Agency blues: CAMI boss is ‘hustled off the premises’

Agency blues: CAMI boss is ‘hustled off the premises’


norman lebrecht

December 08, 2016

We hear that Andrew S. Grossman has been fired from Columbia Artists Management Inc.

He was, with Tim Fox and R. Douglas Sheldon, one of CAMI’s three directors after Ronald Wilford’s death.

Among other areas, he looked after orchestral tours and foreign variety acts that he produced in the USA.

Apparently, he was hustled off the premises by Wilford’s former attorney, assisted by several security guards. He was allowed to take personal belongings but not to speak to any colleagues, before being escorted into an elevators and out of the building.

We understand that neither Fox nor Sheldon was involved in the dismissal, which was ordered by Wilford’s estate.

All information about Grossman has been deleted from the Cami website.

UPDATE: We hear the cause of dismissal was his use of an abusive, racist term. The lawyer walked into Andrew’s office unannounced, slapped a paper on his desk, and said, ‘You can leave peacefully, or we can do it the hard way.’

Watch here for further updates.

CAMI is the second big agency in two days to sack a big boss. Must be something in the air.

UPDATE2: The abusive word, we hear, was ‘kike’, directed at a visiting Cami agent.



  • Nigel says:

    This American way of dismissing people, having security guards physically escort people out of their offices in front of their colleagues and forbidding them to even say goodbye to their former co-workers, is an absolutely disgusting practice worthy of a fascistic and totalitarian society. I have a friend in New York whose boss was fired and removed in this way, for nothing more than not attaining good sales results. He told me that two armed security guards entered his boss’s office, together with the company’s attorney and gave him fifteen minutes, under watch, to clean out his office and then was paraded out, in front of the entire staff, surrounded by the two armed guards and forbidden to even say goodbye to his colleagues of over ten years. That’s called American loyalty and human relations and should send chills up the spines of anybody contemplating relocating there or getting involved with their world of business.

    • John Nemaric says:

      Yes, your totally right. It happened to me and other 25000 or so people working for the now dead (and not walking at all) Digital Equipment Corporation here in the US of A. We all were 40 years old and older. The reason was called “Cost Control” and the year was 1992. We received a FedEx letter on a certain Friday at 07:30 am and told not to come to our offices or place of work. The entrance was barred by security guards. We were never allowed to take our personal belonging out of the offices. I lost forever a lot. And, we somehow became part of a black list. I never had a job after that. I was 50 year old at the time. Destroyed many good lives forever. That is the American way – a very “exceptional” way of doing things and its legal.

    • C C says:

      This should have happened DECADES ago.

    • jaxon says:

      Just in case you may think otherwise, this does not happen frequently and generally when it does happen, it’s *usually* either a sign that the employee is in some kind of deep trouble or the organization is very poorly managed.

    • Olassus says:

      Yes, it is disgraceful. Well said.

  • Simon says:

    Nigel, if you knew Grossman and worked with or near him, you would agree that not only should he have been thrown out under threat of physical harm, but that he should have been shackled, muzzled, shot with a tranquilizer gun, put in a sack and thrown out of the 16th floor window. Grossman was and is a disgusting human being and it seems that Wilford’s estate attorney had the balls to do what Wilford himself refused to do because he enjoyed the revenue with Andrew generated.

    • anon says:

      Which is something he used to threaten his assistants with.
      “Get this right or I’m throwing you out the window.”
      “HA! At least we could file workman’s comp and get a vacation out of it.”
      “I’d make sure you died”

      This is not hyperbole, by the way.

      • Dan P. says:

        I’ve known a few bosses who were abusive to their underlings and got away with it because the powers that be thought it was in their best interest to leave them alone. I also know of two successive presidents of another multi-national company, the first who was barred from entering one morning and the second, who was hustled out the door in the middle of the day. The reason was that they didn’t want either of these two guys to sabotage files or do anything that would create legal problems for them. But one mustn’t feel TOO sad for them because each left with a multi-million dollar severance package.

      • Mary says:

        This man was a nightmare. This should have happened decades ago

  • John Borstlap says:

    It all sounds a bit trumpist to me.

    • Nobody says:

      Trumpist behavior for a Trump-like person. Charming and brilliant when he wanted to be, ruthless, petty and vicious when he wasn’t getting his way.

  • anonymous says:

    For those who don’t know about Andrew Grossman’s history of deceptiveness in the industry.

    • William Safford says:

      Good point.

      A local concert series presented the “Tchaikovski St. Petersburg Symphony” a few years ago, sponsored by CAMI.

      That concert series, in existence for over 100 years, has presented many excellent concerts, including a horn soloist in Strauss 1 last week that is literally the finest horn playing I have ever heard. There have been good and great performances in that series, but only one clunker in my memory.

      The one exception? The “Tchaikovski St. Petersburg Symphony.” It was embarrassingly mediocre. The strings were not together. The strings and the winds were not together. The solo chairs had intonation and phrasing issues. I could go on. I literally heard a better performance of Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov by a neighboring university orchestra in the same month than by that orchestra.


  • DrummerMan says:

    Was it really necessary for you to reveal the exact abusive term?

  • Titus says:

    He deserved it. This was an exceptional case of a caricature of a man, a hyper abusive loud mouth unethical jerk, getting what was long overdue.
    This is not like a bunch of people getting laid off, or insensitive to a guy who worked hard and has no other options. This is exactly the kind of extraordinary case where you need people to get someone out of a building and out of your life. Again, way overdue.

  • AMetFan says:

    Absolutely yes. (If true,) abusers should not be shielded from disclosure. Wrong is wrong. Period. If we didn’t take anything away from the US elections, it is this.

  • Ron Gartner says:

    It’s very sad that a Jewish person would use a term that is and was used by anti-Semites worldwide You can be assured that this was only the latest happening and the one that broke the camel’s back. For those who are weighing in like this was an usual or Trump like sacking, you are misguided. There’s a bigger story here , obviously.

    • anon says:

      ASG is not Jewish

      • Agent says:

        Ugh, yes, he is/was. If you knew him, you’d know that he was raised Jewish.

        • Jimmy Jr. says:

          You are both wrong. Andrew Simon Grossman (his astranged sister Stacy lives in Boston) had a Russian-Jewish Father, who was evidently a kind man who dropped dead of a heart attack in his 40’s and an Irish-Episcopalian Mother, who beat him like a maniac Ronald used to share, and there is probably a record of the boys choir in the Episcopalian church he sang in his native Queen’s.

          He was no different than any other Sammy Glick history has produced. He was also a musical prodigy on horn and the youngest member of Szell’s Cleveland Orchestra the final two years of his life, before Myron Bloom
          had him kicked out for bad behavior.

          Perhaps he and Ronald Andrew Wilford shared the, deeply Freudian to be diplomatic, relationship they did because they were both ruthless, brilliant, ethnic muts, and self made billionaires without a college diploma between them.

          Wilford once said to Grossman “we have both been running aggressively scared our entirely lives Andrew, we know well the alternative is most uninteresting.”

          Grossman’s only regret in all this is no photographer from the Times was waiting to plaster his image all over the world. His only comment on his Times cover story was they aged me by two years, did you notice.

          Nobody will miss him, but his Princeton home and millions stuffed under his mattress were waiting for him when he got home. The Wilford Estate was perhaps a bit quick to act before considering the publicity and point to the fact that Ronald Wilford personally mentored, condoned, protected, rumor has it paid millions over decades Andrew Grossman.

          Sure says a lot, about the whole lot.

          Peace Amen Shalom.

  • Dave says:

    I wonder who are the bigger jerks? Mr. Grossman or those who have to tie every problem to Donald Trump. Perhaps some of you need a closer look in the mirror and check on your pristine behavior.

  • BOB FOREMAN says:

    Does anyone know Andrew Grossman’s current contact information? He did a fine job for the Atlanta Fox Theatre International Series.

    • Simon says:

      Yes, you and the other clueless presenters who have their heads up their asses can contact him here:

  • Mowbray Allan says:

    The Sticks say

    It sounds as if the price is very high for avoiding an uninteresting life in NYC. But New Yorkers don’t seem so smart to us. The Sticks do not need Mother Times herself to tell us no real orchestra is named The Tschaikowsky St. Petersburg State Orchestra, and comes to us for a price we can afford. So far as the music, NYC probably got the short end of the sticks too, if they heard those students and out of work musicians right off the plane. After 30 concerts in 35 days training under a good conductor, at the expence perhaps of the ears of the big city, they got to the Sticks honed sharp as a razor. As for a few missed notes, we think the most uninteresting life of all is being not good enough to be a real musician but too good to be a real listener.
    We are well used to the ironies of this sort, having heard the Illinois Symphony Orchestra under Kenneth Kiesler or Karen Lynn Deal play rings around the CSO, bored, uninspired, and condescending when downstate.
    Andrew Grossman seems to have paid the high NYC price, and the Sticks got the benefit. He was indeed a driven man, organized within an inch of his life. He paid ten times the attention to us as any agent, yes, mere agent, down to the most obscure. Whatever the NYC games and cons he may have played, he delivered a bit of the real thing to the sticks, there where it might just be appreciated, not dissipated in gossipy criticsm and other hollow reverberations.

    • William Safford says:

      Your message drips with poisonous irony. Well crafted, sir or madam. What a slam against the orchestra and the ex-director.

      • Mowbray Allan says:

        Well Meant Condescension

        I now see that I was quite wrong to tweak the Times writer’s well-meant if unexamined assumption that everyone ought to be able to afford the proud Philharmonics of the Great World and prefer their music making, however condescending when they go slumming. His attitude goes with the NYC Territory as birthright and is as inevitable and innocent as Her Majesty’s “Let them eat cake.” To correct it would require measures in their way as “inappropriate” as was Her fate. So thanks for the well meaning and good-bye forever or at least for now.
        Meanwhile maybe CAMI can keep Andrew Grossman’s legacy alive at its best and improve on his PR.

        • Nigel says:

          Dear Idiot – what part of calling Jewish employees “K-kes” and female employees “c-nts” and throwing staplers and assistants heads do you not understand???? Many of us experiences this behavior over many, many years. Clearly, you are one of the presenters he hypnotized. Get to a good shrink and get on some medication. And while you’re at it, have a look at the definition of Stockholm syndrome.

          • Mowbray Allan says:

            Stockholm syndrome indeed. If one looks back over the whole thread, one wonders when it is Nigel the captive who writes, captive that is of the increasing rancor of the thread, and when, if ever, Nigel the free. Does his experience really tell him that Grossman could get away with treating a customer as Nigel says he treated his assistants (he seems to think I should know all about the latter) and could in that way “hypnotize” the customer, this over 1500 miles of phone lines? I cannot waste any more time on such absurdities and on the search for opportunities to insult which seems to pass for reading here.
            I knew Andrew Grossman only as a customer over the phone. I have no direct experience of his treatment of colleagues, and so have absolutely nothing to add to that discussion, pro or con. I was hoping someone could cast light on the very different experience of the quality of the “Tschaikovsky” orchestra others have heard as compared to what I heard (I have no interest in opinions on what I ought to have heard). Beyond that I was hoping to compare opinions on a very tentative conclusion I have been moving toward: that the conservatories and music departments today produce so many good musicians that there is no longer much distance between the world-class orchestras and the provincial orchestras, the comparative quality of the performances being mostly due to the mood of the orchestra and the quality of the conductor.
            Do you think it might be possible to redeem this thread? I am willing to renounce the first paragraph above.

          • William Safford says:

            @Mowbray Allan: I took your earlier posting as irony, because the performance I heard of the Tchaikovski orchestra was inferior, and because I find the idea that an orchestra should receive its training in paid concerts risible. Of course, I would hope that an orchestra would improve as it performs on tour. But if the orchestra were to use paid concerts as rehearsal time, that would be highly unprofessional.

            As I wrote last year, I heard this orchestra while it was on tour, and not in New York City. The performance was an embarrassment for the orchestra, for CAMI, and for the concert series that presented it. It was far below the standard of the concert series. It was a mediocre performance. I have heard better performances from high-level amateur orchestras, from non-conservatory university orchestras, from youth orchestras.

            I am surprised that you would consider the orchestra to be on par with the Illinois Symphony. The Illinois Symphony is a good ensemble. I know people in the Illinois Symphony. This touring orchestra was no Illinois Symphony.

            You posit: “there is no longer much distance between the world-class orchestras and the provincial orchestras.” There is an argument to be made for this. However, the example of the Tchaikovski orchestra directly contradicts your thesis.

            Of course, I cannot speak to the performance that you heard, but I can describe, and have described, what I heard.

            N.B. I cannot speak about Mr. Grossman from personal experience. If I met him, I have no memory of the meeting.

  • Mowbray Allan says:

    Thank you for a voice free of the Stockholm syndrome of this thread: Nigel’s metaphor does have its relevance. Perhaps best if we could continue outside of the thread. I certainly give Slipped Disc permission to release my address to you, if that is possible. Or you could search me; there aren’t many of us.
    Briefly, I respect your standards of orchestral professionalism, but they would mean nevermore here, at least for an orchestra of 100, for an occasional indulgence. Who was your conductor? In less than ideal circumstances that could make much difference. We had Leontiev. And what was your program? That could make a huge difference in circumstance of “unprofessional” rehearsal via performance; they did rehearse, but it could not have been for much more than an hour. We had the Tristan Prelude and Liebestod (w/o voice), the Rachmaninoff Paganini, Mussorgsky Pictures.
    Beggars Can’t Be Choosers. Frankly one of my purposes is to dissuade CAMI from abandoning Andrew Grossman’s legacy of reaching out to the poor.

    • William Safford says:

      “There was no magic on Wednesday night though. Onstage was the Tchaikovsky St. Petersburg Symphony Orchestra led by music director Roman Leontiev. The opening notes of the first piece, Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade,” were deadly. A plodding tempo, shaky ensemble and gurgling winds characterized much of the first movement….

      “Within the international music business there have been disputes about the name and legitimacy of this band for almost a year now. But if the music making is good one can forget controversy. Too bad that wasn’t the case.”