New York City, June 2020
Dear friends and colleagues,
For most of us who have devoted our lives and careers to music and the arts, the last three months have seen fundamental and often frightening changes. Live concerts and performances have come to a complete standstill and profound economic uncertainty and distress for institutions and companies, orchestras and ensembles, and individual artists and professionals are widespread. All of us have struggled with the shock of having our lives disrupted; many families, including my own, have experienced the loss of a loved one from Covid. We New Yorkers will never forget the long days at the height of the pandemic, with the eerie quiet of the city pierced relentlessly by ambulance sirens. While the city is more alive today, the demonstrations against police brutality and injustice are a stark reminder of the horrendous inequality and systemic racism in our society, issues that we as music professionals need to face up to as well.
In this time, this cannot be an ordinary announcement of a new venture in artist management, no innocent occasion for #thrilledtoannounce and other happy hashtags. But while I am profoundly aware that the music industry is in deep crisis, I feel that music as an art form, if removed from all economic consideration, is resiliently alive: the last months have shown not only the ardent hunger for artistic expression felt by artists and audiences alike, they have also demonstrated that the creativity and resourcefulness of the artistic community know no bounds. While online concerts, whether broadcast from living rooms and smartphones or from an empty concert hall, will never be able to replace the thrill of listening to a live concert in a full auditorium, the inventiveness, spontaneity, and honesty of many of these confinement performances have often been deeply moving. And many of the originally announced 20/21 seasons reflect our industry's commitment to keeping our art form alive, vibrant, and relevant and to presenting the great musical masterworks that have originally inspired most of us to devote our lives to music in creative and increasingly diverse contexts and formats.
So it is with courage and not without optimism that I launch Wittenberg Artists today. As a boutique management firm for conductors and instrumentalists I intend to represent a curated, balanced, and diverse roster of world-class artists with a personal approach that reflects my limitless and idealistic passion for music and musicians.
My deepest gratitude goes to the colleagues, mentors, friends, and family who have encouraged me to take this step in these uncertain times. And a profound thank you to Ana, Eric, Lidiya, Schaghajegh, Stella, and Steven for their trust and their inspiring artistry.
Please follow Wittenberg Artists on our website and social media and stay tuned for updates about our artists. I look forward to hearing from many of you and to working together. But most of all, I can't wait to see you soon again at a live concert!
Stay healthy and safe,