Independent Germany-based production music company Sonoton Music 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, Germany.
Sonoton Music was founded by composer, arranger and conductor Gerhard Narholz and his wife Rotheide in Munich in 1965.
The company produces more than 100 new albums every year in addition to the 150 albums from its international catalogs.
Black’s appointment marks a significant step up for Sonoton Music, which says that it will now broaden its focus by “adding new forms of music publishing to its production music business”.
The company will also roll out a major rebrand and redesign of its website on March 24.
Black previously spent seven years as Global Director at EMI Production Music for Sony Music Publishing, where he worked with management teams globally.
He also managed 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.
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 catalog.
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 acts such as 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 the Sarm Studios in west London.
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 catalog 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.
“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.”
Rotheide and Gerhard Narholz, Sonoton
“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!”
“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.”
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 catalog 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 copy-rights through sample collaborations with artists such as Drake and Chance The Rap-per.”
Music Business Worldwide