Music unites in tributes to late agent

Music unites in tributes to late agent


norman lebrecht

August 02, 2018

Charlie Hamlen’s death has plunged the community into shock and mourning.

Edna Landau, ex-IMG Artists: Charles Hamlen, a towering (literally!) figure in my life, has gone to his eternal rest. There are no adequate words to express what he meant to me. I owe my entire career in the arts to him and to his unfailing belief in me. Charlie hired me in 1979 at a salary of $14,000 (!) when Hamlen Management was less than a year old. We embarked on a great adventure which, by force of logic, could never have succeeded. In his characteristic generosity, he insisted on renaming the company Hamlen-Landau Management after only six months. We didn’t know what it meant to be discouraged. We shared the same idealism, work ethic, moral code, optimism and love of music. We were blessed with one little miracle after another and achieved great things we couldn’t have ever imagined.

Charlie’s brilliance, warmth, sensitivity and fantastic sense of humor sustained me throughout the years. It was these qualities which attracted so many terrific artists to the IMG Artists roster. Even when he left IMG Artists to found Classical Action, a move which filled me with great admiration, I felt as though he had never left my side. His work there blossomed into something extraordinary which only he could have accomplished.

I have lost a dream business partner, confidante and best friend, but I take comfort in knowing that he left behind a legacy for others to emulate and a host of friends and colleagues who will seek to infuse each day with “a little bit of Charlie”, making it a better world for all of us. RIP, dearest Charlie

Charlotte Lee of Primo Artists writes: ‘Can’t believe he’s gone. He was the one who got me into the business 20 years ago and introduced me to Edna Landau, who then hired me to succeed Mark Newbanks. In the later years when he returned to IMG as Chairman, he sat in the cubicle outside my office. That was so Charlie. To insist on being amongst the people, not in an ivory tower. Just like how he always took the bus home after concerts, never a taxi. The most normal guy, yet the most extraordinary man.’



  • Bruce says:

    Sounds like he was truly one of the good guys. RIP.

  • John Gingrich says:

    Charlie was #1.

  • David Rowe says:

    Charlie was the most decent, caring, effective manager I have ever encountered. Also a prince of a human being. RIP.

  • James Roe says:

    In the words of Crystal Wei, it’s time for some Classical Action!

  • John Graham says:

    Charlie gave me the blessing and honor of being artistically represented. This gift was not easy to come by for a violist. I will never forget his calm, gentle encouragements.