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Wasserman promotes nine, creates orchestral arm

Talent agency Wasserman Music has announced the promotion of nine team members, as well as the creation of a dedicated orchestral division.

Promotions include London-based agent Holly Rowland, who started out at Wasserman precursor Coda in 2014, and serves clients including Louis Tomlinson, Rag’n’Bone Man, INJI and Liang Lawrence.

Other promotions include New York-based Alex Christie (agent), Annie Cole (manager, touring), Owen Hynes (manager, tour marketing) and Noah Plotnicki (agent), Nashville-based Anna Kathryn Groom (manager, brand partnerships), and Los Angeles-based Kara Klein (manager, brand partnerships) and Lindsay Roblesi (agent).

In addition, Miami-based agent Brittany Miller, who joined Wasserman precursor AM Only in 2014, moves to the agency’s global festivals department as director, festivals, focusing on electronic music events around the world.

“Nurturing and advancing the careers of talented members of our global team is central to our culture of support and empowerment, so we’re proud to announce these well-earned promotions,” says Lee Anderson, Wasserman Music EVP and managing executive. “Continually creating new ways to super-serve our clients is our core mission, and it’s most gratifying when we’re able to do that by elevating exceptional Team Wass colleagues to serve them even better.”

“Emily has been able to see the enormous opportunity in the live symphonic space beyond just talent booking”

Meanwhile, in a “first-of-its-kind” move for a major talent agency, Wasserman has also announced the creation of a new dedicated orchestral division headed by VP Emily Threlfall Yoon.

The new division represents IP-driven symphonic properties such as SQEX’s Final Fantasy VII REBIRTH World Orchestra Tour and the dozens of titles produced by Disney Concerts, including Marvel Studios’ The Infinity Saga Concert Experience, as well as a group of conductors, orchestrators, and arrangers.

The division will also partner with artists across Wasserman Music’s client roster, such as John Legend, Melissa Etheridge, Laufey, and Zedd, to conceive and produce new popular programming symphonic projects.

“Emily has been able to see the enormous opportunity in the live symphonic space beyond just talent booking,” adds Anderson. “By working as a creative partner with artists and IP-driven properties – whether movies, TV, video games, or pop music – Emily and our new orchestral division are taking the music that people love in their everyday lives and presenting it in exciting new ways to fans of all kinds.”


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AEG’s Lucy Noble on taking classical to the masses

AEG Presents’ first artistic director Lucy Noble has reflected on her first year in the role and her ongoing efforts to break down barriers around classical and orchestral music.

Noble joined AEG’s European senior leadership team in late 2022 after two decades at London’s Royal Albert Hall (RAH), where she held a hybrid commercial/artistic role at the venue prior to being appointed as its first artistic director in 2021.

At AEG, she has assumed responsibility for setting the artistic direction across the firm’s live touring and events business, and plans are afoot to grow the team.

“I felt like I had a few other adventures in me yet” she tells IQ. “I was working out what to do next, and this opportunity came up. It wasn’t that AEG was looking for an artistic director, we kind of cooked the idea up together – I was saying, ‘I can bring this and cover this whole range of genres you’re not doing.’

“I’m looking at theatrical projects, dance projects, immersive stuff… I’m basically creating a new division. AEG is very supportive because, although it will take time to build, it’s a big area of potential growth.”

Expanding the company’s repertoire, Noble is currently overseeing tours by the likes of Nitin Sawhney and Blue Man Group, and launched All Things Orchestral at BST Hyde Park in London last June as part of its Open House series programme of cultural activities.

“I think there are some barriers around classical music. Everyone needs to feel welcome and know that it is for them – and that it’s not elitist in any way”

“BST was a real highlight,” says Noble. “All Things Orchestral was the first classical offering at BST and it was a very short timeline to put it on – about five weeks or something.”

Presented by Myleene Klass, featuring Alfie Boe and performed by the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, the event took fans on a journey through classical music, both traditional and modern. With a mission to “bring classical music back for all”, general admission ticket prices were set at £11.45 (€13.38).

“It was all about having that relaxed, family offering with accessible ticket prices,” she adds. “We’re hopefully doing it again this year.”

In 2024, BST will go a step further by welcoming Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, who will become the event’s first classical headliner on 5 July (“That’s largely gone through the festival team, although I’ve been slightly involved,” clarifies Noble).

Nevertheless, her first year has not been without obstacles, and Noble explains her chief concern is to spread the message that the genre is “for everyone”.

“I think there are some barriers around classical music,” she says. “I think that everyone needs to feel welcome and know that it is for them – and that it’s not elitist in any way. I want to let everyone listen to it. That might mean presenting it in slightly different ways, but it doesn’t mean dumbing it down, because it will still be of the highest quality.”

“I want to take orchestras into new environments… It’s hard, but we will get there”

She continues: “I worked with six of the major UK-based orchestras last year, and I think I’m the only commercial promoter to be doing that. I want to support UK orchestras because they’re amazing, and open them up to as many people as possible, but it is a challenge.

“I want to take orchestras into new environments. I took some into the arenas last year, and it was hard to get those audiences to migrate to different venues, so there’s a lot of work to be done. It’s hard, but we will get there. I’m determined to open it up.”

Under Noble’s direction, the RAH gained a reputation as a promoter in its own right, producing original concerts as well as attracting a wide range of high profile shows, promoters and artists. At AEG, she is tasked with overseeing content creation as well as the production of new events. She is also responsible for promoting and touring shows.

“It’s a completely different world being a promoter to running a venue, it couldn’t be more opposite, and it took me a while to get into the new way of doing it all,” remarks Noble. “And obviously coming from a charity and then going to the commercial sector was quite a change as well.

“It’s been more challenging than I thought, but there have also been some positives that I didn’t expect. I’m basically in a startup – that’s what it feels like – but I’ve pulled a proper business plan together now and now I think I can say where we’ll be in the next two, three, four, five years.”

Other related AEG projects include its films with orchestra series and Video Games in Concert, which brings scores from World of Warcraft, God of War: Ragnarok, The Last of Us and The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, among others, to UK concert halls with The Heritage Orchestra, conducted by Eímear Noone. Noble has also organised a tour with organist and TikTok star Anna Lapwood.

“I work in a world that doesn’t necessarily conform with the traditional styles of promoting”

“The target is to grow the business and do more shows, but it’s about quality, not quantity,” says Noble. “I want to be an integral part of the promoting community so that people come to us as their first choice, because we do things really well.

“I’m trying to think about promoting differently and that’s because I work in a world that doesn’t necessarily conform with the traditional styles of promoting. But also with my experience in the charitable sector, I’m able to add in different strands alongside the concerts.

“I’ve been talking to artists about how they engage with things like music education which could include workshops in schools but then on the other side of things thinking creatively about how they present their material and that could mean us working with arrangers so that artists can perform with orchestras.”

While Noble’s initial focus has been on the UK, there is also an eye on expanding into Europe and other territories.

“I am UK-based mostly but I’m looking at some global projects that AEG will potentially invest in,” she says. “For example, I’m looking at doing a Christmas season at one of our venues, Verti Music Hall in Berlin.”

Outside of AEG, Noble has taken on the role of vice chair of Nordoff and Robbins, supporting newly installed chair Emma Banks of CAA, after joining the music therapy charity’s Board of Trustees last April.

“I’m excited to do that because it fulfils the charitable side, which has played such a big part in my life until now,” says Noble. “It’s great that I can help support them and I’m really looking forward to working with Emma. I’m going to help them with the business overall, but fundraising will be a key element.”

Noble also offers her thoughts on the Women and Equalities Committee’s (WEC) recently published Misogyny in Music report, which concluded that: “Sexual harassment and abuse in the music industry remains widespread” and demanded urgent action to tackle “endemic” misogyny and discrimination in the UK business. ILMC will be hosting a discussion on Thursday 29 February to consider the response from the live sector.

“It’s definitely something that needs to be addressed,” says Noble. “It needs to be addressed front-on and I’m glad that it’s being highlighted. I think it’s important.”


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