Munich, 01.03.2021. Sonoton Music, the world’s largest independent production music company, has appointed Alex Black to the newly created position of CEO.
Black, who was previously Global Director at EMI Production Music, will oversee the day-to-day operations at the long-established and family-owned business, which owns exclusive rights to more than 130,000 works from all genres and represents a roster of more than 2,400 composers. He takes up the role with immediate effect and will be based in Munich.
The appointment marks a significant step up for Sonoton Music, which will broaden its focus by adding new forms of music publishing to its production music business. It will roll out a major rebrand and redesign of its website on March 24.
Sonoton Music was founded by the composer, arranger and conductor Gerhard Narholz and his wife Rotheide in Munich in 1965. As its managing directors, they have turned the business into one of the world’s most successful production music libraries with more than 100 new albums covering all kinds of music, styles, instrumentations and genres produced every year. This is in addition to the 150 albums from its international catalogues.
Over the years Sonoton’s music has been placed in countless Hollywood films, including Fantastic Four, Finding Dory, Greyhound, Manchester By The Sea, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Snowden. The catalogue has also featured in many popular TV shows such as Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and Unorthodox, while being used in global ad campaigns and sampled by superstar recording artists.
“We have spent the last 50 years building Sonoton with much love and care,” said Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz. “It was a daunting prospect to consider transitioning the stewardship of the company to a new CEO. We are absolutely ecstatic that Alex Black will be the one to take on this role. Over the many years we have enjoyed a working relationship with him, he continually impressed us with his excellent business acumen, creativity and passion for music. We can withdraw from management now, knowing that Sonoton will be in the perfect hands for a successful future. Welcome, Alex!”
Black said: “I am honoured that the founders have entrusted me to take the business forward. I first worked with Sonoton as a sub publisher 15 years ago and Mr & Mrs Narholz made a huge impression on me. Through their passion for music and travel, they have created opportunities for thousands of composers, building a catalogue that holds so many hidden treasures waiting to be discovered by filmmakers and music producers. They are business innovators, leading the way with music search technology; launching their first search system, SONOfind, in 1993 and now giving me the responsibility of launching the newest incarnation later this month. Sonoton’s rebrand and new studio complex are also testament to their progressive leadership. Since 1965 Mr & Mrs Narholz have developed a truly global business which has amassed not only an incredible array of film, TV and advertising credits but has also generated commercial publishing copyrights through sample collaborations with artists such as Drake and Chance The Rapper.”
Black previously spent seven years as Global Director at EMI Production Music for Sony Music Publishing, where he worked with management teams around the world and managed the development of the company’s brands, including legendary production music labels such as KPM, MusicHouse and Juice. He also managed its sub-publishing interests. Prior to joining EMI Production Music in 2013, he was managing director of Imagem Production Music and oversaw the brand transition from Boosey & Hawkes Production Music; created the Boosey & Hawkes classical library label and managed the development of the company’s media catalogue. This included BBC News and Strictly Come Dancing/Dancing With The Stars theme tunes.
Before working at Imagem (now Concord), Black ran his own PR company Rocketscience Media, working with many acts such as Basement Jaxx, Carl Cox and Radiohead. He also produced music for production music start-up West One and worked for the legendary record producer Trevor Horn at the world-famous Sarm Studios in west London.
About Sonoton Music
Sonoton Music was founded by Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz in Munich and is today the largest independent music library in the world. The company owns exclusive rights to more than 130,000 works from all genres. Hundreds of composers, musicians and producers around the globe ensure that the library grows by more than 100 albums of all kinds of music, styles, instrumentations and genres every year. In addition, more than 150 albums are added each year from international catalogues. More than 35 agents worldwide license the use of its music for TV, film, advertising, internet productions and sampling. Music by Sonoton can be found in the Netflix series Unorthodox, feature films such as Greyhound and Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, as well as countless other productions.
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