When the ORFEO label was established in Munich forty years ago, surely no one au fait with the music scene back then could have predicted that the record company would develop into a firmly established player on the classical music market. Back then, the world of music was dominated by the major labels who more or less had an exclusive say in the choice of what music to record and release and how they would market the recordings they made with renowned musicians. “Indie labels” (a term which wasn’t even in use in those days) were very much a niche affair, most likely to appear on the scene for a short time, only to disappear into oblivion soon after. Today, the Orfeo archives comprise more than 1,000 items, supplemented each year by some twenty to thirty further releases, making the label an established player in the global music field.

One of the label’s main priorities in the early years was vocal music, with opera rarities and seldom heard Lieder cycles top of the list. Tape contracts agreed with the Bavarian Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra formed the basis of the ORFEO catalogue. Over the years, this was expanded to include re-use of historic tape recordings made at the festivals in Bayreuth and Salzburg and of legendary concerts at the Viennese and Bavarian state opera houses. Only the official, original recordings from Bayreuth, Salzburg, Munich and Vienna, which guaranteed the best possible sound quality, were used.

The support of young artists has always been one of the label’s central concerns. Over the years, ORFEO has developed into a significant talent factory. Today’s global stars such as Arabella Steinbacher, Diana Damrau, Krassimira Stoyanova, Julia Fischer, Daniel Müller-Schott, Piotr Beczala, Andris Nelsons and Pavol Breslik were discovered and nurtured by the label.

Since 2015 ORFEO has been integrated into the Naxos Group as an independent limited company within Naxos Germany, thereby assuring its future course in the classical music market. Linking the past and the future in the present day by using the best possible technical means available and engaging outstanding artists was always and still remains the label’s hallmark. Today there are many reasons to celebrate ORFEO International. And we can be sure of an exciting future ahead of us!


NAXOS DEUTSCHLAND Musik & Video Vertriebs-GmbH
Naxos Music Group

NAXOS DEUTSCHLAND Musik & Video Vertriebs-GmbH
Naxos Music Group

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  • D 85586 Poing

  • Matthias Lutzweiler | Iwen Schmees
  • Amtsgericht München HRB 75 804
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