Boosey is sold to California bikers

Boosey is sold to California bikers


norman lebrecht

June 05, 2017

Imagem, the Dutch firm that owns Boosey & Hawkes, has been sold to Concord Bicycle Music of California.

No-one has mentioned the money yet.

Other details here.


  • Max Grimm says:

    “No-one has mentioned the money yet.

    According to Forbes:
    “It was announced late last week that Beverly Hills-based Concord Bicycle Music, owned by MassMutual affiliate Barings Alternative Investments, will acquire Imagem Music Group, whose catalog includes the iconic musical and theatrical works of Richard Rodgers, Oscar Hammerstein and Lorenz Hart, as well as the classical music holdings of Boosey & Hawkes. In addition, Imagem publishes significant classic rock, pop and contemporary compositions.

    This transaction is noteworthy not only for the legendary compositions at its center and the hefty purchase price realized by Imagem (reported to be in the area of $600 million), but also for what the deal represents in today’s music publishing industry.”

  • Justinian Forethemoney says:

    As hefty as the purchase price of $600 Mio might appear, the world’s three major central banks are creating that amount of currency out of thin air in their computers roughly every 2 months and inflating the bond and stock markets with it to create the fantastic illusion of economic growth and global prosperity.

    So what is better– a performing asset for Concord or an increasingly meaningless collection of 1s and 0s in the bank account for Imagem?

  • John Borstlap says:

    Boosey sinking lower & lower, and with them Stravinsky, Strauss, etc. etc., getting more & more dependent upon people who have no clue about classical music. There may come a moment that some Trump type will throw things in the dustbin without knowing what it is.

    Big publishers have become top heavy with their overhead, expensive premisses, etc., it seems that only the small publishers, using low-cost IT and contemporary composers who do their own type setting, can thrive.

    • Ann Nomynous says:

      How do you throw Stravinsky or Strauss in the dustbin? Of course a trump can throw away a score, but not the music itself. And Strauss will be public domain within three years anyway.

      I think most big publishers have trimmed their production a long time ago, they use low-cost IT, and publish also contemporary composers. I admit they try to milk out everything they can from the market, but so does any enterprise.

      • John Borstlap says:

        I did not mean the music, but the scores. Indeed, scores may be circulating anyway – if older publications will be republished by Dover, that would be a good thing: cheap and excellent quality.

    • Ruben Greenberg says:

      John. Boosey, over the years, have bought up a lot of small publishers. If you want some music that was published by these small publishing houses, forget it. Boosey doesn’t make it available. There’s not enough money in it to be worth their while.

      • 18mebrumaire says:

        Absolutely correct, Ruben. Small businesses are regularly taken over by larger operations for one simple reason. A number of their products subsequently become unavailable for another simple reason. Publishers (of books, music, whatever) are manufacturing industries dependent on sales income to cover their production costs, staff salaries and essential overheads. Occasionally, there may be some cash left over to be listed in the profit column of the ledgers.

  • Hilary says:

    Magnus Lindberg gets lots of performances, and so does James Macmillan (I prefer James Dilllon’s music) so the financial success of B+H can be assured.

  • Patrick says:

    “Boosey is sold to California bikers”

    Well, not quite, but a cute headline.

  • Luigi Nonono says:

    Boosey grew by publishing much music in all genres, but gave up that philosophy many years ago, and failed to mine their rich backlist as well. They grew only interested in trendy composers who could get performances, and milking their stalwart old composers, making new editions where they could. They even failed to publish an unpublished work by Ginastera for his centennial. I worked there in the mid-80s, and it was already all about the money.