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Music Industry: March 2008 Archives

The Founder of Naxos

Klaus Heymann, CEO of Naxos

Klaus Heymann profile


Klaus Heymann may not know how to read music or play a musical instrument, but he has been attending classical concerts with his parents since he was 9 years old. Today he is best known as a successful entrepreneur, who is a classical music amateur.

Heymann began his career in his native city of Frankfurt, as an export advertising and promotion manager for Max Braun AG, a manufacturer of audio equipment, household appliances and electric shavers.

After working for an American newspaper, The Overseas Weekly, for five years in Germany, he came to Asia in 1967 to start up its Hong Kong office, and subsequently started his own business.

Heymann's Pacific Mail Order System began as a direct-mail advertising company, which later evolved into a mail-order firm for members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving in Vietnam. It provided cameras, watches and audio equipment, including Bose loudspeakers and Revox tape recorders.

Read more about this at the CNN website:

It's Tough to Like Good Sound


The Swift Boating of Audiophiles

By Michael Fremer

The "Want to make an easy $1,000,000?" e-mail wasn't a scam from Nigeria but an alert from Paul DiComo, late of Polk Audio and now of Definitive Technology, about a double-blind cable-identification challenge made by The Annoying Randi, a magician and debunker of paranormal events who goes by the name of "The Amazing Randi."

I should have hit Delete and resumed my vacation. But a few months earlier, Randi, without the slightest provocation, had attacked me on his website and the revenge fantasy of relieving him of a million of his bucks filled my head.


At deadline time, yet another anti-audiophile piece appeared, this time in The New York Times' Arts & Leisure section, written by opera critic Anthony Tommasini, titled "Hard Being an Audiophile in an iPod World." Here's an excerpt from yet another letter to the editor that I felt obligated to write:

"The iPod is no more responsible for 'thinning the ranks of audiophiles' over the last decade than cheap, fast food has depleted the ranks of gourmets, or cheap wine has 'thinned the ranks' of oenophiles....Consumers are demanding higher quality food and seeking out better wine. Why? Because gourmet food and fine wine continue to receive enthusiastic coverage in the mainstream press and people who appreciate them are respected, while quality sound gets ignored, or worse, gets the kind of treatment you've chosen to give it this week – a perverse, gleeful dismissal – and audiophiles are looked upon as either 'odd' or 'deluded' for paying the same attention to sound that others pay to food or wine, or clothes, or cars, or you name it, except for sound. ..."

Read the complete account at the Stereophile website:

Dance Theatre of Harlem Remerges

Dance Theatre of Harlem

Regrouped Dance Theatre of Harlem to focus on education

By Susan Reiter
L.A. Times

The organization's financial picture improved after a hiatus, but not enough to put its company back on tour.

Until a few years ago, whenever Dance Theatre of Harlem was on a tour of U.S. cities, it routinely held auditions for its school's summer program or to spot potential apprentice dancers. But that was before September 2004, when financial realities forced the umbrella organization to put the professional troupe on hiatus.

At the time, DTH founder and artistic director Arthur Mitchell says, he expected an interruption of a year at most. But although the sizable deficit and the grim overall financial situation that threatened the organization in 2004 have diminished substantially, no one will be seeing the professional company in the near future.

Instead, DTH is conducting a 10-city audition tour devoted solely to the intensive student summer program at its spacious Harlem headquarters, which continues to hum with activity. The Los Angeles tryouts will be held Sunday at the Lula Washington Dance Theatre.

"We made up our minds that we wanted to fill that gap that existed because the company was no longer on tour," the indefatigable and eternally youthful Mitchell, who will turn 74 this month, said the other day. Just outside the conference room where he sat hung posters from DTH's foreign tours -- souvenirs of engagements in Monte Carlo, Verona, Germany, Barcelona.

Read more about this at the LA Times website:,1,994856.story


Radio 2 plans less weekday classical music

Guy Dixon
Globe and Mail

For the final phase of its overhaul of Radio 2, the CBC plans to play less classical music weekday mornings and late afternoons and more pop, showcasing a wider variety of Canadian music and aiming to appeal to a broader audience.

The new weekday morning show from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. will be a mix of much less classical and much more pop, leaning toward established musicians such as Joni Mitchell and Diana Krall, with around 50-per-cent Canadian content. There's no decision yet on who the host will be.

The midday show weekdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. will be entirely classical, playing both CDs and live performances, with around 40-per-cent Canadian content. But the drive-home afternoon show will be the biggest departure from current programming. That show from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. will ignore classical entirely and instead air a wide variety of genres from contemporary pop and world music to blues and roots, with an emphasis on newer songs and artists such as Feist and Serena Ryder.

In September, Radio 2 will also launch separate all-day all-classical, all-jazz and all-singer-songwriter stations on the Internet. Radio 3 will remain an Internet- and satellite-based service. However, one petitioner among a vocal group of listeners, musicians and composers who have criticized the overhaul argued yesterday that even an all-classical Web-based service wouldn't rectify the fact that Radio 2's on-air, non-classical programs are moving away from what had been the network's core listeners.

Read more about this at the Globe and Mail website: