Axe falls on IMG Artists

Axe falls on IMG Artists


norman lebrecht

September 08, 2014

We’ve had word of a ‘restructuring’ at the ever-troubled classical talent agency, owned by an American fraudster (l.) and a Russian minigarch.

wissman kotova


Although the announcement below makes no mention of job cuts, we gather that auxiliary staff are to be slashed, reducing back-up services to individual artists and music organisations. e expect to have more details as the firing slips start landing. Meanwhile, here’s the statement:


Lorna Aizlewood, Chief Operating Officer & General Counsel IMG Artists, today announced a restructuring of the business that will see the company organised along functional rather than its previous geographical lines.

IMG Artists will now consist of the following new divisions: global Artist Management, Sales, Touring, Attractions, Festivals & Events, Consulting and Corporate.

Operating from offices in three continents, IMG Artists is the only truly global performing arts management company, and the breadth and scale of work undertaken is unmatched by any other company operating in its sector.

Aizlewood commented:“When I was appointed COO in May this year, I began a company-wide process to analyse the commercial and artistic realities of the performing arts business, both today and for the future.

“This new proposed structure for IMG Artists has been designed to ensure that our company – the team and those we represent – are given the tools and support needed to thrive in the current market and beyond.

“These divisions align our company with the modern realities of our industry.  Through this improved structure, IMGA will be able to offer its artists, clients and partners enhanced opportunities for advancing their careers and projects through strategic collaboration and increased exploitation of our unparalleled global network, all whilst retaining and supporting the key personal relationships with our roster of incredible artists that are at the core of our business.”

The new structure will be in effect from 1st October, 2014.


  • Nick says:

    Looking at IMG Artists website, it seems the axe has already fallen on some of the company’s activities. The introduction to the Events Management section states, “IMG Artists is renowned for its ability to create some of the world’s leading cultural and entertainment events for its clients.” Yet it lists only past events. No events in the future, it would seem. Similarly when you click on Festivals. “Our festival work, as diverse as the events themselves, now reaches across the globe including the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia,” it states. Yet the only Asian Festival is the Singapore Sun Festival. That festival died some years ago!

  • Hasbeen says:

    Announcement is so full of corporate speak cliches it is difficult to know what, if anything, it means.

  • MAx Schubert says:

    I wonder if it’s not just auxiliary staff, but artists managers too. The list of top earning, prestigious artists who left with their managers have not been replaced ay anywhere near the same volume and, despite the press release posturing, IMG has not demonstrated that it is a leader in touring, event management or anything else that was adopted to sit alongside it’s core business of classical musician management.

    Management is solely to blame. You have to ask why so many top agents left, taking their artists with them. If working conditions were better, surely they would not have succumbed to the allure of a better future elsewhere? This announcement must be coming as a wake up call to all those managers still at IMG – wait to be fired or jump a sinking ship but either way IMG is not the future.

  • John Borstlap says:

    “Aizlewood commented:“When I was appointed COO in May this year, I began a company-wide process to analyse the commercial and artistic realities of the performing arts business, both today and for the future.”

    Mrs Aizlewood must be a genius.

  • Erich says:

    I think it’s a case of ‘will the last person please turn off the light’. There are only two very good top managers left and both of them would be snapped up immediately if they sent signals saying they wanted to leave. It’s only a matter of a very short time before the two dubious characters who own the joint finding themselves ‘sans artists, sans managers, sans everything’.

  • Peter says:

    I tried it in Google translate, but still didn’t get an English version. Presumably it means they have realised that you don’t need loads of offices, you just need good people, a reasonable travel budget and some joined up (aka functional) thinking. Just like all the successful agencies.

  • Martin says:

    Rule No. 1 in any business: Don’t work for a Russian.

  • The Omniscient Mussel says:

    Was there nobody with a grasp of grammar to run this past before announcing it to the world and his wife? That last paragraph is a shocker….

    • norman lebrecht says:

      Looks to me like they ran it past both owners and several execs, hence the lingo-legal porridge.

      • FeelingLeftOut says:

        And, amazingly, this is the only information artists have gotten on this “restructuring.” Those of us who are represented by the people you have mentioned as being sacked have heard NOTHING from IMG. Are we off the list now, are we being shuffled around to other senior artist managers, are we going to be fobbed off on one of the remaining inexperienced assistants who have no contacts? It’s all a mystery. Where did you hear of the names of the firings? And do you know who the junior agents are that are also being fired in addition to the three senior agents? Inquiring minds want to know!

  • Martin says:

    Who has been let go? Didn’t see a list.