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Naxos Founder Klaus Heymann Talks About the Evolution of Classical Music During the Technology of Digital Streaming

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Photo Credit: Klaus Heymann © HNH International Ltd

Photograph Credit score: Klaus Heymann © HNH Global Ltd

Klaus Heymann, founding father of the Naxos classical fee, discusses digital distribution, supporting contemporary artists, and classical education in a a great deal altering track native weather.

When Klaus Heymann entered the classical house in the 1980s, his fee Naxos delivered cheap entry to the works of Dvořák, Smetana, Aaron Copland, and dozens of alternative composers. But the orchestras taking half in these greats had been somewhat unknown to Western audiences. On Naxos’ budget-pleasant cassettes and CDs, the important thing and magical world of Eastern European orchestras broadened the horizons of many classical track buffs.

In 1996, Naxos turned into the critical to soar into the digital house by launching the track streaming platform HNH.com. Encourage then, streaming turned into nothing however a fantasy — a madman’s fantasy. Things hurried from that preliminary entrance, thanks to a ahead-leaning disposition. Musically, Naxos instantly spread precise into a fashion of classical courses.

At the contemporary time, Klaus proudly calls Naxos a ‘complex firm,’ announcing, “We’re complex because of we’re the finest ones who attain everything. We’re a cost, a classical fee, however we additionally win ten other labels. We attain opera and cooperate alongside with your total major opera homes in Europe, including the Royal Opera Home. We’re additionally in digital and bodily distribution, with the infrastructure to enhance it all.”

Naxos celebrates its 35th anniversary this yr. They’ve had a busy three-and-a-half of decades.

In 2003, Naxos launched the Naxos Music Library Subscription platform and the Naxos Spoken Note Library. The Naxos Music Library Jazz emerged in 2005, and in 2007, Naxos launched its derive platform, ClassicsOnline. Subsequently, Naxos launched apps and ebooks underneath Naxos Multimedia. The  Naxos Video Library surfaced in 2011.

2014 triggered extra Naxos investment in high-definition lossless streaming and downloading. In 2015, the firm launched the database, Naxosworks.com, followed by the Naxos Music Library World.

Between 2020 and 2022, Naxos kicked into high gear with the originate of Naxos Music Library 3.0, the Naxos MusicBox, and  the Naxos Moods playlist app.

Discussing the deliver of classical track in the digital world this day, Heymann said, “With digital and bodily distribution, we know what every person else is selling, where they are selling it, and how they are selling it. That’s a factual characteristic to be in.”

In step with the BBC, figures from recording trade association BPI showed that classical track turned into a rapidly-rising fashion in 2018 and 2019, with streaming accounting for 25% of classical consumption.

These numbers had been buoyed by artists love Andrea Bocelli, Katherine Jenkins, and cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, and in 2019, gross sales and streams of the classical fashion increased by 10.2%. Classical track made a factual case for roar when put next with the 5.7% roar in track consumption across other genres that yr. In fact, with bodily gross sales declining across all genres in 2019, gross sales of classical CDs increased by 6.9%.. While the general streaming market grew 33% in 2019, classical track streams rose 42%.

Naxos is additionally smartly-identified for supporting up-and-coming performers, boosting careers, and becoming concerned on the efficiency facet.

The Naxos’ affiliated fee Gargantuan Piano (2022 marks its 10th anniversary)records long-misplaced, unrecorded, and treasured pieces and has a sub-fee named Gargantuan Piano Overtone. The cost facets works by pianists played by the pianists themselves. The firm’s dedication to its long-timeframe fair of supporting younger artists, discovering skill, and helping put their careers seen artists love Tianwa Yang, Boris Giltburg, and Gabriel Schwabe emerge as major artists.

To extra this fair of uplifting contemporary artists, Naxos additionally sponsors major world competitions such as the Beethoven Global Piano Competition (Vienna) and the Global Fritz Kreisler Violin Competition (Vienna).

With libraries and masterclass audiovisual recordings, Naxos is additionally credited with classical track education for specialists and the general population.

Naxos makes its Classical Music, World, Jazz, Spoken Note, and Video Libraries available to universities and public libraries worldwide. Buying top quality masterclass audiovisual recordings to educate younger musicians, Naxos believes starting up track education at a younger age makes your total difference. One more vital reflection of their dedication is the associated fee’s most efficient-selling ‘My First’ kids’s e book sequence, which comprises My First Classical Music E-book, My First Orchestra E-book, and My First Piano E-book. The cost additionally launched an on-line track education platform, Naxos MusicBox, designed for youths aged 4-14.

We spoke to Klaus about rising alternatives for imprint spanking contemporary musicians in a aggressive track house, track cataloging, and the ability ahead for classical track and video.

DMN: We’ve witnessed an absolute explosion in video codecs over the previous decade. Folks delight in going to concerts, however are they attracted to looking at a video of a concert?

Klaus Heymann: I focal level on video is here to defend. Most of our contemporary recordings are produced in both audio and video. When you occur to examine on the desire of streams of an audio-only track on YouTube and a track with video, there’s no comparison. It’s love 10, 15, 20 cases the desire of streams. So we’re spending various money on video. And we additionally extinguish a immense deal of video stutter material, including opera, ballet, and theater. We’re additionally creating video variations of our 500 most gradually streamed tracks.

DMN: For classical musicians, attain you if fact be told feel love there are more alternatives now than there were ten years previously, or is it a more great house?

Klaus Heymann: I’d deliver sure and no. The level of instructing at track schools is some distance increased than it turned into 30 or 40 years previously. There are many more alternatives, however there’s additionally more competitors. The long-established of taking half in, in general, has risen dramatically.

Many younger musicians who work flat out obtained’t ever be in a characteristic to extinguish a residing from taking half in their instrument. Within the occasion that they are lucky, most seemingly 10% [would succeed]. So what are they going to attain? Are they going to educate? Possess they been taught guidelines on how to educate? Originate they know guidelines on how to extinguish a track video? Originate they know guidelines on how to assemble a mailing record? [They need to] be taught as mighty as they can about other issues they can use to extinguish a residing and optimistically attain one thing linked to track. The real fact that they can self-promote is a broad advantage. Recording is now very economical.

Producing a recording has was mighty more straightforward and more affordable — a mixing console this day is simply the dimensions of my notebook computer and charges only a fraction of what equal instruments used to price 5 or ten years previously. And artists can without trouble upload their recordings to most DSPs. Getting folks to hear to them, alternatively, is lots more complex.

DMN: Why is the skill and efficiency level so mighty increased now than earlier than?

Klaus Heymann: When you occur to examine on the colleges of main track schools, they are some distance more world than they turned into. Half of the colleges are Italian, German, or Russian. At the identical time, there’s more quality academic area topic available on-line — masterclasses by genuine masters on YouTube and critical instrumental instructing on specialized platforms.

DMN: Is there a fashion to to find audiences brooding about some composers of the previous who’re now not identified this day?

Klaus Heymann: Naxos this day is a cost of discovery, whereas earlier than, it lined mostly long-established repertoire. But we additionally extinguish programs such as ‘Great Composers in Words and Music.’ The energetic texts are written by a musicologist in Recent Zealand, whereas our audiobook division produces the audio. We understanding to continue focusing on discovering contemporary repertoire whereas listening to education.

DMN: With so mighty crucial work carried out by Naxos in recording a broad desire of classical track, how contrivance more track attain you if fact be told feel is in the marketplace to be recorded in 2022?

Klaus Heymann: Years previously, I turned into taking piece in a track conference, and on the quit, there turned into a seminar about ‘Has everything fee recording already been recorded?’

When you occur to leer the history of track, you fee that about maybe 2 million hours of track were mute since — let’s deliver — the early renaissance to stylish cases. When you occur to leer the memoir catalogs, about 100,000 hours of unduplicated repertoire were recorded. Therefore, we dangle now 1.9 million hours of track to memoir earlier than we dangle now recorded everything.

There is so mighty track you leer nearly on on each day foundation foundation. I’m pretty working with a German opera house about recording the operas by Heinrich Marschner — the largest opera composer in Germany between Weber and Wagner. After which I stumbled on the composer had written seven very nice piano trios. He wrote fifteen operas, and only two of them were recorded. When you occur to circulation into the history of track, you leer contemporary repertoire your total time, and plenty of it is entirely luscious.

DMN: Since 2015, that you just could been constructing no doubt one of many more comprehensive databases of classical track. Is there ever going to be one thing that capabilities all compositions ever recorded?

Klaus Heymann: For every contemporary originate, we add these records to that database — so it’s continuously up thus some distance. All people agrees that our metadata is the most total. One amongst the broad mega platforms tried to to find our records, however they didn’t ought to pay for it. I focal level on [I said] about ten or fifteen years previously, on the earth of streaming and downloading, whoever has the most efficient metadata will dangle the finest trade. I’ve been proven appropriate.

DMN: Naxos has been on a spree of acquisitions, roar, and more. So what’s Naxos doing appropriate now?

Heymann: In 2016, Naxos launched a joint mission with long-timeframe strategic trade companion Kuke Music [Holding Limited (NYSE: KUKE)] to put Naxos China. This JV centered totally on Chinese classical track and musicians, alongside the distribution and licensing trade in China. Naxos additionally has locations of work in Austria, Norway, and other countries. Through the years, it obtained diversified European labels and production homes, including Dynamic, Belvedere, ARC Music, Opus Arte, Oehms Classics, and others. It additionally obtained the Vox Classics catalog.


In 2017, Heymann purchased a Particular Success Award from the Global Classical Music Awards (ICMA), recognizing his entrepreneurial characteristic in the visionary construction of the classical track recording trade. Heymann now not too long previously celebrated his 86th birthday.

Naxos has obtained higher than thirty Grammy Awards, a broad desire of Penguin E book 3-star solutions, and more than one Gramophone Editor’s Desire Awards, among many other world honors.

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