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Bounty on a Budget – The Wall Street Journal feature on Klaus Heymann

August 29, 2013

Klaus Heymann

Until 1987, classical-music lovers knew Naxos from a Haydn cantata and an opera by Richard Strauss as the island where Theseus ditched Ariadne after she saved him from the Minotaur. Today, Naxos stands for a gigantic new force in classical recordings, uniquely in tune with the markets, technology and listening habits of our time. What’s in a name? The German-born, Hong Kong-based maverick Klaus Heymann picked it more or less out of a hat. (“Universal” was already taken.)

Mr. Heymann’s empire stands on three pillars. First: a budget-CD label—once belittled, now showered with prizes. Second: a distribution network—founded because existing distributors refused to do business with Naxos, now the go-to conduit for classical-indie-CD labels and producers of opera DVDs galore. And third: what bills itself as the world’s first subscription streaming service, running to 85,000 CDs on some 250 labels, 1¼ million tracks in all, the lot available on demand for about 85 cents a day. Some 800 CDs’ worth of music is added monthly. Continue reading

Source: Matthew Gurewitsch, Cultural Conversation – The Wall Street Journal


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