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BITHER NAMED NEW NONESUCH TOPPER

Bither (left) and Hurwwitz surround core Nonesuch artist Brad Mehldau.

A&R specialist David Bither has been chosen to succeed longtime Nonesuch chief Bob Hurwitz, WMG announced this morning. He’ll become Co-President of the label as of Jan. 1.

The move comes two months after Hurwitz revealed that he’ll gradually step away from the day-to-day running of the company. Once the transition is complete in 2017, Bither will become sole President, with Hurwitz serving as Chairman Emeritus, continuing to work with selected Nonesuch artists as an executive producer.

Bither, who joined Nonesuch in 1995 as SVP, has played an instrumental role in guiding the label’s A&R direction; he’s credited with the signings of The Black Keys, Emmylou Harris, Wilco, Laurie Anderson, Rhiannon Giddens and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, Youssou N’Dour and Robert Plant. He was also instrumental in bringing the World Circuit label to Nonesuch in North America, just before that label’s release in 1997 of the all-time bestselling world-music album, Buena Vista Social Club.

“David has been involved with the label for more than 30 years,” noted WMG CEO Steve Cooper, “and we are truly fortunate to have someone with his deep knowledge and experience take over the helm... The combination of his unique sensibility with the label’s tradition of outstanding artistry and quality ensures that the company will be in very good hands for many years to come.”

Cameron Strang, whose Warner Bros. Records works the more commercially viable Nonesuch projects, praised Bither for his “great ears and impeccable taste. Among his many achievements over the years, David has been responsible for broadening Nonesuch’s musical scope, signing a number of seminal artists and shaping the label’s musical point of view. I know he will take on his new post with a skill, grace and dedication that will maintain Nonesuch’s special place in our industry, while continuing to expand its borders.”

According to Hurwitz, his successor “has made deeply meaningful contributions to Nonesuch and has been an integral part of our culture. Now that we have arrived at this moment, there is no-one more suited to take Nonesuch into the future. I’m delighted that our artists, team and label will be in his hands.”

Said Bither, “Much of what I know about the business—and even more, what I believe a record label can accomplish—comes from the daily conversations that Bob and I have had over the years. I take on this new responsibility with the single-minded intention of carrying on the tradition that has taken root here over the years… I am also grateful to our friends at Warner Bros. and the Warner Music Group for their steadfast faith in Nonesuch.”

Bither’s involvement with Nonesuch extends back to the mid-1980s, when, while at Warner Communications, he began serving as an advisor to the newly appointed label prexy Hurwitz. In 1986, Bither moved to Elektra, where he eventually became SVP/GM. At the time, Nonesuch was an Elektra subsidiary, and he became increasingly involved in the label’s development.

This guy is Big 10 to the max, holding a BS in Journalism from the University of Illinois and an MA in Arts Administration from the University of Wisconsin.

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