A Comprehensive Intro to Naxos’ Importance In Bringing Classical Music Into the Digital Era


Naxos classical music

Photo Credit: Naxos

Naxos is at the forefront of bringing classical music into the digital age. Naxos Records is the world’s leading classical music label for a reason. Let’s explore why.

The following was created in collaboration with Naxos, a company DMN is proud to be partnered with.

Naxos was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born entrepreneur based in Hong Kong. Under his stewardship, Naxos has developed from a budget label focusing on standard repertoire into a global music group comprised of several affiliated labels–each with their own specialization. These include downloading and streaming platforms, a large catalog of multimedia products, a publications division, licensing department, international logistics network, and a recording engineering arm.

Naxos is a veritable encyclopedia of classical music with a catalog of unparalleled depth and breadth. Naxos says its innovative strategies for recording repertoire with talent have enabled the company to develop one of the fastest-growing catalogs of unduplicated repertoire in the music industry.

In 1996, Naxos and the Marco Polo catalog were made available for online streaming for the first time.

Those recordings covered unknown works by well-known composers and the most important works of little-known or forgotten composers. Naxos got the ball rolling on the Naxos Music Library subscription in 2003. This service is now the premiere destination to hear millions of tracks of classical music. It has also partnered with over 3,000 institutions and universities worldwide to serve students, artists, and music lovers. 

Naxos launched its first apps and ebooks under its Naxos Multimedia label in 2008. In 2011, the company launched Naxos Video Library. In 2015, Naxos introduced its musicology database, NaxosWorks.com. Naxos launched its MusicBox designed for kids from 4-14 to help educate children about classical music. In 2020, the Naxos Moods app became the most recent addition to the family. 

naxos classical music

Photo Credit: Naxos

Naxos has also established a joint venture with strategic business partner Kuke Music Group to establish Naxos China in 2016. The Naxos China label devotes itself to developing and discovering Chinese classical music and musicians, bringing them into the international limelight via the platform. Naxos affiliated labels include (not limited to):

  • Dynamic
  • Belvedere
  • ARC Music
  • Opus Arte
  • Vox

Naxos Works with artists for Long Cooperation Relationships

Classical music artists like Marin Alsop and Tianwa Yang have a longstanding relationship with Naxos. Tianwa Yang celebrated her 15th year of collaboration with Naxos in 2021, with more than 20 albums produced as part of the relationship. She also won the Opus Klassik prize in 2014, 2015, and 2022. 

Conductor Marin Alsop recorded her first album for Naxos in 2000 and continues her closed cooperation with the company to this day. She is internationally recognized for her innovative approach to programming and audience development and her deep commitment to education. Alsop is also the first woman to serve as the head of a major orchestra in the United States, South America, Austria, and Britain. 

Naxos also sponsors several major international competitions including the Beethoven International Piano Competition and the International Fritz Kreisler Violin Competition, both in Vienna. As part of its commitment to youth classical music education, Naxos has also released more than 100 albums under its ‘Laureate Series.’ This series features many distinguished young artists who were chosen to record and release their first albums. 

The Albums of Opus Klassik

Naxos works with artists of the highest caliber and its recordings have been recognized with numerous Grammy Awards, penguin Guide 3-star recommendations, Gramophone Editor’s Choice Awards, and many other international honors. Naxos’ catalog has been universally recognized by Germany’s Opus Klassik Awards for several years now. 

Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 took the award for Solo Recording Instrument at the 2018 Opus Klassik awards show, featuring Boris Giltburg. Naxos also won the ‘Symphonic Recording’ award for Leonard Bernstein’s conducting debut, featuring Marin Alsop. 

In 2020, Naxos took home the ‘Symphonic Recording’ awards for Adam Fischer’s Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the Danish Chamber Orchestra. Naxos also claimed the ‘Opera Recording’ award in 2020 for Korngold: Das Wunder der Heliane. Naxos also claimed the ‘Opera Recording’ award in 2021 for Winberger: Frühlingsstürme.

In 2022, Naxos claimed the ‘Instrumentalist of the Year’ award for its recording of Chinese violinist Tianwa Yang’s Prokofiev violin concertos.

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