The independent German music production company Sonoton Music has appointed Alex Black as its newly created CEO.
Black, who was previously Global Director at EMI Production Music, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the traditional family business, which owns the exclusive rights to more than 130,000 works of all genres and lists more than 2,400 composers.
He will take over the role with immediate effect and will be based in Munich.
Sonoton Music was founded in 1965 by the composer, arranger and conductor Gerhard Narholz and his wife Rotheide in Munich.
The company produces more than 100 new albums each year in addition to the 150 albums from its international catalogs.
The appointment of Black is a significant step for Sonoton Music, which will now broaden its focus by “adding new forms of music publishing to its production music business”.
The company will launch a major rebranding and website redesign on March 24th.
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.
He also led the development of the company’s brands, including production music labels such as KPM, MusicHouse and Juice. He also managed the company’s sub-publishing interests.
Before joining EMI Production Music in 2013, he was Managing Director of Imagem Production Music and led the brand change of Boosey & Hawkes Production Music. created the classic library label Boosey & Hawkes and directed the development of the company’s media catalog.
This included BBC News and Strictly Come Dancing / Dancing With The Stars themed tunes.
Before joining Imagem (now Concord), Black ran his own PR firm, Rocketscience Media, which worked with acts like Basement Jaxx, Carl Cox and Radiohead.
He also produced music for production music start-up West One and worked for legendary record producer Trevor Horn at Sarm Studios in West London.
Over the years, Sonoton’s music has been featured in countless Hollywood films, including Fantastic Four, Finding Dory, Greyhound, Manchester by the Sea, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, and Snowden.
The catalog has also been featured on many popular TV shows such as Mad Men, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and Unorthodox, while being used in global advertising campaigns and sampled by superstar recording artists.
“It was a daunting prospect to move the company to a new CEO. We are absolutely thrilled that Alex Black will be the one to take on this role. “
Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz, Sonoton
“We have spent the last 50 years building Sonoton with a lot of love and care,” said Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz.
“It was a daunting prospect to move the company to a new CEO. We are absolutely thrilled that Alex Black will be the one to take on this role.
“In the many years we have worked with him, he has impressed us again and again with his excellent business acumen, creativity and passion for music.
“We can step back from management now, knowing that Sonoton is in the perfect hands for a successful future. Welcome Alex! “
“I am honored that the founders asked me to drive the business forward. I worked as a sub-publisher with Sonoton for the first time 15 years ago and I was very impressed by Mr and Mrs Narholz. “
Black said, “I am honored that the founders hired me to drive the business. I worked as a sub-publisher with Sonoton for the first time 15 years ago and I was very impressed by Mr and Mrs Narholz.
“Through their passion for music and travel, they have created opportunities for thousands of composers and created a catalog that contains so many hidden gems waiting to be discovered by filmmakers and music producers.
“They are business innovators and leaders in music search technology. They launched their first search system, SONOfind, in 1993 and they now give me the responsibility to start the latest incarnation later this month.
“Sonoton’s rebranding and the new studio complex are also evidence of their progressive leadership.
“Since 1965, Mr. and Mrs. Narholz have built a truly global business that has not only amassed an incredible range of film, television and advertising credits, but also through exemplary collaborations with artists like Drake and Chance The Rappro.”
Music business worldwide