Agency break: Parrott finds a partner

The byways of the music business are littered with attempts by London agent Jasper Parrott to achieve merger or partnership deals. The big blow-back was a bid to sell his company, with its artists, to Universal Music.

Undaunted, Parrott has stayed in play. Today, he announced a partnership with a design-conscious start-up, PolyArts. Interesting development. Details below.

 

polyarts

 

HARRISONPARROTT
ANNOUNCE PARTNERSHIP WITH
NEW AGENCY POLYARTS

HarrisonParrott is proud to announce a partnership with Polyarts – a boutique management agency delivering a highly personalised service for distinctive artists across a range of musical styles, genres and backgrounds.

The eclectic list of musicians signed to Polyarts artist and project management include composer/pianists Francesco Tristano and Ariadna Castellanos, bassist Avishai Cohen, singer/composer/multi-instrumentalist Becca Stevens, singer Sílvia Pérez Cruz, and flamenco artist Rocio Márquez.

Polyart’s talent development programme specialises in nurturing some of the most gifted artists, helping position them internationally at the most crucial stage in their careers, drawing upon the network and contacts of HarrisonParrott. The programme includes violinists Leticia Morenoand Erzhan Kulibaev, and cellist Adolfo Gutiérrez Arenas.

Polyarts also manages special projects linked to the fusion of different artforms, styles, and ideas related to music and the arts. Examples include the new ECLECTICA Series, which launches in March 2015 with an “Iberian Nights” programme in collaboration with the Globe Theatre’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse in London, as well as the exclusive Avishai Cohen Orchestral project “An Evening with Avishai Cohen“.

For more information, please contact Moema Parrott on moema.parrott@harrisonparrott.co.ukor visit the Polyarts website.

 

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  • If the aim of the earlier proposed tie-up with Universal was to help Mr. Parrott gradually step back and enhance his pension pot – he is after all close to 70 and has been in the same job for 46 years, for most of that time without his initial partner Terry Harrison – the new relationship with Polyarts seems somewhat odd. An agency with just shy of 150 artists joining up with one with only six?

    Harrison Parrott seems to have stepped quite far from its original brief of concentrating on personal management for just a small number of artists. By any measure it has become a very large agency indeed. There have been problems along the way. The long dead EADS venture (European Artists Direct) in the US when a consortium of agencies tried to bypass their US counterparts. The opening of an office in Shanghai in 2008 also seems to have floundered – at least there are no Shanghai-based staff now listed on the HP website.

    These columns featured the retirements last year of two of Parrott’s near contemporaries, Martin Campbell-White and Robert Rattray. I wonder for how much longer Parrott sees himself as heading his agency?

    • The great thing about Jasper is that he never stops trying out new ideas. He is not the sort of manager who only sits there and “collects” from a bundle of high earning artists (though his list has certainly got some of those, with more than a few who have been with him for decades, which must say something). He is prepared to take risks, to think beyond straightforward artist representation, and surely that is a good thing. When Jasper tries something, whether it works or whether it doesn’t (and he’s had ideas that have gone both ways) people certainly sit up and take note. Surely we should salute Jasper and his team for trying something that looks to be somewhat different: classical music needs to innovate, and Jasper is certainly an innovator!

  • I happen to know personally a handful of artists who are represented by Harrison Parrott and who are very happy and grateful to be represented by them and/or by Jasper personally. HP is very supportive for even daring projects, they are efficient in organinsing coherent and meaningful schedules and in opening doors. The service concerning travel, hotel bookings and help in emergencies is impeccable. Some say its a privilege to be with them and feels like riding in a Rolls-Royce. And most are happy to stay with them for decades. This flourishing British business and Jasper Parrott (who is well beyond a normal pension age) deserves better than repeated jaundiced comments. L.F.

  • Companies House shows who started PolyArts some years ago, who is the 100% owner, and who is one of the directors. Take a guess.

    I applaud innovation, but this press release is not news.

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