Naxos Music Catalogue

The world-famous Music Catalogue is the world's leading classical label and an acknowledged market leader in classic music. This is probably the most successful business of its kind in the world, selling and recording high-quality works not only of classic composers, but also of jazz, opera and chamber music, in budget prices.

Established in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a German-born entrepreneur and music lover, Naxos is based in Hong Kong. Everything started in 1986, when the price of compact disks started to fall and Heymann saw the opportunity to set up a budget-priced CD-label that would sell music in the same price as LPs.

The first successful recording was the violinist Takako Nishizaki, Heymann's wife, in the Butterfly Lover Concert. This success paved the way for the following recordings of unknown artists in great music compositions. After all, Naxos focuses mostly on music and not the artist, so it frequently gives the opportunity to unknown musicians to record.

However, without doubt the first thing to notice is not that a German-born music lover based in Kong Kong records and sells classical music to all over the world, but that the company was named after a Greek island!

The answer is simple. As Heymann stresses out, the Greek island of Naxos is linked with art and culture, which obviously this music company aims to promote. Moreover, the island and its myths have inspired many composers along centuries, including the famous Richard Strauss who composed the opera Ariadne auf Naxos in 1912. There's the name!

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