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Women in Music

May 02, 1993

In Chuck Philips' excellent article on the growing number of women in executive positions in the recording industry ("You've Still Got a Long Way to Go, Baby," April 18), and thank goodness for that, he did not mention, nor perhaps know, that the leader in this area has been the classical recording industry.

In the 1950s Mercury Records had a remarkable woman producer whose wonderful work is again being recognized through CD reissues. In the 1960s Nonesuch's A&R director was gaining notoriety because of her innovative recording program, and by the early 1970s several of us were producing recordings for major classical labels.

Since 1980 the North American classical operations for Deutsche Grammophon, London and Philips have been headed by women. Both CBS Masterworks and New World Records have had women A&R directors, and I was the A&R director for Angel Records. There are several classical labels owned by women, and currently in the United States and Europe there are a number of women producers and label executives.

Perhaps our abilities and professional dedication helped top label executives understand that women have made, and are making, a significant contribution. The recording industry will be the richer for it.

PATTI LAURSEN

Los Angeles

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