Celebrating and Motivating: Naxos China Aims To Embrace a Wider Audience

Photo Credit: Naxos

Naxos Records has recently been awarded Label of the Year by the 2023 International Classical Music Awards (ICMA).

The following comes from Naxos China, a company DMN is proud to be partnering with.

Since its founding in 1987, Naxos has emerged as one of the most influential record companies in the global classical music industry. Naxos works with artists of the highest caliber, and its recordings have been recognized with numerous GRAMMY® awards, Penguin Guide 3-star recommendations, Gramophone Editor’s Choice Awards, and many other international honors.

As the awards’ announcement stated: “Naxos has been very influential in promoting the art of classical music and the habit of collecting records to the masses in even remote parts of the world. Today, Naxos owes its reputation to the wealth of its immense catalog, which includes many recordings of some of the most important names in the classical music industry, its huge Naxos [Music] Library, and its network of distribution.”

Naxos China’s local releases have been distributed internationally.

In 2016, Naxos launched a joint venture with long-term strategic business partner Kuke Music [Holding Limited (NYSE: KUKE)] to establish Naxos China. Alongside its distribution and licensing business, Naxos China has been actively scouting outstanding classical musicians and composers in the local market, promoting their works at home and abroad.

Chinese artists can reach the global curiouser and connoisseur alike, and gain international recognition through the Naxos’ powerful network of distribution. Over the past few years, Naxos China has released more than ten albums by Chinese composers, musicians, and orchestras. Some of them are world-premiere recordings.

Naxos China has maintained close ties to contemporary Chinese composers, and the album Oriental Wash Painting (8.570627) is a fruit of the label’s prolific collaboration with award-winning composer Chang Ping. The album is a set of four diversified concertos that showcase traditional and ancient Chinese instruments, each performed by renowned soloists.

naxos china

Photo Credit: Naxos

2021 marks the 110th birth anniversary of an eminent Chinese composer Ding Shande. The album Essential Art Songs of Ding Shande (8.570630) was released globally, featuring 14 Chinese art songs and five songs from Song Cycle Dianxi Poem Collection.

Naxos China also focuses on traditional Chinese music, and the label released three recordings of guqin music by a Chinese folk music master Chen Leiji in 2022.

On February 3rd, 2023, seven brand new Naxos China albums were released digitally worldwide and are now available on major digital music platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Qobuz, Deezer, Pandora, Tidal, etc.

naxos china albums global release

Photo Credit: Naxos China

In Jade(8.570631), the collection of recordings by Beijing Contemporary Soloists brings an ever-fresh voice of contemporary Chinese music, as demonstrated in five disparate chamber works composed by Zhu Jian’er, Mo Wuping, Xu Shuya, Chen Xiaoyong, and Wang Erqing.

Violinist Liang Danan and pianist Tan Xiaotang presented a complete collection of Beethoven’s Sonatas for Violin and Piano(8.574331-34) in honor of the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birthday.

It’s the first time ever that Chinese musicians record Beethoven’s Complete Violin Sonatas.

Soprano Song Yuanming and pianist Zhang Jiajia have recorded a vocal and piano version of Four Last Songs in their album Richard Strauss: Favourite Lieder(8.574313). This version of Strauss’ beautiful swansong is a premiere recording in China.

An exciting new collaboration between Naxos China and the Amber Quartet begins with striking performances of early and late string quartets by Felix Mendelssohn.

In the album, Jiang Wenye: Piano Works (8.570629), pianist Sun Xiaodan completed her acclaimed exploration of diversified piano miniatures by Jiang Wenye, whose piano music forms an intimate reflection of personal memories.

Naxos China remains enormous interests in working with young talents.

The debut album of young harpsichordist Jiang Yushan features several works by J.S. Bach, who wrote for the keyboard throughout his life, displaying a wide variety of forms, styles, and techniques. Pianist Wu Peixi’s debut album includes her poetic interpretation of Schubert’s piano works.

“Ever since the founding of Naxos over 35 years ago, our company has had two primary goals,” Naxos founder Klaus Heymann commented following the ICMA’s latest award. “Firstly, we wanted to make classical music accessible to everyone, which we’ve accomplished through our commitment and continuous investment in music education and innovations in music consumption… Secondly, we wanted to go beyond the standard repertoire by exploring rare or completely forgotten works. Much of our vast catalog comprises world premiere recordings and unduplicated repertoire.”

In an ever-changing marketplace, Naxos China firmly holds these two primary goals at the heart of its undertakings. Together with many talented artists, Naxos China will continue to make classical music more accessible, and engage local artists for more interesting recordings, to bring this unique form of human artistic expression to a wider world.