Founded in 2007 by composers William Brittelle, Judd Greenstein, and Sarah Kirkland Snider, New Amsterdam Records is the for-profit record label subsidiary of New Amsterdam Presents, a presenting and artists’ service organization that supports the public’s engagement with new music by highly skilled composers and performers whose work does not adhere to traditional genre boundaries. We value artistic quality and emotional directness over adherence to current stylistic trends. New Amsterdam Records helps to spread the awareness of this music through the release and promotion of premiere commercial recordings of new compositions, written and performed by highly-trained musicians with diverse musical backgrounds. Through these releases, New Amsterdam acts as a conduit between musicians and the public, promoting a wider awareness of these artists’ sophisticated, adventurous new music with an open embrace of the latest technological and cultural trends. Through a distribution relationship with Naxos of America, New Amsterdam has brought new music to thousands of listeners in a wide variety of formats and platforms. For its efforts, the label has been called “the focal point of the post-classical scene” by Time Out New York and “emblematic of an emerging generation” by the New York Times. Time Out New York recently proclaimed that “Few organizations have done more to shape 21st-century music in New York City.“
Over the past eight years, the New Amsterdam Records catalogue has released well over 50 records, and grown to include over 35 artists, including soloists and orchestras, small and large ensembles, big bands and rock bands, pop vocalists, opera singers, and electronic musicians. Far from crafting a label “sound,” this diverse catalogue reflects New Amsterdam’s commitment to supporting and nurturing projects that wholly fulfill the intent of their creators, disregarding existing genre norms and open to all influences from the entire world of music. The label specializes in music without filters, made by musicians who bring the breadth of their listening experience and the love they have for many different kinds of music into their own playing, writing, and producing – music without walls, without an agenda, and without a central organizing principle. As opposed to the traditional “live performance” or “survey” recordings found in the classical music industry, our releases are designed to compete in the mainstream marketplace, with lightly-compressed, high-level studio production, handcrafted artwork, and a fluid emotional narrative from start to finish.
The critical response to this new model has been outstanding, with label and artist features on NPR’s All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, and Studio 360, in prominent print publications such as Newsweek, the New York Times, New York Magazine, Billboard, Slate, The Atlantic, the Los Angeles Times, the Village Voice, and Time Out New York. Online publications have also recognized the model, including multiple positive reviews in tastemakers outlets like Pitchfork, Brooklyn Vegan, Popmatters, Interview Magazine and Stereogum, in addition to album reviews and write-ups in hundreds of publications worldwide. Our albums have garnered multiple Grammy nominations, a Grammy win, and a Pulitzer Prize. Newsweek’s Seth Colter Walls called New Amsterdam “an upstart label that’s been releasing one quality disc after another since its founding,” and the The New York Times, The New Yorker, NPR, The Washington Post, The Nation, and many others have chosen our releases for recognition in their year-end awards and notices.
New Amsterdam Records and New Amsterdam Presents were founded and are co-art directed by William Brittelle, Judd Greenstein, and Sarah Kirkland Snider.