Self-start UK maestro, 23, gets agented

When he was 19 and at university, Oliver Zeffman took his own ensemble, the Melos Sinfonia, to the Edinburgh Fringe.

Newly graduated from the Royal Academy, he has now been signed by Linda Marks at HarrisonParrott, foremost career-maker for young Finns.

 

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  • Please Norman! To call this obviously talented young man-refeshingly so in comparison to what more often than not passes for talent these days- ‘self starter’ is somewhat misleading- given his family background of relative wealth, privilege and connections. Unless I have the wrong Zeffman his father has been a leading partner in one of Europe’s top media law firms for 20 years.

    Given this reality, for any relatively motivated young person with these privileges his achievements so far are pretty predictable. ‘Monied and well connected young man makes good’ is a more accurate headline in this case. Let me know if you come across
    some young person coming from really nothing at his age, that really would be worth celebrating.

    BTW why is The Melos Ensemble registered a charity?

  • There is surely no doubt that, with very few exceptions, money helps young artists in obtaining an agent, especially one as experienced in the business as Linda Marks. The earning potential of most young conductors is very limited, and so any agent is effectively taking a punt on future success.

    Even competition winners nowadays have difficulty in obtaining representation. I recall the ‘infamous’ Maazel/Vilar conductors’ competition about 15 years ago and said to be the most extensive competition for conductors in the world. At the Carnegie Hall finals this was jointly won by a Thai conductor few had heard of then – and very few since. After he had finally been signed by an agency, he was annoyed that the dates he was getting were not what he felt they should be. The relationship ended after not much more than a year.

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