Gimell was founded by Peter Phillips and, producer, Steve Smith solely to make and market recordings by The Tallis Scholars.
The first Gimell recording was made on March 22nd and 23rd, 1980, in the Chapel of Merton College, Oxford. The recording of Allegri's Miserere, Mundy's Vox patris caelestis and Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli was an instant success reaching number one in the UK HMV Classical Chart. It was recently featured as one of the Fifty Greatest Recordings of all time by BBC Music Magazine.
Single-artist labels have become commonplace in recent years: Gimell was the first, predicting the trend by at least a decade. This gave Peter Phillips and Steve Smith a head-start both in the technique of recording a cappella singing and in gaining experience with a single repertoire and one artist. This experience informs every one of the 50 albums and more which Gimell has produced.
Gimell and The Tallis Scholars together have devoted their careers to bringing a highly characterised ensemble 'sound' to the public through the greatest unaccompanied choral music. This has only been possible as a result of constantly refining and perfecting the raw materials which make up that sound. The result, built up over many years, has been a world-wide market for both their recordings and their concerts, now acknowledged as one of the UK's most impressive exports in the arts.
Gimell has a number of other firsts to its name. In 1984 it placed the first commercial order for Compact Discs with a UK manufacturer and in 1987 it won the Gramophone Record of the Year Award - the first independent label to receive this prestigious award.
The photograph of Steve Smith and Peter Phillips, taken on the 30th anniversary of Gimell in 2010, is by Eric Richmond.