Naxos Records

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Naxos Records
Naxos Records logo.jpg
Founded 1987 (1987)
Founder Klaus Heymann
Genre European classical music
Location Hong Kong
Official website www.naxos.com

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.[1]

Naxos is the largest independent classical label in the world and one of the two largest-selling classical labels.[2] It is also one of the largest distributors of independent classical record labels in the world.[3][4] Since 2009 the company has distributed blu-ray discs, streaming web radio and podcasts. The company allows members of the Hong Kong and Auckland City libraries free streaming of Naxos classical and jazz collections.

History[edit]

The company originally was known for its budget pricing of discs,[5] with simpler artwork and design than most other labels.[6] 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.

The company produces both Super Audio CDs and DVD-Audio. In 2003 it began a paid subscription service for listening on the Internet that offers its complete catalogue and the Naxos Music Library.[7]

Business model[edit]

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, Canadian Classics series, Japanese classical music, Jewish-American music, wind band music, film music and early music, many of which are première recordings.

Distribution and Naxos Global Logistics[edit]

Like many independent labels, Naxos Records created its own distribution network as an alternative to pre-existing networks. Naxos was so successful that other independent labels began to seek distribution through its network as well. Naxos Global Logistics, based in Poing, near Munich, was founded in 2008[8] to expand the services offered to its distributed labels, including manufacturing, marketing, and licensing.[9]

Recognition[edit]

In 2005 Naxos won the “Label of the Year Award”[10] at Classic FM/Gramophone awards.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Interview with founder Klaus Heymann by La Scena 2 September 2002.
  2. ^ Michael Dougan (15 July 2002). "Classical Music: Tuning up for the 21st century" (html). San Francisco Chronicle. 
  3. ^ List of distributed labels by Naxos of America.
  4. ^ 2014 Announcement of four Grammy Awards won by Naxos-distributed labels.
  5. ^ WQXR interview with Naxos Records founder Klaus Heymann
  6. ^ Klaus Heymann interviewed by National Public Radio.
  7. ^ Heymann interviewed by Gramophone.
  8. ^ Naxos Global Logistics on the Classical:Next website
  9. ^ Page about Naxos Global Logistics (NGL) on NGL's website
  10. ^ 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'." 

External links[edit]