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XL'S CHEN HEADS
TO NONESUCH

Kris Chen, who has run the U.S. operations of from XL Recordings for the past 11 years, has joined Nonesuch Records as Senior Vice President. He will be involved across all areas of the company, with a particular focus on signing and developing both new and established talent.

"One of the remarkable things about Nonesuch has been the stability of its core management team,” said Chen’s new boss Nonesuch Co-President David Bither. “When Bob Hurwitz—who assembled and led that group as he reinvented Nonesuch over the past three decades—first told me about his plan to transition to a less active role with the label, my initial thought was whether it was time to add a new voice to a senior team that has worked together for over 20 years. My next, almost simultaneous thought was of Kris Chen.

“I've known Kris for more than a decade and have regarded him from the start as a fellow traveler. His success over the years at XL provides ample evidence of his ability but it is his convictions about music and culture that have always impressed me even more. I'm delighted that he is joining us and believe it speaks to our ambition to build on the course that Nonesuch has charted, today and in the years to come."

Chen, a classically trained violinist and Sigur Ros fan, tied his Nonesuch connection to his purchase of a Kronos Quartet album as a teenager.

“That recording opened up a new musical world to me, and it also introduced me to a unique and visionary label that has continued to move and surprise me ever since,” Chen said, noting his has known Bither since 2003. “When this opportunity at Nonesuch was presented, I knew it was the culmination of many moments along a path that has pointed me here.”

Chen was a rep at ADA until a 2001 move to Tommy Boy Records followed by a stint at Domino Records, where he handled sales, marketing, publicity, and finance, and brokered the label’s deal with ADA. At Domino, he developed artists such as Franz Ferdinand, Caribou, Juana Molina and Four Tet. His XL gig was his foray A&R. In 2007, he signed Vampire Weekend to their first deal, brought Sigur Ros to XL and developed The xx from their early days forward.

 

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