About Stuffed Penguin

Stuffed Penguin Music is a new independent record label based in San Francisco, CA. Our goal is to bring classical music to a broader audience by producing engaging new music and rarely performed works which relate to contemporary experience.

Stuffed Penguin’s mission is to make sophisticated music that is fresh and accessible. Emphasizing new and neglected works over traditional programming, we seek to do in music what The Simpsons did in television—take a sophisticated product which rewards audiences for paying attention out into a mainstream arena largely occupied by generic background fare.

This initiative is based on our conviction that the long decline of classical music is due to a failure of the industry rather than a problem with the music itself. As we like to say, classical music isn’t going the way of the dinosaurs, it’s going the way of the mainframes, the room-sized computers which were swept away in the 1980s by PCs and servers. There’s plenty of life in the music itself, but the industry emphasizes old, conservative products; offers too limited a selection; and reaches too few people. We aim to make classical music more contemporary, more accessible, and more portable.

Stuffed Penguin seeks to establish a niche for independent classical music. In many ways, we are applying the industry model for independent popular music to classical music, perhaps for the first time.

In Stuffed Penguin’s debut release, The Poetry of Donald Rumsfeld and Other Fresh American Art Songs, from the programming to the packaging—with its edgy photos of artists Elender Wall and Bryant Kong pumping gas and mowing the lawn in their formal wear—you will notice a concerted effort to break away from classical tradition. We think the stuffy, black-tie culture surrounding classical music deters people from getting to know the music better. We want to create an environment that’s more open and conducive to learning.

If traditional classical music is an exclusive country club, then Stuffed Penguin is the friendly hotel bar across the street. Both places provide refreshment, but we try to make you feel welcome, so you’ll stay longer and want to come back.


Site Credits
Web design
Artist photos
Illustrations Adam Hunt