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 1, 2006 it is wholly owned and run by Paul Moseley. We are a premium quality artist-led label. Our aim is primarily to record classical artists who are already well-known world-wide (often with previous recording contracts with so-called 'major' labels), but who now wish to take more control of their recording careers.
Traditional "exclusive" contracts between artist and major companies have tended to be inflexible and restrictive. Decision-making by committee, moneymen pulling the strings, and often the plug too. 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. And because we keep overheads and costs low we can green-light ideas that others would reject.
ONYX will keep its release schedule and catalogue small but hopefully beautiful, with no more than 12-15 releases per year.
It's hard these days to rekindle the kind of excitement felt in the heyday of the LP era. "More of the same" is no longer enough. Yet it doesn't have to be like this. Onyx seeks to record world-renowned artists in their prime in the music that suits them best. If there's a 'story' about the recording then all the better- for example the first recording on baroque violin by the amazing Viktoria Mullova, or the 60th anniversary of the world's longest-running chamber ensemble. But just as often, it will simply be a case of the right music at the right time - Pascal Rogé's first complete Debussy cycle being an obvious example. That's the level we want to maintain, records that deserved to be made, from artists who deserve to be heard.