Best classical label

Cedille Records

@CedilleRecords

Founded in 1989 by James Ginsburg, Cedille Records is hardly a secret in the world of classical music, where it's widely recognized as one of the most important independent imprints. Calling it the best classical label in Chicago, where it's arguably the only established example, may feel like faint praise—but Cedille has blossomed over its history, and it's as strong as it's ever been these days, exercising an impressively catholic sensibility. The label has supported local artists such as Rachel Barton Pine, the Pacifica Quartet (which recently concluded its four-­installment overview of Shostakovich's complete string quartets), and new-music groups including the Fifth House Ensemble, the Gaudete Brass Quintet, and Eighth Blackbird (which won two 2007 Grammys with a Cedille release). Some of the label's best output has come from violinist and Chicago native Jennifer Koh, who just released the fantastic two-CD set Bach & Beyond Part 2, a bracing collection of solo work by J.S. Bach, Béla Bartók, and Kaija Saariaho.