Naxos AudioBooks was founded in 1994 by Klaus Heymann and Nicolas Soames with the purpose of providing classic literature with classical music on CD and cassette. The intention was to make the great classics accessible and the label began with the key works of Western literature: Homer, Dante, Milton, Austen, Dickens, Melville, Shakespeare and many others.
Naxos AudioBooks is committed to expanding its list of quality audiobooks
It quickly established a reputation for fine recordings by outstanding classical actors, such as Juliet Stevenson, Kenneth Branagh, Anton Lesser and many more, and experienced ‘radio’ voices, such as Neville Jason and David Timson, who know how to create a magical world through storytelling.
The label won numerous prizes for such recordings as Joyce’s Ulysses read by Jim Norton and Marcella Riordan, Jane Austen’s Emma read by Juliet Stevenson, and newly commissioned texts such as The History of Classical Music. The recordings were widely praised not only for the readings, but also for the skillful use of classical music and the presentation as a whole.
Naxos AudioBooks has received particular recognition for a number of highly ambitious unabridged projects. These include Ulysses; The Diary of Samuel Pepys; Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past and Tolstoy’s War and Peace, both read by Neville Jason; and The Complete Sherlock Holmes stories and Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, both read by David Timson.
The label began to broaden its list to selected contemporary classics, with recordings of works by the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami, Julian Barnes, Cormac McCarthy, Rose Tremain, and Booker prizewinner Anne Enright now among the catalogue.
It also became the first independent audiobook company to develop its own Download Shop from its website, offering fast, high-quality downloads in easy-to-use MP3 format, before adding the option of M4B format as well.
Naxos AudioBooks is committed to expanding its list of quality audiobooks for dissemination through all the new media.