Naxos chief hailed for innovation in music industry

By Chen Nan ( ) Updated: 2016-10-18 15:24:44

Naxos chief hailed for innovation in music industry

Klaus Heymann. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Klaus Heymann, the German-born entrepreneur and the founder and head of the Naxos record label, celebrates his 80th birthday on Oct 22.

He is credited with making classical music available to a much wider audience with his founding in 1987 of Naxos, the CD label that famously undercut the major labels in terms of price without compromising on quality.

Naxos, headquartered in Hong Kong, will celebrate its 30th anniversary in 2017.

Heymann has received many awards for his achievements in the industry he represents, including Yale University's Samuel Simons Sanford Award last May.

"Klaus Heymann is a visionary. He starts a project and the project continues to grow, and grow, and grow. With his vision and his guidance he has enriched the worldwide community by making so much music accessible," comments Robert Blocker, dean of the Yale School of Music.

After nearly eight decades, Heymann shows no sign of slowing down as he pursues innovation and product development as head of the globally networked Naxos companies.

In 2015, Naxos Music Group acquired, a US online retailer specializing in classical music; it also set up CD manufacturing-on-demand facilities at its Nashville office in the United States. Heymann's stated strategy to be "the last man standing in terms of distributing classical music in physical form" is bold, prescient and much-quoted.

"I think speaking of Klaus' influence on classical music is too narrow. His vision as an innovative entrepreneur has resulted in the rebirth of a struggling industry. That is not only good for classical music, but for society at large," said Naxos artist Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra.

Alsop became the first woman to conduct the BBC's Last Night of the Proms in 2013, on the occasion of Naxos' 25th anniversary.

"My hope is that we all look at our own organizations with the insight and foresight that Klaus has brought to the recording industry; to adapt and evolve and reinvent ourselves in the same way that Klaus has done at Naxos," she said.


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