Gilbert Hetherwick, who was named president of Sony BMG Classics earlier this year, will run the division.
Under the leadership of Peter Gelb, who is leaving the company to become the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, Sony Classical had concentrated much of its efforts on pop-classical crossover. Today's announcement seemed to signal a major shift.
"Sony BMG believes in a positive future for the classical music business and has tremendous confidence in Gilbert's vision for Sony BMG Masterworks," said Michael Smellie, the CEO of Sony BMG Music, in a statement. "Given Sony BMG Masterworks' extraordinary combined artist rosters and legendary catalogues, our new classical division is uniquely positioned to capitalize on the global demand for quality classical music."
In addition to releasing new CDs, the division will restore and release recordings from its "vast and unparalled catalogue," which includes recordings made by RCA Red Seal and CBS Masterworks. Heatherwick told the New York Times that the he planned over 100 reissues a year.