Just in: Krystian Zimerman publicly fires his agent

Just in: Krystian Zimerman publicly fires his agent

News

norman lebrecht

September 15, 2021

Message from the pianist, posted on his official page:
This is to inform you that I unfortunately had to end the collaboration with Mr. Jasper Parrott who represented me in England and recently in China. The main reasons for this decision were: insurmountable differences of opinion, his reluctance to accept my views and decisions as well as his sudden unilaterally taken to doubble (sic) his commission by 100%.

Beyond this, I have tried for the last 3 months without success to get my name removed from the list of his artists. Mr Parrot refuses to this day to take down an unauthorized home page that wrongly suggests a collaboration on my part with him. He alleges that he is in possession of a contract that allows his comportment. He claimed this again via one of his employees on September 10, only to be contradicted by his own lawyer twenty-four hours later with a statement confirming that this claim is false and that such a contract never existed.
I very much hope that Mr. Parrot sic complies with my demands without delay.
I wish Mr Parrott all the best for the future.
Dearly beloved audience,
Please forgive me for changes I will have to make this season as a result of this unfortunate story.
Krystian Zimerman

 

UPDATE: HarrisonParrott disputes this account of events and is in contact with Mr Zimerman’s lawyers.

Comments

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    He’s an odd man

    • Monty Earleman says:

      The best ones usually are.

    • That Guy says:

      Zimerman, or Parrott?

    • N.B. says:

      The odd man here is Jasper Parrott who should have retired years ago. Two or three decades ago his agency was interesting. Their artist roster has slowly, over the past two decades, turned into a roster of children and youth talents most inexperienced and untried. Many of them have great promise, but this obsession with nearly exclusively signing “kids” lacking the requisite depth of professional and life experience and immediately dispatching them to the music directorships and pushing them to perform as soloists with first tier orchestras has actually done more harm to the classical music business than good. The damage done is irreparable. I am not saying that many of these artists don’t have great talent. Many do. But to expect a 20 or 26 year old to have the necessary human, professional, social, intellectual and life experience skill sets to lead and perform with renowned orchestras at a high-level is simply impossible.

      Every living thing has a natural period of gestation and careers are no different. If you try to produce a human being in less than 9 months, there will likely be complications, defects and long-term physical disabilities. If you try to produce a star soloist or conductor in the same unnatural and forced way, with VERY few exceptions, the result will not end well. Would you let a surgeon do brain surgery on you the day after graduating from medical school, without having first trained under and worked as an assistant to leading neuro-surgeons? Certainly not and this is no different, except that here we are not talking about loss of life or jeopardising a person’s safety, but in this case damaging and changing perceptions and turning a once proud process of moving up through the ranks into a reality TV show path to instant glory without all of the necessary experience beforehand. The music is the biggest victim of this artificial process of manufacturing talent. It’s no different than all of the Pop Idol programmes that try to do the same thing in the pop world. There have been very few major successes there. That is Mr. Parrott’s contribution to the classical music scene and not one to be proud of.
      Mr. Zimerman is wise to get away from that “culture” as he has no place in that world and would probably be as appalled and disgusted by Mr. Parrott’s influence on the classical music business as I am.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    Krystian Zimerman is a great pianist. I hope he will find a good agent so that he may work undisturbed.

  • sam says:

    I see Zimmerman is still listed on Parrott’s website; neither his lawyers nor public shaming moved him one bit.

    I guess I can see why he must have been a good agent if he were as stubborn and recalcitrant negotiating on behalf of his client as he is with his own (former) client.

  • A.L. says:

    The artist should always have the upper hand. It is through the artist’s blood, sweat and tears that the business side of art exists. Agents can be bloodsuckers. Of course most aren’t but they all earn their bread through the arduous and relentless work of “their” artists.

    • NotToneDeaf says:

      I guess you think that agents spend their time lying on a chaise in the South of France while eating pate and sipping champagne. Why don’t you try working as an agent for a week and see if you shed any of your own blood, sweat and tears.

  • Monty Earleman says:

    I have a feeling the doubbling of his commission suddenly brought out artistic differences.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    KZ spends about a quarter of his income transporting his piano around the world

  • NN says:

    Interesting, but I cannot find anything about this on his website http://www.krystianzimerman.eu/en/

  • Luke says:

    The delicate genius mustn’t be disturbed.

  • NotToneDeaf says:

    Say what you want about Mr. Parrott and how awful agents are (which they aren’t), but very few have the experience that Jasper has and it’s extremely unlikely that he would act in a capricious manner with one of his artists. There is, of course, much more to this story.

  • Paganono says:

    Mr. Parrott’s behavior in this matter says a lot about him. What’s the point of clinging to and antagonizing an artist who wants to leave? Having dealt professionally with Mr. Parrott, I’ve found him to be unreasonable, imperious, condescending, and arrogant.

  • David K. Nelson says:

    Gary Graffman wrote about the situation in his book “I Really Should Be Practicing.” He points out that the contract between artist and agent reads that “[name of artist] hereby retains [name of agent or agency] …” giving every impression that the artist is the boss and the agent is the hireling, but the reality is just the opposite.

  • Eduardo says:

    I found Jasper a self centered, Iam always right, person, easily upset when things did not go his way. I assume he is even worse now.

    • He may be all of that, but the agents’ world isn’t a place for shy violets. Having done my bit of that work myself for superb artists internationally, I know how absolutely demanding it is, and what perseverence is necessary. As an artist, I’d rather be with a stubborn bastard (not saying anything about Mr. Parrott), who doesn’t give up, than a sweet person, who yields at the first difficulty.

  • Trazom says:

    Tempest in a teapot.

  • Miv tucker says:

    I remember Jasper Carrot being all over the TV in the 70s and 80s, but I’d had no idea till now about his parallel career in music management.
    Clearly, he couldn’t successfully juggle both facets of his career.

  • Alex says:

    Finally someone writes officially that agents behaving should be change and not acceptable!
    KZ is an amazing talent and a wise man!

  • H. S. T. says:

    The music industry is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.

  • Mark Mortimer says:

    Zimmerman is a sublime pianist- of that there is little doubt. But I’ve heard he can be very difficult, capricious & verging on the arrogant. One of the previous posters alluded to Jasper Parrot’s similar characteristics. I do not know JP (I do not move in the circles worthy of super agents) but I suspect the great pianist KZ owes him quite a lot of gratitude for securing him some golden fees over the years. It takes 2 to Tango in the music business.

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