Virus latest: Major UK agency goes bust

Virus latest: Major UK agency goes bust


norman lebrecht

March 20, 2020

The Cambridge-based HazardChase Ltd has issued this notice:

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 crisis, Hazard Chase Limited has had to cease trading and will be placed into voluntary Liquidation shortly. The Liquidator will be looking to sell the assets, including any goodwill, which we hope to try to purchase. We will contact you again once this has been settled, to clarify the position. In the meantime, we have had to cancel all access to Overture – I apologise for the administrative inconvenience this may cause.

I am deeply sorry to pass on this news. I would like to thank our staff, directors and shareholders, who have been wonderful colleagues. I would also like to thank all our clients – we were very proud to represent you. Everything looked so promising, but sadly, our world has been torn apart in less than a month.

The company’s last activity was to secure a conducting post for Olli Mustonen.

Other artists on its books include Masaaki Suzuki, Benjamin Grosvenor, Emmanuel Vuillaume, Sumi Jo, Laura van der Heijden, Paul Goodwin, Tafelmusik, Alpesh Chauhan and the Tallis Scholars.

Really sad day. James Brown ran a clean agency with great belief in music and his artists.



  • Kun says:

    Decent chaps… Commiserations

  • Simon Fairclough says:

    James and colleagues (many of whom are still there) took a punt on me when I graduated from uni and gave me my first job. Without their generosity in introducing me to working life I wouldn’t be working in music now. I’m so sad for them and for the artists…

  • batonbaton says:

    This affects artists of some consequence, I am sure rival agencies are now circling. Hopefully they will be as well served wherever they end up as they have been by James and co at HC. I feel for all concerned.

    • CUJ says:

      Rival agencies are not likely to be circling when artists have no prospect of earning any money for quite some time to come, unfortunately.

  • E says:

    Where did you get this info from? I can’t find anything about this anywhere else online – including the HC website…

  • John Borstlap says:

    A terrible message for the people concerned but in a tone of impressive British understatement.

  • drummerman says:

    Sad news but, surely, they must have been experiencing financial problems before the virus struck, the virus being the proverbial straw which broke the camel’s back?

    • IntBaritone says:

      Sorry, but why are people downvoting drummerman here?

      This is a clear thing, a month or two of cancelled gigs do not put you under if you are not levered to the gills. But, if you owe lots and creditors come calling when the virus hits the fan, then bad things happen.

      Is it just that we are so used to artist managers in the classical world being unprofitable that we don’t want to hear the news that maybe that’s not the best way to run a business?

      Stop downvoting a reasonable post.

      At the end of this all, incredibly sad news. Many colleagues and friends will suffer from this. The industry is being decimated. 🙁

  • Sebastian Bohren says:

    That is extremly sad news 🙁 🙁 🙁

  • Charles Clark-Maxwell says:

    It shows what tiny capital reserves some companies unfortunately work with

    • Robert von Bahr says:

      May so be, but, with no income whatsoever feasible for at least half a year, and being totally dependent upon commission of artists’ non-existent fees, there would have had to be very considerable capital to weather the storm. This is just the first one of many, and it is truly sad that it had to happen to one of the really good ones. Really, REALLY sad news!!

  • Will says:

    One of the best agencies out there. Very sad.

  • Sinead O’Carroll says:

    So so sorry to hear this news. James is a true gentleman and one of the loveliest and most honest people in the music business. This must be a dreadful day for him and his wonderful team and artists, who I have always enjoyed working with so much. I hope that once these times have passed, that they are find wonderful new opportunities in the music industry. A truly sad day in the classical music world.

  • Mark Eynon says:

    James you have led a wonderful agency with great colleagues and some stunning artists you really don’t deserve this and I hope you all bounce back very soon

  • Luciano says:

    Sadly there will be many more agencies going under. It will be interesting to see what the music business looks like in 12 months. A tragedy, but perhaps a less London-centric model can come about in the future.

  • Fabio Zanon says:

    I am deeply sorry for them. Their artist list was superb, and it has been very satisfying working with them; always music first, always accomodating and open to find the best solutions to every problem.

  • John Cronin says:

    Really dreadful news. I know how hard James and the team work and that something can be salvaged.

    • Saxon Broken says:

      There is a good chance the business will be bought as “a going concern” minus the debts, and with some of the staff “let go” while others are on lower salaries to reduce the costs.

  • Adrian says:

    nothing on their website

  • Chrissy says:

    I have been wondering. Was this very very quick reaction so quick that thye have failed to qualify for the furlough grant from HMRC? If they had waited they could have saved their staff three months. As it stands, do their staff get nothing?