IMG Artists in disarray as prized agent flies offmain
Just when you thought things could get no worse at the fraudster-owned classical mega-agency, they just did.
In the thick of a bloodstained reconstruction, the company’s most respected and highest paid agent has gone off to start her own company and several hangers-on of limited imagination have been promoted way above their abilities.
The IMG press release below confirms the first senior sackings we reported last weekend in New York. We hear that six further agent jobs are being axed in the London office, the company’s European headquarters.
In the thick of this turmoil, Kathryn Enticott has spun off her part of the London operation into an independent business, taking with her the conductors Semyon Bychkov, Alan Gilbert and Franz Welser-Möst; the pianist Leif Ove Andsnes; the conductor and violinist Nikolaj Znaider; and the guitarist Miloš Karadaglić. Enticott’s departure leaves the company without a credible front-line agent.
The remaining agents will be managed by a former head of legal affairs at EMI, Lorna Aizlewood. They may be reassured to have a decent and impeccable lawyer at the head of a company tainted by dodgy ownership, but the process of spotting, signing and developing talent has been subjugated to a corporate superstructure that can only work against the interests of artists and their ambitions. Throughout this process, artists have been kept in the dark. Some tell us they no longer know who their agent is, or will be, at IMG.
As one ex-IMG agent puts it: ‘With all the senior, experienced managers now gone, a lot of hot air has risen to the top. There is definitely some wonderful younger talent there now, but with no real mentors or encouragement.’
This may be the weekend that IMG Artists began to die.
IMG ARTISTS ANNOUNCE NEW GLOBAL ORGANISATION
26th September, 2014: Lorna Aizlewood, Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of IMG Artists, today announced that the company has completed a consultation process to restructure the company into global, function-based divisions. Ms Aizlewood said, “This new direction is an important step in ensuring that the company continues to offer the best services to its artists, clients and partners in the performing arts. It also allows for IMGA to capitalise on its unparalleled international depth via multiple offices across three continents.”
As of 1st October, the company will be composed of seven divisions and four joint ventures or partnerships. The new divisions are: global Artist Management; Sales; Touring; Attractions; Servicing and Procurement; Festivals and Events; and Corporate. Each division and corporate department head will report into Ms Aizlewood, with the exception of the Finance and Corporate Development departments, both of which report into Alexander Shustorovich, President and Chief Executive Officer of IMG Artists.
The following artist managers will report directly to Ms Aizlewood: Stefania Almansi, Tanja Dorn, Matthew Horner, Charlotte Lee, Nicholas Mathias, Alex Monsey, Bill Palant, Kristin Schuster, Peter Wiggins and Matthew Zelle. They will work closely and in cooperation with the rest of the Artist Management division, which will be led by Senior Vice President and Global Head of Artist Management Bridget Canniere, who will also report into Ms Aizlewood. The team will work out of New York, London, Paris, Hannover and Berlin.
The company is pleased to announce new services through the Artist Management Special Projects group. Special Projects, based in New York, is charged with finding, developing and producing partnerships, events and other opportunities for members of IMGA’s roster. Senior Vice Presidents David Lai and Jack Mastroianni, Vice President Matthew Bledsoe and Manager Andrew Elsesser comprise the team.
Romana Jaroff becomes Senior Vice President and Global Head of Sales. The sales team will work in concert with the Artist Management, Touring and Attractions divisions to devise and sell concert and recital programmes, dance companies and attractions around the world. The sales team will work out of the New York, London and Hannover offices.
Steve Linder becomes Senior Vice President and Global Head of Attractions. The team, which will work out of the Los Angeles, New York, London and Hannover offices, will be responsible for the representation and management of IMGA’s roster of dance companies, shows and attractions, Film with Orchestra series and other contemporary entertainment. In addition, the Attractions division will be responsible for developing and producing new shows that appeal to regional and international audiences.
Each of these divisions will be provided with top-of-the-line logistical support by the new Global Servicing and Procurement division. Headed by Lizzie Morgan, previously an Artist Manager in the London office, this division will manage the operational aspects of IMGA artists’ careers. This specialised division will deliver numerous benefits including expert travel and hospitality planning, visa and immigration support and associated services. This division will be tasked with providing excellence in service combined with cost-effectiveness achieved through a cohesive, global relationship and procurement strategy. The division will have team members based in the London, New York, Paris and Hannover offices.
Harold Clarkson becomes Senior Vice President and Global Head of Touring. This division will focus on developing, representing and managing touring for orchestras; ensembles; conductors; classical instrumentalists and vocalists; and select classical ballet companies. The team will be based in the Hannover office, with support from consultants and team members in Europe, North America and Asia.
Charles Letourneau becomes Senior Vice President and Global Head of Festivals and Events. He will continue to work with IMGA and external partners to develop and produce festivals in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The Corporate division consolidates Finance and Administration, Corporate Development, Human Resources, Marketing and Communications and IT and Technology Development into one global unit that provides back office, operational and strategic support for the company as a whole.
The joint ventures or partnerships include the current UK Touring team, led by Andrew Jamieson; IMG Artists Lucca, directed by Gianluca Macheda; and the recently announced IMG Artists South Korea, a partnership with Seoul-based Konzertdirektion Lee that is managed by KDL founder Ki Soo Lee.
IMG Artists is also pleased to announce a new exclusive artist management venture with Kathryn Enticott, previously Managing Director of European Artist Management. Kathryn has now formed her own company, Enticott Music Management, and will exclusively manage a list of artists in association with IMGA, as well as consult with the company on various projects. The artists are conductors Semyon Bychkov, Alan Gilbert (for Europe) and Franz Welser-Möst; pianist Leif Ove Andsnes; conductor and violinist Nikolaj Znaider; and guitarist Miloš Karadaglić. In addition, Ms Enticott will begin consulting and working on other projects under the EMM banner.
As IMG Artists has consolidated regional roles within the new structure, certain positions no longer exist, and there are colleagues who will not continue with the company including Executive Director of The Americas Kristin Lancino, Senior Vice President and Director of Conductors and Instrumentalists for The Americas Stefana Atlas, Vice President of Vocal Artist Management Alison Pybus and Director of Dance Liz Harler. Ms Pybus will remain with the company for a transitional handover period.
Ms Aizlewood said, “I personally want to thank each of our departing colleagues for their commitment to excellence in their work; their exceptional professionalism during this process; and their support of their artists and clients through the transitional period. We wish each of them all the best in their future endeavours.
“Finally, I want to express my sincere thanks to the staff for their dedication to providing the highest standards of performing arts management, and look forward to working with the teams as we embark on our new future together.”
UPDATE: Kathryn’s statement can be read here.