Biz news: US agency changes hands

Biz news: US agency changes hands


norman lebrecht

September 26, 2019

Charlotte Schroeder is stepping down as President of Colbert Artists Management, handing over to Lee Prinz at the end of the year.

Charlotte joined the agency as a recptionist in 1972 and became its owner in 2002.

Colbert’s artists today include Ken-David Masur, the Jack Quartet, Mahan Esfahani, Till Fellner and Anne-Akiko Meyers.

Charlotte’s farewell letter is a classic of the genre:

To my colleagues, friends, artists, artist managers, recording and performing arts administrators, publicists, journalists and individuals everywhere in the classical music world, I send my personal greetings for the new season with news from Colbert Artists Management.

I have made the decision to step down as the President of Colbert Artists Management and in so doing, have appointed Lee Prinz to succeed me. The official “handing over the keys” will occur on December 31 of this year.

Lee joined the management in 2003 and immediately became an invaluable addition to the booking staff, rising to his current position as Senior Vice President for Artist Management and Booking. He has, in fact, been leading the company for the past months with his characteristic joy, enthusiasm and superb professionalism. And he is loved by all! I could not be happier nor more confident for the future of Colbert Artists.

My life with Colbert began in 1972, shortly after moving to New York from my family home in Oklahoma where I lived through college years studying music with no intention whatever to pursue a performing career. This is the story of so many in our field seeking to make a meaningful contribution to the business of music. The formidable Ann Colbert was the owner in 1972, having started the management in 1948 with husband Henry Colbert. By the time I was hired as the receptionist, Colbert Artists was located on the 14th floor of the famed Steinway Building at 111 West 57th Street and represented a stellar and enviable roster of opera and concert singers, conductors, chamber ensembles and instrumental soloists, a list Colbert Artists can boast of to this day. Agnes Eisenberger was the constant and devoted Vice President to Mrs. Colbert (as she was always addressed), taking over the business in 1991. After the untimely death of Miss Eisenberger (as she was always addressed) the day after Christmas 2002, I found myself the owner of Colbert Artists Management.

This story would be incomplete without underscoring the importance of Christina Putnam. She joined the management in 1982 and has been an invaluable friend and contributor to the success of Colbert Artists. Chris has been an unfaltering positive influence on the artists represented by the management and beloved by the orchestra, opera, and concert presenting field world-wide. She will continue in her role as Executive Vice President for Artist Management and Booking. Special mention and gratitude also to Amy Carson-Dwyer, our California-based member of the Management and Booking staff since 1987 who continues as Senior Booking Representative and Tour Manager for Western States and Florida; Boston-based Emily Motherwell who has presided over publicity, marketing and social media since 2006 and Rob Scott, looking after artist logistics as Director of Concert Servicing since 2011.

Never wanting to miss out on anything wonderful, I have had the privilege of involving myself in every aspect of artist management. One never finishes. And that is thrilling. But at the same time, one misses out on the quieter, less thrilling, equally satisfying aspects of life and that is what I wish to explore now with friends and family, most especially my life companion of many years, Malcolm Addey.

Please join me in support of our President-in-waiting, Lee Prinz as he leads Colbert Artists Management into the future.

Making a joyful noise, I remain yours,
Charlotte Schroeder



  • David Rowe says:

    This handoff is between two of the most decent and admired people in artist management – Charlotte and Lee, congratulations both! It is wonderful (but not surprising) to know the distinguished Colbert agency will continue under leadership of such integrity!

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    One of the oldest and most respected agencies in classical music, and in reading this beautiful heartfelt letter, the continuum of Colbert Artists will evolve further in this century in the good hands of Lee, Chris and their passionate staff. I wish them all continued success!

  • Samantha Pollack says:

    A warm and classy note from a warm and classy person. I hold the utmost respect and admiration for Charlotte and the entire Colbert team, with whom I’ve worked for over 15 years. Lee is a trusted colleague and a pure delight. It’s wonderful to see this type of succession.

  • John Gingrich says:

    A hearty brava to each remarkable person involved. “Class act” applies in all directions.

  • Absolutely — Colbert has always been a class act. Brava to Charlotte, and congratulations to Lee Prinz.