His name was on every artist’s contract

His name was on every artist’s contract


norman lebrecht

June 08, 2016

We have received distressing news of the death, after a debilitating illness, of Charles M. Rodier, the legal adviser to EMI Classics for more than quarter of a century.

Charlie was a charming and unusual man, a lawyer who liked to say yes.

He facilitated archival access to writers like myself and assisted in the many minor difficulties that arise with peripheral copyright holders.

He loved music and those who make it.

He will be widely missed, like the label he served.



  • Step Parikian says:

    An invariably polite and courteous man

  • Lawrence Kershaw says:

    Oh, how sad. He was the loveliest of men, quite out of his time in the later years at EMI! I remember one particular negotiation with a pretty well known artist when we told him that we would, naturally, run the contract – quite a sizable one in every respect – by our well-established firm of entertainment lawyers. With the greatest of charm and not the slightest sign of irritation he said, “Well, I don’t quite understand why; it was good enough for Maria Callas.”!

    • Chistopher JOHN says:

      Charles was good enough for all the greatest artists, (and they KNEW it ! ), because of his honesty and modesty. I was truly privileged to have worked with him and count him as a friend.

  • Giel. Bessels says:

    So sad to hear this. When I worked In the same capacity as he at Philips Classics I always tried to meet Charlie to compare notes if I had to be in London. It is not so long ago that my former DG colleague Chris Schmoekel died. It looks like the generation of in house lawyers that lived through the rise and fall of the CD era is fading away.

  • Malcolm Walker says:

    The passing of Charles Rodier is a sad day. I knew him for over 50 years when we both worked for EMI in the 1960s. He was always the same true gentleman who truly loved music, He was totally honest (rare in the music business) and truthful. He served
    EMI and later Testament loyally. A great loss of a much loved individual.

  • Helge Grünewald says:

    I am very sad that Charles died some days ago. Unfortunately there was no cure for his severe illness. I worked with pleasure with him for some artistic projects (historical recordings of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra) and by and by we became friends. As others have pointed out: He was an honest and modest man, very reliable and truthful. He was one of the rare persons in the music business who were really interested in MUSIC and not mainly in the music business. He hade a wide focus of interests: music, architecture, literature, traveling.

  • David says:

    We were trainee lawyers together in the City and frequently stayed up all night to book amphi seats for the Garden on the first day of booking in the 60’s. He introduced me to the wonderful world of opera. It looks as though the funeral will be private with a memorial service in the autumn. Donations in Charlie’s memory are invited to http://www.pspassociation.co.uk

  • Eleanor Hope says:

    Deeply saddened to hear this news. Charlie was a great and gentle man, and as with Christoph Schmökel, a wonderful teacher to the aspiring agent I was back in the seventies.

  • Mark Ainley says:

    I just googled Charles’ name, having just now come across my correspondence with him dating back to 1989 in the early years of my Lipatti research. I visited him at the London HQ of EMI several times and he was an absolutely fantastic fellow: polite, astute, and very genuine. I was very grateful for a level of assistance that he provided me that went far beyond that of his other colleagues at the company. He is surely missed by many friends and colleagues.

  • Paula Rainsborough says:

    have only just learned of the death of Charlie Rodier, dear friend and colleague of mine from EMI Classics back in the 1980’s. What a sad tragic loss. He was a dear kind man and a brilliant lawyer.

  • andrew says:

    I am so so late in learning this news. In my decade plus working alongside Charles, he was the most genuine gent (both professionally and personally) I have had the pleasure of spending time with. Before or since.