Style / Classical / Release Artist

Status: This is an official style guideline.

The purpose of the Release Artist field is to assign releases to specific artists. Crediting performers is done by linking artists and recordings with an Advanced Relationship.


Physical Media

For releases of physical media, the release artist will be sourced from the front cover. When a physical cover is not available, find the featured writers and performers at a reliable online source.

  • The spine can be used if it should happen to contain more detail than the front cover

Digital media

Preferably from the label's page or other official source. Avoid using information from resellers.

Featured Release Artists

The Release Artist of a classical Release should include the writers (composers, lyricists, librettists) and performers featured on the front cover (except when "Various Artists" is used, see below). Use only writers and performers who are featured on the front cover (or the spine); don't add artists from the back cover or the inside of the booklet or other places.

Single artist

If there is only one name on the front cover. This is uncommon for classical releases (usually the composer and a couple of performers will be listed), but sometimes is seen on solo recitals or composer anthologies.

Multiple artists

Use a comma to separate names. If the credits contain both writers and performers, begin with the writers. Use a semicolon to separate writers from performers.

Names that are not prominently featured

If there is a long list of names on the cover, only the most prominently featured names need to be included. For example when a single performer (or group) performs works from many different composers, or vice-versa. See below for information about when to use "Various Artists".

Various Artists

There are some releases that don't really have any featured artists. For example there are classical "samplers", often released by record labels or newspapers. Other examples include compilation albums with names like "Classics for Relaxing": these often have no artist credits at all. In these cases, use the special artist Various Artists.

Release Groups

Will in many cases have the same name and artists as the release. If the featured artists differs between different releases in the same release group, try to find the most used version. If that fails, use the earliest release.


Début Recital Martha Argerich

Best of Neujahrskonzert, Volume II Wiener Philharmoniker

The Very Best of Beethoven Ludwig van Beethoven

Brandenburgische Konzerte Nr. 2, 3, 5 / Ouvertüre (Suite) Nr. 3 Johann Sebastian Bach; Berliner Philharmoniker, Herbert von Karajan

Dvořák: "American" Quartet / Tchaikovsky: Quartet no. 1 / Borodin: Quartet no. 2 Antonín Dvořák, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Alexander Borodin; Emerson String Quartet

Kantaten Johann Sebastian Bach, Dietrich Buxtehude; Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Karl Richter

Ainsi parlait Zarathoustra / Quatre derniers Lieder Richard Strauss; Montserrat Caballé

Copland Conducts Copland Aaron Copland; Aaron Copland, London Symphony Orchestra, Columbia Symphony Orchestra, William Warfield

Ten Years of Success Various Artists

Stabat Mater / Petite Messe Solennelle Gioachino Rossini; Ricardo Muti, Stephen Clebury

Trumpet Works Ravel, Gershwin, Bernstein, Glazunov; Sergei Nakarjakov, Alexander Markovich

Title Style
Special Cases/Misc.