Exclusive: Major maestro lands a new agent

Exclusive: Major maestro lands a new agent


norman lebrecht

June 03, 2011

Good to see the turbulence has not yet settle in the classical music business  – good, because if ever there was a time for fresh thinking with orchestras going bust and audiences getting old this surely is it.

I can report, three days before the official announcement, that Esa-Pekka Salonen has found himself a new agent. Salonen spent his whole career with Van Walsum until the owner told him he was getting out and the conductor would be better off with a call-minder on his phone than a 20 percent toll on his earnings.

Well, E-P has had a year to reflect on that sound advice and decided he’d rather pay an agent.

The one he’s chosen is pretty exclusive. Mark Newbanks of Fidelio Arts represents Gustavo Dudamel. That’s it. Just Gustavo, plus the even younger French conductor Lionel Bringuier.

Until today, when he signed Esa-Pekka. The Finn was Gustavo’s predecessor at the Los Angeles philharmonic. They get on well. The arrangement makes good sense and Mark will give him as much personal attention as he requires.

Who needs agents? Salonen has been thinking about that awhile and decided he does.


  • Sebastian Scotney says:

    You follow these things far more closely than I do.But leaving out the role of the wonderful Cathy Nelson, who has looked aftercontractual matters for a few years now, I wonder if you have the whole story?