Label blues: DG loses a loyal V-P

The record producer Ute Fesquet is leaving the Big Yellow.

The official version says it’s mutual. As ever, nothing in the record world is perfectly balanced or quite what it seems.

Here’s what they say:

Deutsche Grammophon and Ute Fesquet, Vice President Artist & Repertoire, have redefined their relationship for the future. From 1 October 2019, the successful music manager will advise the classical label as a freelance consultant and will act as producer on specially selected projects. This will enable her to focus more on her greatest passion, the development and realisation of unique classical productions.

Ute Fesquet, Vice President Artist & Repertoire Deutsche Grammophon: “It is with a sense of pride and happiness that I look back on my journey so far – with so many brilliant artists and their amazing music. With wonderful colleagues around the globe that share my passion for music and are dedicated to their work. For all of these things I am deeply grateful; and for the fact that during the long time I was able to grow within the company, I was given many opportunities to open new chapters. Now I will do this in a different role and an expanded sphere of action, but always dedicated to one thing: extraordinary art, emotion and a small piece of eternity”.

Clemens Trautmann, President Deutsche Grammophon: “I am glad that Ute Fesquet will continue to have a close a relationship with Deutsche Grammophon, even though her professional life now takes her down a new route. For 22 years now, she has earned herself a reputation for her creative, strategic and highly dedicated work, around ten of those in a position of great responsibility for our artists and their repertoire. In this role, she has been instrumental in the long-term development of classical music and the artistic and economic success of Deutsche Grammophon. It is great news that our label will continue to benefit from her outstanding expertise. Both in her familiar and new areas of work, I wish Ute the greatest success”.


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  • To understand at least part of what is behind this, one only needs to extrapolate and look at the following sentence from DG’s own press statement:
    “This will enable her to focus more on her greatest passion, the development and realisation of unique classical productions.”
    Reading this makes it clear that Ms. Fesquet felt that her current work was not focused enough on “the development and realization of unique classical productions.”
    This can mean either that Ms. Fesquet does not believe that the majority of current productions at DG are “unique classical productions” or her work has become too administrative and too far removed from what should drive any great producer, namely being close to the music, rather than being an office administrator.
    Journalist friends of mine have told me on several occasions that Universal Music today is one giant administration, run like a tax office, a company where individuals with deep musical knowledge, love for music and an ability to identify talent on musical abilities are shunnned and even ridiculed and are far outnumbered by financial types whose mantra is making a hit as quickly as possible, regardless of the musical quality.

    • Universal hasn’t cornered the market on heavy-handed financial & marketing bullies who treat their Artist & Repertoire staff like lepers. In fact, that’s exactly how it is at all corporate-run labels, which is why they collapse and then regroup so frequently. Ignorance rules!

  • i simply enjoy all these super negative comments because it’s all terrible no matter what DG does in some people’s eyes.

  • Organisations like The Violin Channel are unearthing and directing talent literally YEARS before Universal Music Execs even know their existence. Changing of the guard. New era. Bye.

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