Costa Pilavachi comes back to Universal and Decca

3 Jun 2010

Costa Pilavachi, who as President of Universal Music's Decca Records travelled to New Zealand eight years ago to sign Hayley Westenra, returns to the company as senior vice president, classical artist and repertoire. In recent years he has headed EMI Classics. Here is the full story from Music Week.


Costa PilavachiPilavachi comes back to Universal

Thursday June 3, 2010

Universal has named Costa Pilavachi, who has previously served as worldwide president of Philips Classics, Decca and EMI Classics, as senior vice president, classical artist and repertoire for UMG International.

Based in London, Pilavachi will advise, sign, develop and work with artists across Universal Music Classics’ operations worldwide. These include the Deutsche Grammophon and Decca labels.

He will report to Max Hole, who becomes UMGI COO on July 1.

Hole says there is “no one better qualified for the task” of helping to manage Universal’s classical operations.

Pilavachi adds, “The artists signed to Universal Music are second to none and I am thrilled at the prospect of working with them.”

Story by Music Week


Here is a relevant extract from the HWI Archives, it is part of a Billboard article dated 27 March 2004 just before Hayley's launch in the US:


When Pilavachi learned of the excitement surrounding Westenra in New Zealand, he flew from London to Wellington to see the teenager sing in front of 100 people during a corporate function at a rural racecourse.

"I thought I should pop down to New Zealand and meet her," he says. "I was blown away by her charm and her family.

"Christchurch is very far from London and New York, and I thought if she and her family were really serious about having a major international career, it was important they know who they were dealing with," Pilavachi says of his meeting with Westenra and her parents, Jill and Gerald Westenra.

"I wanted them to audition me just as much as I wanted to see her in action. And, frankly, I wanted to meet the family," he continues. "There've been so many horror stories of young protégés with manipulative parents, I'd hate to be part of an exploitation like that. But they're lovely people. I was really impressed with the whole environment [she] came from."

A with Decca followed, which the company reported is worth £3 million...).

Westenra says of Pilavachi, "He gave me more than the opportunity to be released internationally; he's part of my family."


The full article can be read here in the HWI archives.