The Birth of Polyhymnia

The Polyhymnia story begins with the story of Philips Classics. The Philips Classics recording centre was founded in the Netherlands in 1950 to provide top quality worldwide recording services for the Philips Classics label, working with many of the world's top classical artists. In 1973, the recording centre moved to a beautiful carriage house in Baarn, which was soon christened “Polyhymnia.” Named after the muse Polyhymnia, the muse of sublime and sacred hymn, Polyhymnia means “many voices” or “many songs”.

By 1996, the CD market was in decline, and PolyGram, the parent company of Philips Classics, decided that they no longer needed three recording centres (Decca in London, Deutsche Grammophon in Hanover, and Philips in Baarn). PolyGram’s cost-saving plan was to close the recording centres in Baarn and London, and to relocate a number of the engineers to the Deutsche Grammophon recording centre in Hanover.

Four Philips Classics engineers immediately proposed starting an independent recording company. Negotiations continued; for well over a year, until PolyGram agreed to a deal in the Fall of 1998.  The Philips Classics recording centre became home to a new independent company and, taking the villa’s name as its own, Polyhymnia International was established on October 15, 1998.