Eva Coutaz, who directed the production of the classical music label Harmonia Mundi for close to 30 years, has died at the age of 77 following a brief illness.

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Having started her career with Harmonia Mundi in 1972 as a press officer, she went on to produce more than 800 recordings with artists including Philippe Herreweghe, René Jacobs, Jean-Guihen Queyras, Isabelle Faust and Paul Lewis. She retired from the classical music label in 2016 following a career spanning nearly 30 years. When her husband Bernard Coutaz, Harmonia Mundi's founder, died in 2010, she became the chairman and CEO of the label until its acquisition by PIAS, a family of independent European record labels.

'Her loyalty to the musicians was exceptional,' says Harmonia Mundi in its statement. 'She was a warm presence at every major stage of their artistic and personal journeys. She saw the label as a family united by artistic affinities and the desire to celebrate what she loved above all: music.'

Read BBC Music Magazine reviews of Harmonia Mundi recordings.

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Top image: Bernard and Eva Coutaz