About FHR

FHR now manufacture all their physical albums (CDs) using only Eco-friendly material. We no longer use plastic-based jewel case packaging, replacing them with DigiSleeve style packaging, which are made from 100% card containing no plastic (CD itself is plastic).

Our physical CDs are available worldwide and also direct from this website. All our releases are available for digital download in MP3, CD quality and in high resolution. A few titles are also available in ultra high resolution DXD and we are now beginning to release albums in a new format: Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos (7.1.4 surround sound). You can listen via streaming services  including Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Presto Classical, HD Tracks, Naxos Music Library etc.

FHR release the finest quality classical, world and jazz recordings performed by some of the greatest artists of the past, present and future. FHR has established itself as a significant independent record label. Indeed, their releases have been recognised by the press as “fascinating” and “remarkable” and are always produced to the highest standard. Their success is a product of high aesthetic value from an experienced, enthusiastic and dedicated FHR team.

Alongside exciting new recordings, FHR specialise in issuing important gems of the past on its historical sub-label FHR Remasters. Most of these recordings have never been issued before and include recordings newly discovered by FHR through their research in various tape archives. To date, FHR have licensed recordings from the EMI, HMV, Pye/Nixa, Universal/Westminster, Capitol Records catalogues, broadcast recordings from BBC Radio, NCRV in Holland and Bavarian Radio, and Archive of Recorded Sound (ARS). Wherever possible, FHR work from the original masters thus producing the best possible sound. Indeed, it has been written that “Few remastering teams have attended to vintage tapes with more loving attention than First Hand Records…” (Gramophone Magazine).

A number of FHR titles have been selected as Diapson D’OR, CHOC DE CLASSICA and frequently as a Gramophone Editor’s Choice/Reissue of the Month, Musicweb-International CD of the Month and a number of 5-star reviews in BBC Music Magazine. Their Shura Cherkassky release “The complete HMV stereo recordings” was awarded the Best Reissue/Vintage Recording of 2009 by International Piano Magazine. Recently, Alexandra Papastefanou was awarded The Union of Greek Theatre and Music Critics Award: Best Recording of 2018 for her FHR recording of The Well-Tempered Clavier

Artists and ensembles who have produced a high-quality recording, or who are planning an album, and are looking for the ideal-placement for your impeccable recording, do get in touch with FHR – we are likely to be the perfect place for showcasing your art. Contact: david “at” firsthandrecords.com

In recent times, the CD industry has changed very much and this has impacted the way artists and labels work together, particularly with the independent labels such as FHR. Musicians are now more involved with the label when an album is produced – it is more of a joint project with label making decisions together with the artists. This is how we work with new recordings released on FHR.

Press quotes:

“Hats off to First Hand Records” (Musical Opinion)

“An outstanding set from First Hand Records…” (International Record Review)

“the remastering is a complete success…” (Glarean Magazine, Germany)

“Three cheers for this hugely welcome follow up to First Hand Records’ invaluable restoration of Boult’s August 1956 Elgar, Walton and Britten recordings for Nixa-Westminster” (Classical Source)

“A Best of the Year addition” (Audiophile Audition)

“Really, as I said earlier, this is a most impressive issue with quality transfers to match. High standards are set here.” (Musicweb-International)

“As with the first volume, FHR has done an extraordinarily good job with the remastering of these early stereo recordings…” (International Record Review)

“…Mystery Sonatas [Passagalia], played with a purity, profundity and sense of dramatic architecture that truly stops you in your tracks. Really, bravo.” (Gramophone Magazine, Feb 16 – ‘Editor’s Choice’)

“The presentation is first class, with two good and informative essays and some evocative black and white session photographs. First Hand Records have done us a great service in making these recordings available again and in doing such a fine job over the transfers and presentation.” (Musicweb-International)

“This fascinating and rewarding set from First Hand Records has given enormous pleasure, not least due to the excellent presentation, which includes very informative booklet notes” (Classical Source)

The production is exemplary… I recommend you snap up this marvellous set without delay” (Fanfare Magazine)

“…it’s nice to see them celebrate with such a neat and technically well prepared package.” (Gramophone Magazine)

Another very attractive release from First Hand Records…With handsome re-mastering by Ian Jones and excellent, informative notation” (Classical Source)

It is first class in every respect. And I liked the book-like format which opens out neatly; its elegant simplicity is just right. An admirable release.” (Musicweb-International)

David Murphy director
In the classical music CD industry, David has worked for Gramophone Magazine, Naxos Records, Select Music & Video Distribution, Tower Records, K&A Productions, and has been a director of FHR since 2007.

David studied music (composition) at Birmingham Conservatoire where he gained a 1st class BMus Hons degree, and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where he was awarded a MMus degree. As a composer, he has won a number of competitions including first prize in the GSMD Lutoslawski Prize for Composition and first prize at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. His compositions have been performed by leading British musicians including Sarah Walker (soprano), Linda Hurst (mezzo), Capricorn Ensemble, Fine Arts Brass Ensemble, Philharmonia Orchestra Chamber Ensemble, BBC Singers, The Flautadors, Arditti Quartet, Denys Baptiste (saxophone), Pedro Carniero (percussion), John Mayer’s Indo-Jazz Fusions, Staffordshire Building Society Brass Band, performed in such venues as the Purcell Room and Queen Elizabeth Hall (South Bank Centre), Wigmore Hall, Adrian Boult Hall and Westminster Abbey.

Jonathan Mayer director
Jonathan Mayer studied composition and sitar at the Birmingham Conservatoire. As a sitar player he has performed with artists such as Sir Paul McCartney, Kenny Wheeler, London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra and toured extensively throughout Europe & India including The Dover Lane Music Conference, Royal Festival Hall, Glastonbury Festival & Cheltenham Festival. As a composer he has written for Kenny Wheeler, Orlando Consort, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Moravian Philharmonic & The Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic. He co-foundered First Hand Records in 2007.

Jonathan Mayer, FHR pianist Alexandra Papastefanou, and David Murphy

David Murphy, FHR pianist Roman Rabinovich, and Jonathan Mayer


First Hand Records Ltd
64 Monkswood Ave
Waltham Abbey

FHR VAT number: GB 976 7601 73