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Phaedra is an Ancient Greek name meaning "the beautiful, the bright, the shiny one". It is related to a verb that means "to shine light on". That is why we thought Phaedra an appropriate name for a label that meant proposed to assume a special task: to shine a light on music by composers from the Low Countries, especially from Flanders and Wallonia, and thus to save them from indifference and oblivion.
The idea was realized in 1992, when Phaedra was founded. With its limited means, but with a generous heart, Phaedra was to promote this music, to record it and to publish it. Moreover, Phaedra intended to work with young and highly talented musicians, both from the Low Countries and from abroad.
Phaedra is the first label to consistently and continually draw attention to composers of the Low Countries, regardless of their philosophies or their careers. First their works are read, studied and evaluated; then Phaedra searches out talented musicians who might be interested in studying and recording these works. The series "In Flanders' Fields" was started for this very purpose.
After ten years of hard work, after recordings of over eighty Belgian composers and over one hundred and eighty of their works, came the first official recognition. On March 12, 2002, in a ceremony in the Sabam building in Brussels, Phaedra was awarded the 2001 Fugue Prize of the Union of Belgian Composers. — Another Prize awarded, to Phaedra's founder and producer, Luc Famaey, was the 2010 ANV-Visser Neerlandia Prize, "for his world-wide promotion of music by Flemish composers vial the CD-label Phaedra, especially the impressive series In Flanders’ Fields." Meanwhile this series "In Flanders' Fields" has expanded steadily and has in fact acquired a world-wide reputation. It presents today more than a thousand different compositions of over one hundred and twenty composers.
Whereas Phaedra continues to produce the large majority of its recordings itself, it occasionally works together with Klara, the classical channel of the Flemish Radio and Television (VRT). Thus its catalogue features some of the best and most remarkable radio recordings from the archives of VRT and its predecessors (BRT and BRTN) made in the last few decades. When necessary, older recordings are digitalized such that they meet the expectations of the modern listener. The "Classics" series features local and foreign artists who meanwhile have acquired international reputations, in numerous works from the standard repertoire, both classical and modern. All Phaedra recordings are made using the most recent technology, in the most suitable locations, and by highly qualified professional technicians.
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