"Without music, life would be a mistake" (Nietzsche)
Born on Sunday, 2 February1941 in Manderscheid/Eifel
Zodiacal sign: Aquarius
Already at a very young age, I had a very intense desire to be involved in the music business. In early 1965, the Berlin music publisher Will Meisel arranged a job interview with the Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft in Hamburg. The result was employment as a junior salesman starting on 20 April 1965. The first step had been taken ...
Now, the important thing was to shape the future; commitment and enthusiasm became trademarks. The next positions were as junior salesman in the Munich regional office, operating in Bavarian and Baden-Württemberg. There followed sales management in Munich South, the direction of the sales headquarters in Frankfurt beginning in 1977 and, at the beginning of 1979, the position of General Sales Manager of DGG in Hamburg. Beginning in 1983 I was Managing Director of Deutsche Grammophon, in 1985 Managing Director of Polygram Deutschland and entrusted with the market launch of the compact disc (CD) developed by Philips and Sony. After the successful placement of the CD there followed, in 1990, an appointment as Director of the "Consumer Electronics Sector of Philips Germany, GmbH" in Hamburg until 1994.
In 1995 the BMG President in New York at that time, Rudi Gassner, assigned to me the founding of the BMG budget label ARTE NOVA as a joint venture with headquarters in Munich. By 2002 about 700 new productions had been realised, including the sensational recordings of the Beethoven symphonies with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra and David Zinman selling over one million CDs, as well as the first recordings with the later highly successful duo of Christian Gerhaher and the pianist Gerold Huber.
Hurrying ahead of the closing of Bertelsmann's music sector, the decision was made in 2002 to found a label of my own in order to be able to continue dedicating my life to music – irrespective of the whims of the large corporations and the persons operating there. The new company was registered at the Passau District Court on 8 October, 2002 and the logo of the label OehmsClassics was created by the Peter Schmidt Studio in Hamburg. The company's headquarters has been in Munich since 1 October 2004.
The philosophy of helping young artists make their debuts, as well as artists who had not so far received the appreciation that they deserved, was accompanied by CD productions. This was quickly supplemented by the demand from renowned institutions, opera houses, orchestras, conductors and soloists who were impressed by the label's presence and methodology. Approximately 650 productions have been created since the label's founding, i.e. about 50 a year, including numerous debutants, rarities and important work cycles of great composers. To the present day, my way of working is characterised by curiosity, enthusiasm for music and boundless idealism, and has been honoured by the media with numerous awards and international prizes.