSR artists through our long-term partnerships with experienced graphic artists. MSR releases have the benefit of being created by design professionals who have worked with internationally known artists on such esteemed record labels as EMI Classics, Blue Note Records, Angel Records, Virgin Classics and Manhattan Records. Art Direction is carried out by our experienced staff, which collectively has managed the design of more than 1500 CDs. Manufacturing (disc replication and print production) is carried out in the United States to the most exacting standards. The entire process, from planning through design and manufacture, is handled with care, attention to detail and efficiency.

While the majority of MSR artists furnish written material for inclusion in their CD packages, MSR offers annotation services for an additional fee. Whether the project calls for a brief overview or a highly detailed musicological analysis, MSR artists are assured of interesting, accurate and appropriate annotation, created by seasoned music professionals, many with conservatory training. In addition, MSR maintains relationships with numerous skilled writers versed in all areas of music performance, history and composition, including Richard Freed, Eric Salzman, Erik Eriksson, Stephen Zohn, and many others.

MSR releases are produced to the highest possible technical standards, and with a skilled direction that only dozens of years of experience in this area can provide. The coordination of materials with package designer and manufacturer is handled with expertise, and the manufacture itself is carried out entirely in the United States by one of the largest and most highly regarded disc manufacturers in the world. Through careful project management and long-term industry relationships, MSR disc production is typically accomplished in approximately four weeks.

For projects involving compositions not in the Public Domain, and therefore requiring mechanical licenses, MSR can manage from start to finish the process by which all necessary licenses are obtained, and royalty fees payed. It is not uncommon for MSR artists to benefit from reduced license royalty rates as a function of our ongoing relationship with experienced licensing administrators and the world’s major music publishing houses.

MSR artists receive detailed Royalty Statements and payments once a year, typically by the end of February. Inventory management and all subsequent royalty accounting and disbursement is handled on premises by MSR, reducing the likelihood of error and missed payments. The royalty rates afforded MSR artists are among the very highest in the recording industry, ranging from 30% to 50% of sales revenue.

MSR artists are given the option of storing up to 300 units of their release at the MSR facility at no charge. Having product on-site offers many benefits to the artist. MSR webstore orders are fulfilled directly and immediately from the on-site warehouse. Artists do not have to bear the burden of storing all quantity of their product on their own. Further, the product is available to the artist at any time during normal business hours. MSR can ship discs at the request of the artist (shipping expenses are charged back per the request).

Domestic (US) Retail Music Distribution - On average, four months after the initial MSR and Amazon.com release, the CD is released by MSR's industry distribution partners to an extensive network of domestic accounts, on a consignment basis, for traditional retail and internet merchants.

Amazon.com - Immediately upon release, MSR CD releases are available on Amazon. The item listing includes a color image of the CD cover and rear inlay as well as detailed information about the artist(s) and repertoire

MSR Webstore - Immediately upon release, MSR releases are featured on the MSR website (www.msrcd.com), with multiple category listings and an individual webpage. The individual page includes a color image of the CD cover, detailed information about the artist and musical selections, press reviews, and a 0:45 audio sample. Hyperlinks to additional content can also be provided.

International Distribution - MSR titles are selectively available in Canada, UK, Japan and sporadically in other territories around the globe.

MSR establishes and administers global Digital Download services.


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