UK agency rises from ruins

UK agency rises from ruins


norman lebrecht

July 21, 2020

James Brown, whose Hazard Chase agency went bust in the opening week of UK Covid lockdown, has bounced back with James Brown Management, representing some of his old artists.

The headliners are conductor Olli Mustonen, Caros Izacray, Matthew Halls (pic), Alpesh Chauhan and Anthony Marwood, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, violinist Viviane Hagner and cellist Laura van der Heijden.

This is an ideal moment for boutique management as big agencies struggle for survival. Not that anyone’s booking much right now.



  • Grittenhouse says:

    Sounds like he just wanted to shed staff and debt and start over. Typical.

    • IC225 says:

      What a disgusting insinuation. It’s clear that you don’t work in the industry, and have never dealt with James or anyone at Hazard Chase.

      • dodgy says:

        Plenty that do work in the industry and have dealt with James and Hazard Chase think that is exactly what’s happened.

        • Esperaza says:

          Plenty that do work in the industry and have dealt with James and Hazard Chase find that insinuation pathetic. HC was one of the most principled and professional agencies.

    • Anonymous says:

      Completely agree. Only a fool would think it wasn’t tactical. Especially as he registered his new company only a week later.

  • PoorArtists says:

    ‘Bankruptcy’ – the cowards way out. Or maybe just a terrible business person? Both inexcusable when you’re taking up to 20%.

    • IC225 says:

      This has nothing to do with bankruptcy and no-one, apart from you, has mentioned the word. HC entered voluntary liquidation; a wholly different procedure and one that no business undertakes lightly.

      I suspect from your use of the term that you are assuming that bankruptcy has the same legal meaning in the UK as it does in the US; in which case perhaps it would be wisest to refrain from making offensive public statements about subjects you clearly do not understand and individuals and organisations of which you clearly have no experience.

      • Blue Suede Schubert says:

        @IC225 You are James Brown and I claim my ten shillings.

      • christopher storey says:

        IC 225 : you do not seem to know or understand the difference between a Members’ Voluntary Liqidation , which requires a Declaration of Solvency and is not an Insolvency process, and a Creditors’ Voluntary Liquidation which arises where the Company is insolvent which in more common parlance means bankrupt

        I suggest you acquaint yourself with even the most elementary aspects of Compnay Law before launching forth with criticisms in the future

  • henrirenquist says:

    James has been a solid promoter of artists for years, good luck to him in this ‘new normal’ – all we need is concerts and bookings. I wonder if / when that will eventually return?

  • GreatJob says:

    I’m sure the staff who were let go instead of being furloughed are just thrilled for him.

  • Violin101 says:

    Feels a bit soon to be announcing a new agency after multiple people lost their jobs. Let’s hope James has learnt from his mistakes at Hazard Chase and doesn’t put his employees through the same ordeal again.

    • handelitbetter says:

      Well, looking at the website, with a ratio of 8 managers to some 20 artists, as well as renting office space (when the rest of the world is working from home), this surely is a recipe for “Rinse And Repeat” …

  • Blue Suede Schubert says:

    I see from Companies House that James Brown’s new company was incorporated on 27 March:

    Your previous article shows he pulled the plug on Hazard Chase only a week earlier, on 20 March:

    I don’t think anyone can seriously doubt that he let Hazard Chase go bust cynically and tactically.

    No wonder he has so many angry former staff and artists.

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Good luck to James indeed. I posted a comment the other, not sure if it was posted regarding large firms and the future. In that comment, I shared that boutique agencies will splinter off the large ones much like happened post-Sol Hurok. It will be a new experience to represent artists, repertoire choices etc. Not the old way. More online access these days as well.

  • d jonson says:

    Agencies like his are an unnecessary evil…they pay promoters and press to promote their artists over others, and feed untruths and bad rumours about other artists to scupper their careers. With the advent of easy web access, no artist with any integrity and half an ounce of sense should use one.