Big job cuts at two artist agencies

Big job cuts at two artist agencies


norman lebrecht

June 02, 2020

We hear that the Opus3 artists agency has laid off 11 staff, including two well-known veterans who are being pushed into retirement.

Word is also out that IMG Artists are terminating staff.

Those most at risk are people involved with artist travel and orchestral touring.

Not going to be much of that in the forseeable future.



  • The View from America says:

    How is this a surprise? It happens in advertising agencies all the time: Gain a big account, hire employees. Lose a big account, terminate employees.

    When the demand for a product or service goes south, the notion that employees can continue to come to the office, twiddling their thumbs while collecting a paycheck, is fantasy.

    • RVS Lee says:

      It is certainly not surprising, but it is sad, and it is worthy of attention – if only for a moment before we properly return our attention to the urgent, more immediate issues before us.

    • Tamino says:

      Thank you for your most valuable and precious insight into the inner workings of the economy. We all needed that. It makes the hardship so much easier.

      (btw there are also other ways in dealing with temporary downswings.)

  • Anonymous says:

    Please don’t forget that the reason the agencies have to make these painful cuts is because they are not making any income. And the reason they are not making income is because the musicians they represent are not making income. Some of the musicians are looking at nearly a full year of not making any income at all. The music industry is a fragile ecosystem and this has been a disaster for EVERYONE, from the celebrated musicians down to the ushers in the concert halls.

    • John Borstlap says:

      Indeed. Everybody is affected in the same way. And performers who got famous and rich, suddenly see all they gained evaporate, and it will be hard to build it up again, although that surely will be less hard for them than for the up and coming youngsters who will see their path blocked with insurmountable obstacles.

      Ironically, composers are much less affected, the only thing on which they miss out is performances for the foreseeable future but they can simply continue working on their scores, which is their business anyway – they are always for a much later date.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    These agencies are blood suckers.

    They get exorbitant fees for their clients which are out of line for what the rank and file orchestra member gets.

    The industry will be better off without them with managers negotiating directly with the artist.

  • L. Pontiride says:

    I was a casting consultant to a music festival about 10 years ago. I contacted Opus 3 to inquire about the availability of one of their artists who I thought was ideal for a project. Their response was they were not interested in any sort of collaboration with the festival and the artist in question was neither available nor interested in such project. I wonder if they would have the nerve to respond in such and arrogant manner today? Would that qualify as the definition of Karma ?