The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music: From industry lagger to industry leader: Hong Kong-based Naxos Records marks 25 years in business with impressive success and public access.

February 2, 2013

By Jacob Stockinger

The Ear remembers when the major record labels laughed and snickered at Naxos Records when it first began as a small independent budget label, much like Nonesuch and Turnabout recordings used to be for vinyl LPs.

The Hong Kong-based company used mostly unknown artists, recorded them cheaply,  used decidedly unglamorous CD covers to market new releases, and then sold the recordings at a low retail price for mass marketing appeal.

But the major labels – what remains them today,anyway — aren’t laughing any more.

Naxos Records logo

That is because, thanks to the business and artistic acumen of the 76-year-old founder and head Klaus Heymann (below, surrounded by CDs and awards), Naxos has — after 25 years — become a full-fledged success with a high level of performers, performances and sound engineering as well as repertoire.

In fact, it has more than its share of repertoire, both known and neglected. It has won more than its share of awards around the world. It has pioneered historic recordings and contemporary music. And it continues to grow with new releases and to be profitable.

Klaus Heymann with CDs and awards

A recent and outstanding story on NPR (National Public Radio) covered the history and unpredicted success of Naxos. Here is a link:

In addition, NPR has linked with Naxos to provide listeners to go in and sample any huge number of releases from the Naxos catalogue that illustrate the NPR Guide to Classical Music, which can be very helpful whenever you are looking for a specific piece or composer or performance.

It also can be adventurous way to explore classical music for things that you don’t know or aren’t aware of, as can a different Naxos venture — the very impressive Naxos Library.

Here is a link that to the NPR-Naxos  index or reference library that you can turn into a Favorite or a Bookmark:

Happy Listening! Happy Hunting. And, Naxos Records, Happy Birthday!

And here is a short YouTube video with simple-to-follow instructions and a demonstration about how to use the Naxos Music library you can reach via this link:

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