Naxos

Naxos Records is the world’s largest and most renowned record label specialising in classical music. The label was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heyman who is currently based in Hong Kong. Naxos is also the most prominent distributor of independent classical music labels in the world.

Overview

Naxos started out as a budget classical music record label in 1987, founded in Hong Kong by Klaus Heymann. At the time Heymann was a German business man who loved classical music. The label quickly established their international reputation for dependable new digital recordings of classical music at an exceptionally low price. Their repertoire soon widened into opera, early music, contemporary music and specialist repertoire. This made the label appreciated by both specialist collectors as well as the general classical music enthusiast. Naxos currently is the leading provider of classical music and an innovator in digital distribution. The combination of Klaus Heymann's broad knowledge of classical music and his business mentality enabled him to build the most diverse classical music label internationally, with the most effective distribution network. 

The label primarily recorded Central and Eastern European symphony orchestras with lesser-known conductors to maintain their budget pricings. Then they started taking advantage of expired copyrights of other studio recordings by releasing discs remastered from gramophone records. Consequently they started releasing impressive new recordings of great artists and world premiere recordings. Soon their collection started stretching, with classical music from medieval to contemporary, and additional genres, such as jazz, world music, books on musical subjects and audiobooks.

Naxos offers Blu-ray discs, streams web radio and podcasts and allows several public libraries and music schools to stream their collections for free. They’ve also introduced a subscription model that allows people to listen to their complete catalogue on the internet. As well as producing Super Audio CDs and DVD-audio, Naxos recently launched its high definition download and streaming service, called ClassicsOnline HD-LL, with a catalogue drawn from numerous renowned classical record labels. Naxos is widely known for its high quality recordings. The label has won Gramophone and Classic FM’s ‘Label of the Year Award’  in 2005.

World's leading award-winning classical music label.

Repertoire

Naxos’ catalogue is very varied. The collection stretches from early music to contemporary classical music. Despite their seemingly endless collection, Naxos tries to avoid duplication of their repertoire as much as possible. That's the reason their classical collection has broadened so much, by including fringe works, such as contemporary classical music, symphonies of Nikolai Myaskovsky, works by lesser-known composers, including Alexander Glazunov and Louis Spohr. They've also produced series of little-recorded compositions, such as the American Classics series, Canadian Classics, Japanese classical music, Jewish-American, wind band, film music and early music. Many of these releases are premiere recordings. Besides Naxos’ own catalogue, the label serves as a widely known distribution network. Thanks to the label’s own success, many prominent labels began to seek distribution through the Naxos network, called Naxos Global Logistics, founded in 2008 and based in Germany.

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