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Naxos

Naxos is the name of an island, the main one in the Cyclades. Due to its importance in Greek mythology, it gave its name to Naxos Records, my favourite classical music record label.

Unlike the big industry giants like Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Decca, Columbia, Naxos is totally independent and has its own distribution circuit.

And yet, unlike most of its competitors, it is one of the few to avoid the dinosaur effect of reissues, always offering new recordings and keeping the genre alive.

When I want to hear a classical music record, I go to the list of their latest releases on their official website.

The company was founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German who emigrated to Hong Kong. Born in 1936 in Frankfurt, he studied English and Romance languages while paying his way as a tennis coach.

Before and after moving to Hong Kong, he made up jobs in various fields, including the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra where he also met his wife. Naxos was born with the aim of selling records at low prices, giving little-known young artists the opportunity to record them. The catalogue quickly grew, filling unusual areas of the classical repertoire.

It was the first in the industry to put everything online, back in 1996.

In 2013, NPR dedicated this documentary to Naxos.

To keep up to date with classical music in general, I refer to Presto Classical from which you can reach the websites of the major record companies (e.g. Chandos).

For more impromptu reports, there is the very active Music Is The Key blog which reports two or three or more new discs every day.

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