WQXR writes feature story on launch of Primo Artists

WQXR writes feature story on launch of Primo Artists

Following a story by The Violin Channel on Friday, January 24, Primo Artists was featured in a subsequent story on the website of WQXR, the most popular and listened-to classical-music radio station in the United States. Here is the full article:

Itzhak Perlman, Nicola Benedetti Leave Longtime Management Agency for Upstart Firm

Friday, January 23, 2015 – 04:00 PM
By Brian Wise

A top manager at IMG Artists has left the management agency after 17 years and brought two of her biggest-name artists with her.

The violinists Itzhak Perlman and Nicola Benedetti announced this week that they are joining their manager Charlotte Lee at her new agency, Primo Artists.

Lee, 37, had been with IMG since 1998 and worked her way up to senior vice president, coming to oversee its North American orchestral roster of over 100 conductors, instrumentalists and crossover acts, according to her website. In addition to Perlman and Benedetti, she has signed two other IMG clients to Primo Artists, the noted French violinist Arnaud Sussmann and the Philadelphia-based conductor Cristian Măcelaru. Lee’s new offices are located in Manhattan’s Flatiron District.

IMG Artists did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the moves. The company underwent a dramatic restructuring in September, in which several senior staffers left. A year earlier, its longtime managing director, Elizabeth Sobol, quit to run Universal Music Group.

“After nearly 17 years at IMG Artists and with the company’s recent restructuring in September, it felt like the right time and a natural next step for me to go out on my own,” said Lee in an e-mail. “I am very grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had there and am looking forward to focusing my energies on further developing my artists’ careers with more autonomy.”

The 69-year-old Perlman made a similar move in 1986 when he left his longtime management at ICM Artists for then-upstart IMG. Benedetti, 27, signed to IMG in 2005 and has been with Lee since (another firm, Emblem Artists, handles her general management; Lee oversees her North and South American dates). In many ways, both moves reflect the personal nature and close loyalties of the artist management business.

The launch of Primo Artists was first reported on the Slipped Disc blog.

In 2013, Lee appeared on WQXR’s Conducting Business podcast to talk about the role of women conductors in the orchestra world.

To access the article on WQXR’s website, click here: www.wqxr.org/#!/story/itzhak-perlman-nicola-benedetti-leave-longtime-agency-upstart-firm/.