Naxos Records is a record label specializing in classical music. Through a number of imprints, Naxos also releases Chinese music, jazz, world music, and early rock and roll. The company was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born resident of Hong Kong. Since 2009 Naxos has distributed Blu-ray discs, streaming web radio, and podcasts. Naxos allows members of subscribing public libraries and music schools such as Hong Kong Public Libraries, Auckland Libraries, Wellington City Libraries, and Toronto Public Library free streaming of Naxos classical and jazz collections.
|Parent company||HNH International|
|Country of origin||China|
The company 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, as well as upcoming and unknown musicians, 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 discs remastered from gramophone records. Examples include the complete recordings of opera singers such as Enrico Caruso, Amelita Galli-Curci, and Titta Ruffo and the 1934 world première performance of Howard Hanson's opera Merry Mount. Legal restrictions prevented some of these recordings from 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 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 Super Audio CDs, DVD-Audio, and Blu-ray discs. In 2003 it began a paid subscription service for listening on the Internet that offers its complete catalogue and the Naxos Music Library. In 2015 it launched a high-definition download and streaming service, ClassicsOnline HD•LL, with a catalogue drawn from a number of classical record labels.
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.
In 2005 Naxos won the Label of the Year Award at Classic FM/Gramophone awards.
- Who is HNH? Naxos Classical
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The label of the year award went to the bargain-priced record company Naxos, which was praised for its 'visionary zeal'.