In a radical move, London’s oldest chamber orchestra has signed a three-year interim management deal with classical music agency HarrisonParrott.
The London Chamber Orchestra had previously advertised for a CEO after current managing director, Ian Pressland, announced his resignation.
According to the chair of LCO’s board of trustees, Martin Lovegrove, many of the applications received for the role were not ‘appropriate’.
After a discussion with HarrisonParrott’s executive chairman Jasper Parrott, the LCO agreed that the artist management agency will play a key role in managing the orchestra, alongside music director Christopher Warren-Green – who is already on HP’s roster.
Speaking exclusively to IAM, Lovegrove said LCO will collaborate with the firm to improve the orchestra’s finances. The partnership will work towards developing a sound management team; cementing the ensemble’s unique selling point; and building on the orchestra’s established tradition whilst creating an ‘edgier’ approach that does not shy away from ‘testing boundaries’.
Lovegrove said that until now, LCO has been ‘living hand to mouth’, and that the team hopes to tap into the vision, energy and contacts of HarrisonParrott in a bid to improve finances. The agency will assume management of the orchestra on 1 October, but the search for a new CEO will continue in due course.
Lovegrove said: ‘If you take in a managing director or CEO, you actually take a bit of a gamble because that person needs to build up everything quickly from scratch – and has to be fantastically energetic, amazingly well connected, and extremely lucky. We think on a pro-tem basis, having someone like HarrisonParrott alongside us will reduce that risk. Our intention is that LCO will become more sustainable from a management perspective.’
He continued: ‘You can’t turn things around overnight – it can take two or three years. [Under the new agreement] we will have an orchestra that’s really vibrant and secure for the long term; it’s a bold vision but I think we’ve got to go with it.’
Jasper Parrott said in a statement:‘The London Chamber Orchestra is a wonderful ensemble boasting some of the finest players, many of whom are soloists in their own right. Working collaboratively with promoters, other agencies, and many other colleagues within the industry, we look forward to developing innovative projects and programmes that will build upon nine decades of distinctive musicmaking.’