|This article needs additional citations for verification. (November 2011)|
|Genre||European classical music|
Naxos Records is a record label specializing in classical music. Through a number of imprints, Naxos also releases genres including Chinese music, jazz, world music, and early rock & roll. The company was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born resident of Hong Kong.
Naxos is the largest independent classical label in the world and one of the two largest-selling classical labels. Since 2009 the company has also been distributing blu-ray discs, streaming web radio and podcasts. It also allows members of the Hong Kong and Auckland City libraries free streaming of Naxos classical and jazz collections.
The company originally was known for its budget pricing of discs, with simpler artwork and design than most other labels. In the 1980s, Naxos primarily recorded central and eastern European symphony orchestras, often with lesser-known conductors to minimize recording costs and maintain its budget prices.
In more recent years, Naxos has taken advantage of the expiring copyrights of other companies' studio recordings by selling disks remastered from gramophone records. Examples of this include the recordings of Maria Callas and of the 1934 world première performance of Howard Hanson's opera The Merry Mount. Legal restrictions prevent many of these recordings being sold in the United States. Naxos has also recorded the music of contemporary composers, including Leonardo Balada, Bechara El-Khoury, Laurent Petitgirard and Alla Pavlova. The label has also branched out into jazz, world music, and books on musical subjects. Naxos Spoken Word Library contains non-music products, such as audiobooks and radio dramas.
Since the 1990s, Naxos has recorded with British and American orchestras, such as the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Seattle Symphony, the Buffalo Philharmonic and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
Naxos generally avoids repertoire duplication. Because of that, its classical repertoire has broadened to include fringe works, such as the symphonies of Nikolai Myaskovsky, contemporary classical music, and the works of lesser-known composers, such as Alexander Glazunov and Louis Spohr. It has produced a series of little-recorded works, such as the American Classics series, Japanese classical music, Jewish-American music, wind band music, film music and early music, many of which are première recordings.
- Michael Dougan (15 July 2002). "Classical Music: Tuning up for the 21st century" (html). San Francisco Chronicle.
- Jury, Louise (2005-09-30). "Conductor dropped by record label returns in triumph with Bach award". The Independent. Retrieved 2009-06-28. "The label of the year award went to the bargain-priced record company Naxos, which was praised for its 'visionary zeal'."