Naxos Records Founder Klaus Heymann

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Klaus Heymann is the founder and CEO of Naxos Records, which recently celebrated its 25th anniversary. Launched as a budget label, Naxos now boasts a catalog of more than 5,000 titles and an online music library that provides access to more than 76,000 CDs.

In this interview with host Gilbert Kaplan, he explains:

— How Naxos became “probably the last record company that has a huge recording program.”

— The future of listening will see a significant decline in CD sales, but an increase in downloads and subscriptions to online catalogs.

— Bestselling composers are Mozart, Vivaldi, Bach, Chopin and Dvorak. Brahms, Schumann and Berlioz sell poorly.

— How his grandmother told him to stay away from her piano for fear he’d break it.

— “All my life I have never listened to anything other than classical music.”

— In his fantasy, he’d be a conductor.


Franz Schubert: Symphony No. 8, “Unfinished.” First movement [excerpt]. Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra. Michael Halász. Naxos 8.550145.

Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique, “March to the Scaffold” [excerpt]. Orchestre National de Lyon. Leonard Slatkin. Naxos 8.572886.

Gang Chen/Zhanhao HE: The Butterfly Lovers Violin Concerto [excerpt]. Shanghai Conservatory Symphony Orchestra. Fan Chengwu. Takako Nishizaki, violin. Naxos 8.554334.

Samuel Barber: Adagio for Strings. Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Marin Alsop. Naxos 8.559088.

George R. Poulton, Vera Matson, Elvis Presley: “Love Me Tender.” Elvis Presley. RCA 07863 68079-2.

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov: Russian Easter Festival Overture [excerpt]. Seattle Symphony. Gerard Schwarz. Naxos 8.572788.