Darkness in Spain as top classical promoter considers bankruptcy

Darkness in Spain as top classical promoter considers bankruptcy


norman lebrecht

January 27, 2015

Ibermusica, the premier Spanish concerts organisation, has disclosed a one million Euro deficit. The family company, which has brought the world’s great orchestras and artists to Spain since 1971, has taken a devastating hit since the Euro debt crash.

‘Until four years ago the season was always sold through subscriptions,’ says the company’s founder, Alfonso Aijón, 83. ‘We reached 4,800 subscribers and had a waiting list. People renewed automatically. But this year we have dropped one-eighth, a hole of nearly one million Euros.’

Read here, and fear. Ibermusica is a vital part of the global  music economy.




h/t: Dianne Winsor


  • Erich says:

    This would be a terrible tragedy. Alfonso is one of the grandest of the ‘Grand old men’ of classical music presentation. A true gentleman, beloved of many artists. All must be done to help him.

  • Dr Peter Lim says:

    Not just ars gratia gratis as without funds the arts won’t survive
    It all boils down to financial viability at the end-
    strategic planning is a sine qua non for success

  • Therese says:

    In the classical world of music nowadays nobody is helping. For Alfonso Aijón to have given his life and home which he has now put up for sale to try save the situation is terrible. To have believed and supported so many artists through the years, I hope something comes through.
    On the other hand there are a list of situations which in the end affect the attendance to culture and art festivals, not just the lack of subscribers.
    – A lack of promoting classical music among the younger generation even if in Spain they have magnificent Conservatories. In Spain the amount of music students is amazing so where do they disappear to as they get older? Where along the line do they lose interest and the consequences are that prestige promoters like ‘Ibermusica ‘ go bankrupt?
    – airlines not allowing musicians travel with their instruments;
    – Agents not wanting to support new artists (unless they are already super famous)
    – digital marketing has killed information.

    I really hope the subvention or help from The European Community comes through for Alfonso Aijón and a lift times dedication.

  • Manu says:

    Impressive work of Mr Aijón and Ibermusica over the years. Absolutely the reight man in the right place at the right time. But they clearly have missed to develop according to the changes the market has suffered in Spain. And of course, as the touring market (Barcelona Palau 100, Valencia, Lisbon Gulbenkian…) and festivals like Granada and Canary Islands have stopped to buy Aijón’s orchestras, where he really made an incredible (I would say inmoral) amount of money by putting huge margins for his company that were paid with public funds. So the idea that he never received public funds, as he always likes to evoke in a romatic tone, applies for his series in Madrid, but not for the rest of his companies activities.
    And there is also a dark side, the one that linked him to Felix Millet, the director of the Palau de la Música in Barcelona for 30 years, to whom Aijón was main orchestra supplier and artistic advisor for the series Palau 100.
    But now, he will get a lot of public support and he will get funds, he is very wise and knows how to move.
    In any case, as Mr Lebrecht has put it very well, this is important news, as Ibermusica is very important for the music business.

  • norman lebrecht says:

    Comment from Joeske Van Walsum:
    Alfonso Aijon is one of the very few remaining great classical music impresarios of our time. He is a man of the utmost integrity, an integrity that should not be questioned by anyone. Alfonso has worked tirelessly through his life and repeatedly risked everything. You make a deal with him and you dont need a written confirmation. His word is his bond. He has been an enormous contributor to the welfare of music in Spain. His work has benefitted an amazing number of orchestras throughout the world, including more or less every single orchestra of stature. This is the time he needs support and I hopes he gets it.

    Joeske van Walsum 28/01/15