Klaus Heymann

[Klaus Heymann]
Naxos is the brainchild of Klaus Heymann, a Hong Kong-based Music Executive.

Klaus Heymann went to Hong Kong in 1967 to start the office of an American weekly newspaper, The Overseas Weekly. Before coming to Hong Kong, he had worked for the same paper in his native city of Frankfurt for five years and for one year as Export Advertising and Promotion Manager for Max Braun AG, the well-known manufacturer of audio equipment, household appliances and electric shavers.

After two years with the Overseas Weekly in Hong Kong, he started his own business, initially a direct-mail advertising company and, subsequently, a mail-order firm for the members of the U.S. Armed Forces during the Vietnam War. The mail-order catalogue of Pacific Mail-Order System, the company started by Klaus Heymann, offered cameras, watches and audio equipment, including Bose loudspeakers and Revox tape recorders.

After the end of the Vietnam War, he became the distributor for Hong Kong and China of Bose and Revox equipment and, subsequently, also of the well-known Studer brand of studio recording equipment.

In order to promote the sales of Revox and Bose in Hong Kong, Klaus Heymann began to organise concerts of classical music sponsored by Revox and Bose. Since he had been fond of classical music ever since he was a child (he attended his first classical concert at the age of 10) the artists invited for the concerts in Hong Kong were classical artists. Many of them had made recordings for various classical labels, but when they performed in Hong Kong, they could not find these recordings in the shops.

As a result, in addition to distributing Bose and Revox equipment, Klaus Heymann started to import several classical labels, among them Vox-Turnabout, Hungaroton, Supraphon, Opus and others.

Because of the success of his concerts (they were well-organised and promoted) he was invited to join the board of the then-amateur Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Within a year of having joined the board, the Hong Kong Philharmonic was a full-time professional orchestra... Klaus Heymann had taken on the positions of "Chairman of the Fund-Raising Committee" and "Honorary General Manager". Through his association with the Hong Kong Philharmonic he met his future wife, the Japanese violinist Takako Nishizaki...she came to play as a soloist with the Hong Kong Philharmonic during its first professional season. The concerto she played on that occasion was the Second Concerto by Henryk Wieniawski... the couple's only son was therefore named "Henryk". A year after their first meeting, they were married and Takako moved from her native Japan to Hong Kong.