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Naxos Records now referred to as Naxos is a record label for classical music compact discs and DVDs, founded in 1987 by Klaus Heymann, a Germanmarker-born resident of Hong Kongmarker.

The label today is one of the biggest classical music labels, and has recently begun distributing DVDs as well. Amid a general decline in classical music sales, Naxos is one of the two largest-selling classical labels in the world. It is also the largest independent classical label in the world.

In 2005 Naxos won the ”Label of the Year Award” at Classic FM/Gramophone awards. In 2003 Naxos started a paid subscription service (it had previously been free) offering their complete catalogue (as well as joint labels) for listening on the Internet as the Naxos Music Library.

Repertoire

The company became quickly known through its budget pricing of many discs, with simpler artwork and design than other labels. Naxos tries to avoid repertoire duplication. On the other hand, their selection of classical repertoire is very broad, including fringe repertoire such as the Symphonies of Nikolai Myaskovsky, much of contemporary classical music, and pieces by Johann Pachelbel other than his famous Canon in D. Its enterprise is seen in series of little recorded works like Japanesemarker classical music, Jewish-American music, wind band music, film music and early music. Many of these are première recordings. Naxos has also been recording extensively the music of several contemporary composers, including Leonardo Balada, Bechara El-Khoury, Laurent Petitgirard, and Alla Pavlova.

The label also sponsored a series of ten string quartets by the English composer Peter Maxwell Davies, the 'Naxos Quartets', which were on the label by the Maggini Quartet.

In recent years, Naxos has begun to take advantage of the expiring copyright protection of other companies' studio recordings, and remastering (from discs) and releasing those recordings. Notable examples of this activity can be seen in the studio recordings of Maria Callas, and in the release of the 1934 world première performance of Howard Hanson's opera The Merry Mount. However, due to the case Capitol Records, Inc. v. Naxos of America, Inc. (4 N.Y.3d 540, 2nd Cir. 2005), legal restrictions prevent many of these recordings being sold in the United States.

In the eighties, Naxos has recorded primarily central/eastern European symphony orchestras, often with lesser-known conductors to minimize recording costs and hence maintain its budget prices. However, since the nineties, Naxos has started recording with British and American orchestras (e.g. Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic and Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra). Reviews of Naxos CDs have found generally first class performances and first class recording standards, significantly contributing to the success of the company.

The label has often released comprehensive collections of some composers:









In recent years the label has branched out into spoken-word audiobooks, Super Audio CDs and DVD-Audio, jazz, world music and books on music subjects.

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