Amazing Stuff: Klaus Heymann of Naxos Page 5

Heymann: Our plan is yes. I can't be sure of what will happen if I am no longer there. Anyway, I have time. In our business, people live very long. [Heymann is 63.] It's an old people's business. I see another 10 good years ahead for myself, maybe more.

But yes, I am thinking about it: How do we ensure the survival of what we've built? We've sort of revolutionized the industry. I would never sell to a major. I don't want investors who say I can't do what I want to do—can't record this or that because we have to make a profit every quarter.

I'm not an idealist, mind you. But I am not in business just to make money, but rather to do something that's right. I told my wife the other night, "Mummy"—I call her Mummy—"we are so lucky that we can make a decent living off something we love to do."

Tellig: You have a son, Henryk. Is he in the business? [The "HNH" in HNH International stands for Henryk Nishizaki Heymann. Violinist and Naxos recording artist Takako Nishizaki is Mrs. Klaus Heymann.—ST]

Heymann: Unfortunately, my son is not interested. He is into punk rock. At least he plays and makes music; that's a blessing.

Tellig: How old is he?

Heymann: He's 22. But we have many talented people within our organization, at the national level, running distribution organizations. I think we are in much better shape than most of the small independent labels.

Tellig: New projects?

Heymann: Always. We are releasing a complete Schubert lieder cycle—only German singers. We are continuing with the American Classics series—this has been very successful. Barber, Ives, Schuman—and the complete Hanson, including a lot of works that have never been recorded before. We are doing the complete band music of John Philip Sousa—16 CDs of band music with the Royal Artillery in London, conducted by Keith Brion. The first two volumes have been recorded.

And then the historical stuff. We have just been given access to the Paul Whiteman Collection at Williams College, in Massachusetts—sound recordings and other material that Paul Whiteman himself donated to the college in the 1930s and '40s. This includes a lot of broadcast material that has never been issued. In the meantime, we also decided to release out-of-copyright Paul Whiteman Orchestra and Band material, to be restored by David Lennick, in Toronto.

Tellig: That should be a treasure trove of early-20th-century American popular music—Bing Crosby and the like.

Heymann: You're excited, huh? [Heymann could see my tongue hanging out.—ST]

Tellig: You bet.

Heymann: Me too. The material stretches from the 1920s through the 1940s. I have heard the sound of some of the later recordings, and it's quite good.

And on that happy note, we concluded our interview.

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