KAIROS is the opportune moment. In the antique era, this Greek word described the felicitous conjunction of the here and now, the propitious and decisive moment when conditions are right for taking crucial action. The Vienna-based label KAIROS was founded by Barbara Fränzen and Peter Oswald in 1999 and is dedicated to the release of the newest of contemporary music. In 2015, it became part of paladino media, and is now curated by its owner, cellist Martin Rummel. A strong network of international distributors have contributed to the international reputation of KAIROS to be one of, if not the most important record label for contemporary music.


Since its foundation, KAIROS has developed its distinct artistic profile. The team plan to stick to their conviction with a strong sense of purpose. The central positions of KAIROS are:


  • to focus on the work of artistically individual composers, providing continuous support beyond the immediate bounds of a CD production
  • an entrepreneurial vision of artistic sustainability, working against the rapidly growing tendency to first recognise and then quickly forget an artist
  • a view of Contemporary Music as a seismograph of differing societal perspectives and the various facets of the complex reality of our lives
  • the production of recordings that are exemplary in both artistic and sound quality, thus highlighting the visionary aspects of a work. These often remain largely imperceptible in live recordings; therefore, we rarely release recordings of live performances
  • to rely on the finest performers available (such as Klangforum Wien, ensemble recherche, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Arditti String Quartet, Nicolas Hodges, Ernesto Molinari, Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras, RSO Vienna, SWR Orchestra, WDR Orchestra to name a few)
  • a consistant cover design featuring artwork by contemporary artists (mainly Jakob Gasteiger and Erwin Bohatsch)
  • informative booklets that include essays on philosophy, literature and cinema, which further enhance the listening experience


By virtue of these commitments to artistry, KAIROS recordings have been awarded countless important international record prizes in recent years. KAIROS recordings can be found on “best of” lists of the Süddeutsche Zeitung, Die Zeit and The New York Times. KAIROS will continue its dedication to the adventure of exploring Contemporary Music in an uncompromising manner, with the utter conviction of its team that Contemporary Music is essential to human life.