Agency crunch: CAMI shuts down whole department

Agency crunch: CAMI shuts down whole department


norman lebrecht

September 18, 2016

Drifting aimlessly since Ronald Wilford’s death, Columbia Artists Management International, the biggest classical agency, has been subject to various takeover and slimdown reports.

On Friday, we hear, it shut down the entire CAMI Theatricals Department. All staff were let go. The only survivor is Gary McAvay, who led the group.

Further cuts are expected.

WILFORD , Ronald portrait Head of CAMI .


  • la Verita says:

    Strange… I should think that Theatricals was the only department that was making any money.

  • Nick says:

    Merely a thought but hardly a new one – are the days of the mega-agencies finally over? They were more or less the norm 50 years ago with Hurok and Columbia Concerts in the USA and Ibbs & Tillett in the UK cornering a huge percentage of their respective markets. After CAMI was hived off as a separate entity from CBS, it and later IMG Artists carried on the tradition, although now with a worldwide rivalry and the addition of departments covering other parts of the lucrative leisure and entertainment market. All were driven by strong individuals and all broke apart when those individuals died.

    Will we see their like again?

    • John Borstlap says:

      It seems that, like in the record industry, it are the small agencies (like the small labels), who can operate with more flexibility and without too much overhead in the music world. Many performers prefer a small, personal agency with a short artist list, instead of the supermarket size of the big agencies where, maybe, it is harder to get the personal attention and support performers like to have.

  • Pip says:

    Funny, I briefly worked in the Theatricals department there many, many years ago and thought it was easily one of the most disorganized and horrid places I’d ever experienced. I’m actually shocked that it took so long for the Theatricals division to be shut down.