History

In 1989 Nicolas Bartholomée founded Musica Numeris, a firm widely recognised for the quality of its sound recording and postproduction in the field of classical music. During the years he spent with the firm, hundreds of CDs were recorded, and by the late 1990s it had become one of the most prolific executive producers, working with numerous record companies.

In 1999 Nicolas Bartholomée created the Ambroisie label (now owned by Naïve Records), which for ten years he directed with great enthusiasm, becoming involved in the launching of talented young artists. Then 2008 saw the creation of Little Tribeca – a high-performance structure, on the cutting edge of technological revolutions, and a favoured partner of artists and record companies – and at the same time of a new label, Aparté.

The Aparté Label

Driven by a profound desire to raise the standards of recording and sound processing, Nicolas Bartholomée created a studio that can be described as a veritable research laboratory, with perfection as its constant aim. Every stage in the process matters: choice of repertoire and acoustics, choice of microphones and their positioning, postproduction, the quality of the CD itself and its presentation (iconography, liner notes, etc.).

Nicolas Bartholomée uses the exceptional techniques available in his studio for the benefit of the artists with whom he works and to whose wishes, opinions and feelings he is ever attentive. Aparté creates strong relationships with artists in a microeconomic framework that always leaves room for creativity. It encourages successful partnerships with key players in European musical life, promotes its products everywhere using all media, and is at the forefront of technological revolutions currently underway.

The Aparté label thus defies the gloom of a reputedly depressed market. The members of its constantly expanding team all possess the human qualities that create the special relationships with artists that are so important. They also work with managers to promote the artists’ careers by organising concert tours to coincide with or anticipate new releases. Aparté aims to be perfectly fair to artists in every way, and to be at the forefront as regards communication and transmission. Aparté uses every possible means of distribution and for this it works in partnership with Harmonia Mundi. Since its very first release, the label has been dis- tributed in more than fifty countries worldwide. It is also available on most download sites.

Many of the artists who accompany Aparté are confirmed musicians, such as Christophe Rousset and Les Talens Lyriques, Ophélie Gaillard, Romain Leleu, Blandine Verlet, Xavier Sabata, Michel Dalberto, and others. But its mission is also to find new talent, and Nicolas Bartholomée continues, via his label, to reveal the fine young artists of today – Julie Fuchs, Louis Schwizgebel, the Novus Quartet, Lise Berthaud … – who will be the great musicians of tomorrow.

Press Comments

La Terrasse, July 2013
"Nicolas Bartholomée is one of the most remarkable sound engineers in the field of classical music. While continuing to record for the leading firms, he also has his own label: APARTÉ. Nicolas Bartholomée’s label covers every repertoire, from Baroque to contemporary, always with the same concern for quality. The hallmark of Aparté is also the quality of the sound recording, a reference in the field."
Classics Today
John Greene – Artistic Quality 10/10 – Sound Quality 10/10
«The sound on this Aparté set is spectacular. The combination of the magnificent vintage 1776 Christian Kroll instrument (one of the very few that exists entirely in its original state), the excellent acoustics of the La Galerie Dorée recording venue, the brilliant engineering, and of course Rousset’s peerless articulation, have resulted in one of the finest, most life-like harpsichord recitals available. Highly recommended.’ (Duphly by Christophe Rousset)»
BBC Music Magazine
May 2013
«Rousset plays all with dexterous fluency andstylistic assurance, and the harpsichord’s character is vividly enlivened by the excellent recording.’ (Duphly by Christophe Rousset) »
Le Figaro
Christian Merlin, 26 October 2010
«In your opinion, who’s up there at the top of the classical recording charts ? Cecilia Bartoli ? Jonas Kaufmann ? Of course. But not only. There’s also the Henri Dutilleux Violin Concerto, played by Yossif Ivanov and the Orchestre de l’Opéra de Lyon, conducted by Kazushi Ono, on the Aparté label. Find the odd one out! In any case this is good news. First of all, it goes to show that a living composer can compete with opera stars. Then, it confirms that, amidst the general doom and gloom of the record industry recession, a label that has been in existence since 2009 can do as well as the majors without a fraction of their communications budget. Who is responsible for this success? Nicolas Bartholomée, the man in the shadows who for over twenty years has been one of the greatest architects of classical recordings. This Belgian sound engineer has been immersed in music since was a tot; his father, the conductor and composer Pierre Bartholomée, was music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège, where he founded the Ensemble Musique Nouvelle. Rather than compete with his father in the field of performance, Nicolas Bartholomée decided to record artists. Artistic director for more than 1,500 recordings (Jordi Savall swears by him), he has developed a sound aesthetic of his own: there is a Bartholomée style, so much so that discophiles can recognise his warm, natural recordings by ear. In 1999 he founded his own label, Ambroisie, for which he developed a remarkable catalogue. He left when – having joined the Naïve group in the hope of increasing his striking power – he realised that he no longer had a free hand. A craftsman at heart, he founded Aparté last year in order to regain his independence. The cellist Ophélie Gaillard, the trumpeter Romain Leleu, soprano Karen Vourc’h are the stars of his first releases, which keep off the beaten track: promising successes. Then the harpsichordist Christophe Rousset was awarded a Diapason d’Or for a wonderful Couperin recording. And now this Dutilleux album, all the more courageous since recording a symphony orchestra is an increasingly costly business: a very vivid interpretation by a flamboyant violinist with one of the finest French orchestras, tackling a masterpiece of the twentieth century. Sales have followed! It is always heartening to see that quality pays.»

Our Team

Nicolas Bartholomée
Founder / Artistic Director
Rémi Roset
Brand & Digital Manager
Justine Harrison
Editorial
Jean-Hugues Allard
Executive Director
Marc de Pierrefeu
Digital Manager
Amandine Saillier
Administration
Florian Bonifay
Production Director
Leïla Bouchra
Production Manager
Stéphanie Flament
PR Officer