Naxos Label 20th Anniversary

Since 1987, Naxos has redefined how classical music is presented and marketed. Innovative strategies of recording exciting new repertoire with exceptional talent have enabled the label to develop one of the largest and fastest-growing catalogues of unduplicated repertoire available anywhere – there are currently over 3,500 titles, all recorded in state-of-the-art sound and available at affordable prices.

Naxos aims at providing a good balance of genres and styles of music with its releases every month. The label also remains firmly committed to working with artists of the highest calibre, including young talent and prizewinners of major international competitions.

Naxos is also the unparalleled leader in the digital distribution of classical music, with a wide range of audio streaming services:,,, and This year, Naxos also launched a dedicated download service, – the leading DRM-free platform offering over 10,000 albums from the world’s top independent classical music labels.

We invite you to join in Naxos’ celebrations – check out the section below for the latest photos and articles on the label’s 20th Anniversary events around the world.



Naxos 20th Anniversary Cocktail Party, Tokyo, Japan

Naxos Japan held a cocktail party in Tokyo on 14th November 2007. We were honoured to have Mr. Yoshio Tanaka of Japan Record Trading Association and Mr. Tatsumi Yoda of TY Limited as guest speakers. In addition, Mr. Morihide Katayama, General Producer of Naxos' Japanese Classics series, spoke about the past and the future of the series.

Physical and digital markets go hand in hand in Japan. Attending the party were CD/DVD retailers, labels, publishers, representatives from mobile phone companies, IT, broadcasting, education, and of course, composers and artists – a pleasing turnout of some two hundred guests in total.

Guests were delighted to meet Maestro Jun Märkl, one of the most notable conductors of his generation, currently Musical Director of the Orchestre National de Lyon, and Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the MDR Sinfonieorchester (Leipzig Radio Symphony). Märkl and the Lyon National Orchestra, featured in Naxos’ recent release of Debussy’s La Mer and Hosokawa’s Circulating Ocean (8.570775*), were touring Japan at the time.

Yoichi Iwasaki
Naxos Japan

* Currently only available in Japan

Revolution is On-line

This article was published in the May 17, 2007 issue of YOMIURI SHIMBUN. The English version appearing here is a translation done by Naxos from the original interview done in Japanese by Ryoichi Matsumoto.

While major classical labels struggle in the prolonged recession, some independent labels are largely unaffected. ‘Thanks to information technology’, says Klaus Heymann, Founder and Chairman of Naxos, ‘independent labels are now very competitive’.

Since 1987, Naxos has been transforming the market with its unique but strong strategy. Naxos avoids the use of star performers, and aims at recording unknown repertoire. NAXOS JAPANESE CLASSICS is a good example. The label has recorded many unknown works of Japanese composers. ‘These recordings are irreplaceable assets’, says Heymann.

Naxos is at the cutting edge of the digital music industry. Naxos Music Library ( for international visitors; for Japanese visitors) is one of the major projects of Naxos Digital Services. This online classical music library contains more than 16,000 discs from Naxos and 35 other labels, available for streaming from anywhere in the world. Hundreds of universities in Europe and in the United States have now subscribed; thousands of individual users in Japan log in to the library everyday.

‘Some individual subscribers use this library to check new releases. Some people still want to purchase physical discs’, Heymann added. ‘Disc collectors surely will remain, but digital will be the mainstream. For some labels, maybe it is time to shift their strategies.’

Even after the worldwide digital network is fully equipped, the Naxos Founder’s philosophy remains the same. ‘No matter which medium listeners choose, we will keep recording rarely heard repertoire in the long term.’

Hong Kong

Naxos 20th Anniversary Gala Evening, Hong Kong

Naxos rounded off its 20th Anniversary international celebrations in Hong Kong, the label’s home city. A Gala Evening was held on the 26th of November 2007, in the grand setting of the Salisbury Room at The Peninsula Hotel. Tianwa Yang, one of today’s most talented international young violinists, together with pianist Markus Hadulla, performed Romantic virtuoso music by Saint-Saëns, Ysaÿe, Kreisler and Sarasate. Gracing the celebration were representatives from the arts industry, corporate and professional sectors, consulates, government, academia and the media. CNN filmed at the event, as part of its upcoming special programme on Naxos. It was a memorable evening of fine music, food and conversation for guests, artists and colleagues alike.

Tianwa Yang
Markus Hadulla

Klaus Heymann Interviewed by Radio Television Hong Kong

Naxos Founder and Chairman Klaus Heymann spoke about the company’s past, present and future with presenters Phil Whelan and Jonathan Douglas of Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), Hong Kong’s leading public broadcaster.

Click here to listen to the program which features the interview by Phil Whelan of RTHK3, broadcasted live on 9th November 2007.

Click here to listen to the interview by Jonathan Douglas of RTHK4, broadcasted on 15th November 2007.


Music and Champagne in NYC and Nashville

Naxos of America recently celebrated Naxos’ 20th Anniversary with no less than hors d’oeuvres and champagne receptions in New York City and Nashville, Tennessee.

Marin Alsop, Philippe Quint and William Bolcom were guests of honour at the event held at Steinway Hall in New York City. Leonard Slatkin and Nashville Symphony Orchestra, on the other hand, gave a special performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony right after the reception at Schermerhorn Symphony Center in Nashville. Also gracing the Nashville celebration was Joan Tower.

Aside from these, Naxos Founder Klaus Heymann visited J&R Music and Computer World in downtown New York City. He was joined by Philippe Quint, who recently released an album of solo violin music by Miklos Rozsa on Naxos, and conductor JoAnn Falletta, another acclaimed Naxos artist. 


Greetings from the Vikings

20th Anniversary celebrations in Scandinavia kicked off in the capital of Sweden, Stockholm, on 11th of May 2007. We are very proud of our cooperation with Lunds Studentsångare, a distinguished Swedish male choir. Their discs on Naxos have sold in double platinum numbers - quite unique for classical music! On this day they paraded the streets of Stockholm, sang to pedestrians and gave out invitations to the concert later that afternoon. At the 'after-work' concert the choir sang spring songs from their bestselling Naxos album Sköna maj. Baritone Olle Persson was the special guest.

On 9th of June we took off to the south of Sweden. In collaboration with the City of Malmö, Naxos staged a full-day classical music extravaganza under the theme ‘Classical Favourites’. Small music ensembles from the Malmö Academy of Music performed on the streets and in malls to celebrate the occasion.

The concert hall doors opened at 11 in the morning to a crowd of +2500 people. They had the opportunity to find out more about musical institutions in Malmö, such as the Academy of Music (celebrating its 100th Anniversary this year), Musik i Syd, City of Malmö's ‘Sommarscen’, the Malmö Symphony Orchestra, as well as Sweden's biggest magazine for classical music, Opus. The Malmö Cultural School invited everyone to try out instruments of the orchestra and listen to short concerts from young musicians.

Many people also visited the 'one-day-only' Naxos record store, hosted by local shop Lazer. A whole range of Naxos discs was made available, to the great delight of customers. A disc was sold every ten seconds! There were also possibilities for people to discover Naxos Music Library. Together with the City Library of Malmö we displayed a number of computers to try out NML. People could also get free classical ringtones at the Naxos stand.

The celebration culminated in a free anniversary concert with Malmö Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Vassily Sinaisky, with Lunds Studentsångare, violinist Henning Kraggerud and tenor Hannu Jurmu as special guests. The concert was filmed to be broadcasted on the Naxos website.

The evening saw a reception for invited guests at the Hilton Hotel, where Naxos' Scandinavian distributors took the opportunity to congratulate Klaus Heymann and Takako Nishizaki on 20 years of success.

Sydney, Australia

A Select Party

The worldwide celebration of Naxos' 20th Anniversary got off to a great start on Wednesday 28 March 2007 with A Select Party in The Club Bar of Hotel CBD, a chic venue in the heart of Sydney, Australia. Guests included representatives from national media such as The Australian newspaper, Limelight magazine, Opera-Opera and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Classic FM, major concert presenter Musica Viva Australia, Sydney International Piano Competition, leading etailers and retailers, current and former staff of Select Audio-Visual Distribution, and many long-standing friends and colleagues of Klaus Heymann and Takako Nishizaki.

To the music of her million-plus selling recording of Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, specially re-released this year across Australia on both disc and DVD, Ms Nishizaki was presented with a commemorative plaque to honour her achievement. Through a remarkable feat of media liaison, this Vivaldi recording, chosen as ABC Classic FM's ‘Disc of the Week’, was actually being broadcast at the very time that Klaus and Takako were being driven from the airport to their hotel! The disc had also been selected as Disc of the Week earlier in March by all five classical FM stations comprising Australia's Fine Music Network.

The party climaxed with the cutting of a birthday cake iced stunningly in blue and white and sculpted into the shape of Naxos's 20th Anniversary logo. Food for thought was provided by speeches which looked back over the past two decades and forward into the future, and an impromptu game of billiards rounded off a most enjoyable evening. Here's to the next 20 years!

Stephen Schafer
Label Manager, Select Audio-Visual Distribution Australia

United Kingdom

Celebrating on the River Thames

On 23rd May 2007, the UK celebrated the 20th anniversary of Naxos with a party on board the HQS Wellington, a World War II battle ship docked at the Embankment on the River Thames in London. The evening was kicked off with a few words from Naxos founder Klaus Heymann and Anthony Anderson of Select Music and was followed by a surprise presentation by Peter Kemp of an engraved medallion, in recognition of Mr Heymann being made an Honorary Member of The Johann Strauss Society of Great Britain.

The venue was impressively decorated with Naxos flags flying from the masts and a lighting display featuring Naxos's special 20th anniversary logo projected onto the side of the ship for all passers-by to see.

The event was attended by many Naxos colleagues from all over the world together with key Naxos artists including José Serebrier and David Lloyd-Jones, as well as a substantial number of UK journalists representing UK publications such as Classic FM Magazine and radio, BBC Radio 3, The Gramophone Magazine, BBC Music Magazine, The Sunday Times, The Metro and many others.

Libby Jones
Head of Press, Select Music and Video Distribution Ltd.

UK Press Articles and Interviews

The UK press takes a close look at how, after 20 years, Naxos has firmly established itself as the market leader in the recording, publication and distribution of music-based content on physical product and on-line.

Read on below for excerpts, including words from Naxos founder Klaus Heymann, as featured in some of the UK’s most important and widely-read publications.



Released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Naxos, this limited edition box set, featuring a foreword from James Jolly, comprises six best-selling Naxos releases which were all honoured with a Gramophone ‘Disc of the Month’ award at the time of their release.

‘As Naxos approaches its third decade, it’s worth reflecting on what it has achieved: a catalogue that is as broad as it is deep; a judicious balancing of the familiar and the obscure; production values that rival the best, and, increasingly, a roster of artists of truly international standing’.
Gramophone, 2005 Label of the Year

‘This limited edition box set is now available, released to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Naxos label. Featuring a selection of six of the finest Naxos discs of all time, all of which received the Gramophone Record of the Month Award at the time of release, it provides a fitting tribute to “the world’s favourite classical label”’.
BBC Music Magazine


Happy Birthday, Naxos
20th Anniversary Celebrations in Cologne, Germany

Celebrations in Cologne were held on 2nd of June 2007 in the format of a two-part event.

In the first part, Helmut Müller-Brühl conducted the Cologne Chamber Orchestra in an all-Beethoven programme at the impressive venue of the Philharmonie. 22-year-old David Kadouch, a winner of the 1st International Beethoven Competition for Piano in Bonn, was the soloist. The hall, atmosphere and of course the programme itself (Coriolan Overture; Piano Concerto No. 5; Symphony No. 5) all contributed to a truly memorable concert.

After the concert, the Naxos party made its way to the fancy venue Alter Wartesaal,to be cordially welcomed by Chris Voll, Managing Director of Naxos Germany. Klaus Heymann, who had specially travelled from Hong Kong with his wife, the Japanese violinist Takako Nishizaki and their son Rick, shared his words with artists, business partners and journalists. Following the speech of thanks by Helmut Müller-Brühl was an elegant buffet, crowned by the cutting of the Naxos birthday cake by Takako Nishizaki.

Naxos’ 20th Anniversary event in Germany was a highly enjoyable party-night filled with great music as well as interesting and inspiring conversations.

Veronika Lindenmayr
Press and Promotion Officer, Naxos Germany

Naxos Live! 2007

On what was a lovely summer evening on 22nd May 2007, Naxos hosted a concert of Romantic virtuoso music at Wigmore Hall, London in celebration of the label’s 20th Anniversary. Seven house pianists and violinists presented a dazzling programme of works by Busoni, Ernst, Liszt, Sarasate, Ries and Léonard to great critical acclaim, taking the audience through an enjoyable evening of chamber music in an elegant setting. The artists were (in order of appearance): Wolf Harden, Ilya Grubert, Christopher Hinterhuber, Konstantin Scherbakov, Tianwa Yang and Markus Hadulla, Simone Lamsma.

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