Exclusive: Columbia is rocked by Doug’s resignation

Exclusive: Columbia is rocked by Doug’s resignation


norman lebrecht

April 03, 2019

A memo has gone around Columbia Artists saying that the veteran agent Doug Sheldon has decided to take immediate retirement.

The reason given is ‘personal and family’.

All lips have been zipped tight.

Doug, 77, a part-time conductor, is one of the best known and best liked artist managers in the business.

He joined Columbia (formerly CAMI) in 1966 and his clients include Valery Gergiev, Leonard Slatkin and Anne-Sophie Mutter. He also booked André Rieu for his first US tour.

After Ronald Wilford’s death in 2015, he has been the agency’s engine of renewal.

What next?


  • Elliot says:


  • Novagerio says:

    Not much competence left out there overseeing the markets…

  • Has-been says:

    Whatever the circumstances it is a sad day for CAMI. Mr Sheldon had been at CAMI since 1966 and was one of the most respected managers in the music business.

  • Kolb Slaw says:

    Best-liked? That’s not saying much. Does this mean they will finally go legit and become honest? I doubt it. What a cesspool.

  • Costa Pilavachi says:

    Without the managers/agents there would be no music business. They are critical. Doug is one of the best. I worked with him for four decades. I wish him and his family the very best. It will be a different business without him!

  • Nathaniel Rosen says:

    I believe he is Jaap van Zweden’s manager also.

  • Nick2 says:

    As one who in typical CAMI style was threatened in no uncertain terms with a lawsuit by Mr. Sheldon despite there being no contract and almost a year before an engagement for one of his artists had been requested, I fail to understand what the fuss is about.

  • I’m sure he’s left the Sheldon Division in capable hands

  • pianofreak says:

    How good manager has he been? I mean – in the last years…. Heard some stories.

  • ME says:

    Costa is correct, as always. Douglas’s work for artists was exemplary. He cared deeply about all of the elements of the business. He knew how, why and when to make decisions on behalf of a client and his knowledge of western concert music history, repertoire, booking and touring was enormous. There was an intensity to his working style but he was also a lot of fun. Once over lunch we were discussing death and dying, where and how one might be memorialized, etc., I asked him how his own arrangements might look and he paused for a moment and said “maybe a pyramid”. I wish him and his family well. I often hear that leaving that particular agency has a way of restoring one’s well being, so I’m sure he will be fine.