Classical agency Columbia Artists says it will shut down

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NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia Artists Management Inc., one of the leading agencies representing classical music performers, says it is shutting down.

A statement emailed Saturday to CAMI artists said the agency is closing its doors Monday.

“Columbia Artists has engaged with a fiduciary to enter into an assignment for the benefit of creditors, a form of insolvency proceeding where assets are liquidated and claims addressed in an orderly manner,” the statement said. “We are working tirelessly to provide each of you concrete guidance on your specific situation in the coming days. In addition, we’re working together with the fiduciary to see a safe place to land for your Columbia Artists relationship.”

The statement said the company had “endured a prolonged pandemic environment,” and it listed Molly Froschauer at Sherwood Partners as the contact on behalf of the fiduciary. Sherwood’s website says Froschauer is an insolvency professional with a background as a bankruptcy lawyer.

The agency, founded in December 1930, has represented many of the leading conductors, among them Herbert von Karajan, Leonard Bernstein, James Levine, Eugene Ormandy, Antal Dorati and Otto Klemperer. Its pianists included Vladimir Horowitz and Van Cliburn. and its singer roster had Leontyne Price, Renata Tebaldi, Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Risë Stevens, Marian Anderson, Richard Tucker and Jussi Björling.

The agency’s website lists its current roster as including conductors Seiji Ozawa, Valery Gergiev and Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla; singers Isabel Leonard, Russell Thomas and Brenda Rae; and pianist Maurizio Pollini.

Run for many years by Arthur Judson, the agency was headed by Ronald Wilford from 1970 until he died in 2015. He was succeeded by Tim Fox, who had been the No. 2 executive under Wilford since December 2000.

Fox and Froschauer did not respond to emails Saturday seeking comment.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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