Doug Sheldon: The mystery deepens

Doug Sheldon: The mystery deepens


norman lebrecht

April 04, 2019

The sudden departure of Doug Sheldon from Columbia Artists, the mega-agency he helped restore after Ronald Wilford’s death, is raising more questions than answers.

Doug left the building without so much as a goodbye to a company where he had worked for half a century.

Here’s what we know:

Early last week, Doug’s assistant Katherine Smith said she was leaving.

UPDATE: We hear she has landed a better job and her departure was unconnected with Doug’s.

Then, Doug was gone, ‘for personal reasons,’ it was said.

Columbia chairman Tim Fox, we hear, muttered something about ‘a personal liability’, over which he ‘chose to resign effective immediately.’

Doug has not been in touch with his artists, nor offered a word of explanation. That’s wierd. It might suggest that there are legal constraints on him saying anything, or anyone else at Cami for that matter. But he has always said that he expected to die at his desk. ‘No way did he go voluntarily,’ said one of his artists.

Here’s Doug with his Columbia team two months ago. Katherine Smith is in the blue dress.




  • Wondering what Stefana Atlas’ position will be now, if Doug has actually left a sinking ship….she was Kurt Masur’s assistant for a long time, and is highly regarded in the biz.

  • Jason D. says:

    I wonder if Sheldon was in any way involved with the management of James Levine. Their website lists Tim Fox as Levine’s “manager”. I find it quite strange that CAMI has yet to issue a public comment on the Levine scandal.
    It is also strange that CAMI’s bio on Levine still lists him as Music Director Emeritus of the Met, as well as Conductor Laureate of the Ravina Festival. I can’t believe they advertise this as Levine was fired from both positions over a year ago. Professional and artistic integrity was never CAMI’s strong suit.

  • Been there says:

    With so many of CAMI’s senior management gone, what would happen to the company if Tim Fox had to leave?

  • Kolb Slaw says:

    Who cares? Good riddance to both. CAMI should shut down.

    • Been there says:

      Well, it might be that the artists and orchestras Sheldon worked with for many, many years might feel differently about their experience with CAMI and whether or not they would want it shut down.

    • IntBariton says:

      Why should CAMI be shut down? At least from a vocal point of view this would hurt quite a few fine people.

  • Sharon says:

    Is that photo Doug? He looks far too young/

  • Cantantelirico says:

    Alan Green is waiting by the phone.