Primo Artists, a classical music agency based in New York, was established in 2015 to become the leading artist management agency in North America. Founded by Charlotte Lee, who has 20 years of experience in the music industry, this boutique agency prides itself on its selective roster of several of the world’s finest classical artists, from rising stars to household names.
Primo Artists is committed to enabling our artists to excel with distinction by maximizing opportunities while working to each artist’s individual and key strengths. We have a personalized approach with our artists and presenters and unparalleled working relationships in the field. Primo Artists is based on the ideals of exceptional service, strategic vision and expertise within the classical music industry.
Charlotte Lee is the President and Founder of Primo Artists, a boutique classical music agency in New York. With a selective roster of several of the world’s finest classical artists, from rising stars to household names, Lee represents Itzhak Perlman, the world’s reigning violin virtuoso; Joshua Bell, among the most celebrated violinists of his era; Nicola Benedetti, one of the most sought-after violinists of today; Beatrice Rana, an extraordinary pianist making waves on the international classical music scene; Seong-Jin Cho, one of the most significant talents of the keyboard of his generation; Cristian Măcelaru, Christian Reif and Gemma New, fast-rising stars of the conducting world; and Wynton Marsalis, internationally acclaimed musician and composer.
Lee’s passion for music originated from the age of 4, when she picked up her first violin. By age 17, she had performed at Carnegie Hall’s Stern Auditorium as concertmaster of the New Jersey Youth Symphony and in recital at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall. Lee pursued her passion for classical music at the University of Texas at Austin, where she received two Bachelor degrees (B.A. Music, B.A. Plan II, Liberal arts honors program, 1998) and graduated cum laude. At U-T Austin, she served as assistant concertmaster of the UT Symphony Orchestra in performances with guest artists including Itzhak Perlman, Lynn Harrell, Bobby McFerrin and Marvin Hamlisch. She studied at U-T with Vincent Frittelli (a former Ivan Galamian pupil) and participated in masterclasses with Dorothy DeLay.
After graduating, Lee moved to New York City where she began her career in the music business at PolyGram Classics & Jazz (later known as Universal Music Group). She worked as an intern for this record conglomerate that comprised the Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and Philips labels. This furthered her passion for the classical music industry, where she desired to be on the frontline with artists and at the heart of the strategy of building careers.
In September 1998, at the introduction of the impresario Charles Hamlen, Lee met the legendary Edna Landau and Elizabeth Sobol of IMG Artists and joined IMG NY where she would eventually be mentored by these highly respected industry leaders. It was through this mentorship that she developed a strong work ethic for integrity and excellence. From the start, Lee had the honor of working as part of the exclusive management teams for luminaries such as pianists Lang Lang and Evgeny Kissin, violinists Joshua Bell and Hilary Hahn, and conductors Franz Welser-Möst and Ivan Fischer.
Lee quickly gained the trust of these renowned artists and was promoted in 2001 to become IMG Artists’ youngest manager at age 24. In 2007 she was appointed the agency’s youngest vice president at age 30. Her roster of artists who she personally managed grew, and she eventually took on the general management of Itzhak Perlman, amongst other internationally recognized artists. She served for seven years as Director of Orchestral Booking in overseeing the booking of IMG’s North American orchestral roster of nearly 100 conductors, instrumentalists and symphony pops shows. It was through this dual role that she established her strong, close relationships with the major orchestras of North America.
In January 2015, Lee founded Primo Artists with the mission of establishing it as the leading artist management agency in North America.
In December 2015, Musical America named Lee as one of their 2015 “30 Professionals of the Year: The Influencers”. Lee was recognized as part of a reputable list of 30 industry people who are making a difference in the classical music business, either by virtue of their position, their creativity, and/or their dedication. This group of honorees was selected by Musical America for their influence on the business and are folks about whom one could say “When they speak, we listen.”
Lee serves regularly as juror at various competitions and gives lectures about the music business at universities and conservatories in North America. She serves on various advisory boards including Sphinx LEAD, and has appeared on various radio shows including NPR’s “From the Top” and WQXR, the most listened-to classical-music station in the United States.