Naxos Records has been named this year’s ‘Label of the Year’ by the Jury of the International Classical Music Awards (ICMA). The awards body’s announcement stated: ‘From the year it was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, Naxos has been one of the most energetic and ground-breaking record companies of the global classical music world…Naxos has been very influential in promoting the art of classical music and the habit of collecting records to the masses in even remote parts of the world. Today Naxos owes its reputation to the wealth of its immense catalogue which includes many recordings of some of the most important names in the classical music industry, its huge Naxos [Music] Library, and its network of distribution.’
Naxos founding chairman Klaus Heymann previously received the ICMA’s 2017 Special Achievement Award in recognition of his entrepreneurial and visionary development of the classical music recording industry. Following this latest award, he commented: ‘Ever since the founding of Naxos over 35 years ago, our company has had two primary goals. Firstly, we wanted to make classical music accessible to everyone, which we’ve accomplished through our commitment and continuous investment in music education and innovations in music consumption. Even before Napster, we had made our Naxos and Marco Polo catalogues available online for streaming. Secondly, we wanted to go beyond the standard repertoire by exploring rare or completely forgotten works. Much of our vast catalogue comprises world premiere recordings and unduplicated repertoire. We have been fortunate that during our journey we’ve encountered so many people who share the same passion and vision. On behalf of the entire company, I would like to thank the ICMA Jury, our artists, our devoted fans and the entire Naxos family, for their support and encouragement throughout these years.’
Pianist Alessandro Marangoni, who has no fewer than 20 recordings on the Naxos label, received this year’s ICMA Special Achievement Award for his monumental cycle of Gioachino Rossini’s complete 14-volume Péchés de vieillesse (Naxos 8.501306), recorded on 13 albums. Reflecting the jury’s decision, the ICMA stated: ‘Rossini’s Péchés de vieillesse are not an organic collection, but a fascinating, bottomless well of musical miracles written in old age by an ironic, sly, rather depressed and nevertheless brilliant composer. For the first time, thanks to the Italian pianist Alessandro Marangoni, we have a complete recording of this true musical monument, a feat that is the result of many years of research and a passion that has few equals.’
For the full list of winners, please visit ICMA’s website. The gala concert and awards ceremony will be held on 21 April 2023 at the National Forum of Music in Wroclaw, Poland.