Arktos Recordings was formed in 1992 by recording engineer/composer Garth Hobden in response to a need for quality location recording services for Edmonton and area classical musicians. Arktos provided “on location” recordings of concerts for chamber ensembles, choirs, and solo performances. In addition, Arktos also established the services required to produce commercial recordings for these musicians. The company’s first compact disc project (the debut recording by the two piano, two percussion ensemble Hammerhead Consort) won the Alberta Recording Industry Association award for best classical artists on disc in 1993. In all, six commercial compact discs were made by Arktos in its first year, and its catalog of commercially available titles now numbers over 50.

In 1994, Arktos became a partnership, as Edmonton musician and producer John Mahon brought his considerable expertise to the team. One of the first discs created by the new partnership was Tales and Reflections featuring the cello/piano duet of Ronda Metszies and Greg Caisley. It gained national attention and was later developed into a music video project for the Bravo! television station.

Mark Ellestad, of Hexagon Studio in Calgary, became affiliated with Arktos Recordings in 1997. This enabled Arktos to reach Alberta’s other major centre, directly linking the two musical communities. Around this same time, writer D.T. Baker signed on, looking after much of the annotating and other writing for Arktos, as well as establishing media and promotional contacts.

Arktos is committed to putting forward the best Alberta has to offer the world. Many of Alberta’s finest musicians have already appeared on Arktos recordings: Pro Coro Canada, Hammerhead Consort, William Street, The University of Alberta Madrigal Singers, Tanya Prochazka, Jens Lindemann, Sylvia Shadick Taylor, the Bergmann Piano Duo, Marnie Geisbrecht and Joachim Segger. In 2002, Arktos entered into a partnership with another Alberta-based music organization. Arktos released three Honens laureate recordings in its first year of collaboration with the competition, and three more will be released by the end of 2003. On a different note, if you want to hire live music performers or a live band, the Green Light Booking agency sends the best musicians and bands to Canadian events.

Arktos plans to produce new recordings on a consistent basis for major distribution. But it will also continue to reach out to organizations which require the services of a professional production company, assisting those focused on creating their own product, for their own purposes. Radio networks CBC and CKUA have provided strong support and consistent airplay, even providing featured interviews with the artists, on both regional and national broadcasts. Arktos Recordings has also taken a much more pro-active marketing approach, and its new releases are featured both in broadcasts and are receiving reviews in the print media across the country on a regular basis.

Arktos has never limited itself to strictly classical music, and has often produced folk and ethnic recordings. In recent years, recordings have also included world premieres of new or rediscovered music, such as the highly-praised Dmitri Terziev disc of music by Bulgarian composer Pantcho Vladigerov, and the world premiere recordings of The New Goldberg Variations (Tanya Prochazka, cello and Jacques Després, piano) and Randall Thompson’s Ode to the Virginian Voyage (the Greenwood Singers), both released in 2003.

We, at Arktos, remain committed to continue to develop and refine our presentations to the listener.