ONYX was started in May 2005 by Chris Craker (founder of the Black Box label and Paul Moseley, for many years a senior executive at Decca. Since August 2006 ONYX has been wholly owned by Paul Moseley, who also ran the label until April 2009 when he returned to Decca as Managing Director of Decca Classics. Matthew Cosgrove, for many years Director of Warner Classics International and later Vice President of Artist & Repertoire at Deutsche Grammophon, was appointed General Manager of ONYX in April 2009. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We are a premium quality artist-lead label. Our aim is primarily to record classical artists who are already well-known world-wide, and who have had previous recording contracts with the ‘major’ labels, but who now wish to take more control of their recording careers. Traditional ‘exclusive’ recording contracts between artist and the major companies have tended to be inflexible and restrictive. The decision making process by committee at these labels is slow, with the money men pulling the strings, and all too often pulling the plug as well. ONYX’s relationships with artists are true collaborations, enabling them to choose, over and above their music-making of course, exactly how much ownership, control and involvement in the project they want. We don’t insist on exclusivity, preferring a good relationship to develop based on results, not promises. We make decisions quickly and stick to them. Because we keep overheads and costs to a minimum we can green-light ideas that many other labels would reject.
ONYX keeps its release schedule and catalogue small and beautiful, with around 15 – 18 new releases per year.
These days it is hard to re-kindle the excitement felt in the heady days of the LP and early years of the CD. ‘More of the same’ is no longer enough, and it does not need to be like this. ONYX records world renowned artists in their prime in music that suits them best. ONYX also works with some of the most promising new artists whose careers are on a steep trajectory, backed by good international management and with a healthy concert diary in major venues and markets.
If there is a story about a recording then all the better, for example Viktoria Mullova’s first recordings on baroque violin, Pascal Roge’s first complete Debussy cycle, Jonathan Biss embarking on a project to record all 32 Beethoven Piano Sonatas, Maria Joao Pires joining ONYX to recording Beethoven concertos and sonatas for the first time in her career, or the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Kirill Karabits recording a complete Prokofiev Symphony cycle including world premiere recordings of some works, baritone Florian Boesch’s and Malcolm Martineau’s universally praised recordings of Schubert song cycles and extraordinary Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra and Sascha Goetzel all prime examples of the right music at the right time – these are the standards we wish to maintain – records that deserve to be made by artists who deserve to be heard.
WHO ARE OUR DISTRIBUTORS?
ONYX combines the advantages of a small, wholly independent ‘boutique’ label with excellent distribution and marketing. Throughout the world the best independent distributors have been selected based on many years of experience and relationship. Please click on the ‘distributors’ button to see the list. In effect the artistic decisions are left to experienced professionals whose first priority is quality and a personal service to their artists and customers, while our strength in distribution ensures an excellent presence in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace. It’s a powerful combination, and one that has stood us in good stead.
Music lovers still buy CDs, from traditional record stores, from mail order companies from Amazon to independent mail order businesses. If the preference is to buy online, ONYX can supply CDs purchased in any of 5 currencies when ordered directly from our website www.onyxclassics.com
ONYX also embraces the purchase of its recordings through digital downloads, and the complete ONYX catalogue is available to purchase and download in hi quality 320kbps sound. Booklets and artwork are also available to download. Tracks from every recording can be streamed before you buy. This service is available 24 hours a day every day of the year. We also offer a free track to download each month from a forthcoming new release.
ONYX recordings are also available from iTunes, and some recent recordings are Mastered for iTunes and have iTunes booklets.
You can also keep up to date with your favourite artists’ activities by using the links to the artist website and the website of their management.