Looking Back, Looking Ahead: 2018 Year-In-Review

While one could argue that the New Year is simply an arbitrary date, for some it does offer an opportunity to lift one’s head out of the currents of everyday activity and recalibrate. With the start of a new year and a new decade for the company, PARMA is taking some time to look back on the events, milestones, and stories of 2018 and looking ahead to the future:


In 2018, PARMA artists were all across the map, bringing their music to eager listeners around the globe. Dozens of performances came to life across three continents over the last 12 months. In May 2018, the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall was filled by audiences ready to hear Trio Casals perform the works on Navona Records’ MOTO BELLO, as part of the MOTO album/performance series. On the other side of the globe, PARMA artists took part in the inaugural China Tours, which kicked off in the summer with Axiom Quartet, Altius Quartet, Matej Meštrović, and the Harrington/Loewen Duo and continued into the fall with Lindsey Goodman and the Leviathan Trio, and completing with Sauro Berti and Naomi Fujiya in November.


2018 was a milestone year for PARMA. In May 2018, PARMA Recordings celebrated the 10th anniversary of its founding. This offered the company as a whole the chance to look back on our first decade, and even beyond that, into what inspired PARMA CEO Bob Lord to found a music company, and how he has built a family that extends not only to the PARMA team, but the hundreds of artists that the company has worked with since Day 1. In an interview with I CARE IF YOU LISTEN, Bob describes what sparked the company, and what has kept PARMA thriving to this day:

“That is the starting point at PARMA. 10 years, a staff of nearly 30, and more than 500 albums in, a sense of wonder and passion has always been at the core of what we do.  Openness to new experiences, new ideas, and new concepts is at the foundation of every project.” – CEO Bob Lord

As the PARMA artist family grows, so has the family within the walls of the company headquarters. In 2018, PARMA welcomed in new team members in almost every department, including new Chief Operating Officer Bob Leavitt, a longtime friend of the company and Bob Lord. As PARMA expands its work around the world, the management team oversees the day-to-day operations of the company, ensuring that everything remains in top working order.


Speaking of expanding operations, PARMA recorded sessions far and near in 2018. Sessions were booked every single month in 2018, in locations including: California, Boston MA, New York City NY, Arizona, Ohio, Philadelphia PA, Florida, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Israel. We recorded with new and veteran PARMA artists, including Croatian composer Matej Meštrović (who was featured on a national television interview with Bob Lord), Sergio Cervetti, Rain Worthington, and more. Sessions also included a few special projects, including an orchestral backtrack for 12-time Grammy Award-winning gospel artist CeCe Winans with the Zagreb Philharmonic Orchestra, and the soundtrack for a Kennedy Center live performance, which brings us to the next 2018 highlight.

The Zagreb Festival Orchestra
Photo c. Marko Pletikosa

In Fall 2018, Bob Lord and PARMA Project Director Miran Vaupotić set to work on a monumental and compelling endeavor, centered in PARMA’s office away from home: Zagreb. The Zagreb Festival Orchestra, first founded in 1989 and comprised of the top performers in the city, had fallen into silence with the onset of the Croatian War and remained in dormancy until its re-establishment this past fall. Not even months into its next chapter, the ZFO has already recorded for multiple projects, including scores by composer Zak Engel that were used in a live performance of the children’s book How to Catch a Star, put on by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Learn more about the ZFO by visiting http://www.zagrebfestivalorchestra.com


Unfortunately, 2018 saw a few difficult farewells, as we take the time now to remember those we lost in the past year:

Marie Nelson Bennett (1926-2018). Composer of EXCURSIONS and ORPHEUS LEX.

Dennis Kam (1942-2018). Composer of SEVERAL TIMES.

Dwight Beckham (1931-2018). Composer of THREE ORCHESTRAL WORKS.

Philip Koplow (1943-2018). Composer of FOR THE PEACE OF CITIES, to be released posthumously by Navona Records.


You might think that 2018 would leave us wistfully looking into the past. However, as we take this time to look back, we’re already springing ahead into the big things to come in 2019. From multiple Calls for Scores, the inaugural performance by the Zagreb Festival Orchestra at Vienna’s Große Musikvereinssaal, and sessions in major recording facilities nationally and across the globe, to our second summer of tours in China with a lineup of memorable artists, there is much to look forward to this year. Keep up with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and follow us on Spotify to stay on top of all the exciting new events of this year. Here’s to a successful 2019!

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