Top artist managers from all
around the world gathered to
listen the IAMA Conference opening
speech by composer Kaija Saariaho.
In her speech, Saariaho blamed
the classical music business for being ruthless,
cold and too business minded.
She also raised the question:
“Where are today’s risk takers?
Are you one of those that open doors for art and artists?”
This speech was an excellent generator
and springboard for the discussions
during the conference held in Helsinki on April 23-25.
But what is IAMA? Shortly put;
The International Artist Managers' Association (IAMA)
- is the only worldwide association
for classical music artist managements.
It is dedicated to serving all its members'
needs and it strives to raise professional standards
in the business of music.
The conference is organized
every year in a different city and this
time it took place in Helsinki, at Finlandia Hall.
You will find more info about IAMA and the conference at www.iamaworld.com
The theme of this years conference
was 'In from the margins'
The conference theme was extremely wide in range
and it is always a question of from which
perspective we are looking at things.
Who draws the line on what is marginal and what
In which stage marginal turns into mainstream and vice versa?
Difficult and challenging questions.
Many claim that classical music seems to be
in the margins nowadays.
Conference Chairman Mr. Aleksi Malmberg said:
“Many of us find ourselves in the margin of the margins.
But what if the mainstream were becoming narrower day by day?
Perhaps the margin is actually widening,
flourishing and generating new possibilites?”
This is a very positive way of
thinking about the question and I’d
like to think also
that new margins create new possibilities
for those of us working in the field of classical music.
In the end, it is actually a question
about empowering the margins.
The conference programme
included an excellent series of
showcase performances promoting Finnish music and musicians.
The range of styles ranged
from musical comedy to hardcore Finnish contemporary music,
and everything was handed
on a silver plate to artist managers and promoters from all
over the world. (here is link to the programme
What a wonderful way of
bringing Finnish art music
and musicians in from the margins and opening new doors to them.
This programme was made possible by Music Finland,
an organization promoting Finnish Music all around the world, www.musicfinland.com
Today, new technology and
being a part of the internet is spreading everywhere.
can you become involved and what are the tools and ways
of becoming part of the digital revolution?
This topic was discussed in a technology panel
on the second day of the conference.
It seemed that even though there
are millions of possibilities generated by new technology,
many of us seem to be quite lost on our way
and don’t know what would be the best way to survive
in the new digital jungle.
One simple way is to search for possibilities in the social media.
“Reputation in the social media is the new currency”
, said Jyri Huopaniemi,
Director from Nokia during the conversation.
Conductor Hannnu Lintu
gave an inspiring speech
on the third day of the conference,
concentrating on composer Jean Sibelius.
But above all else he reminded us
all what is the core of interest in classical music.
The most interesting thing in music
making is the intensity and communication between the players,
music and audience in a live performance.
Even though new technology is rapidly taking
over in all parts of life, no machine can ever replace
the experience of enjoying art. This felt comforting.
Composer Kaija Saariaho
was very provocative in her conference opening speech.
She was wondering if
our field of business had become cold and too business minded.
In my thoughts, this question turned
right the opposite way during the conference.
I think Saariaho was really challenging us by
asking; do we all have the real passion in our heart
to work for this fine art form
that we all feel so passionate about?
Based on talks, experiences and warm encounters
during this conference,
I was ensured that passion towards music is still
the driving force in our mind
which is one of the foundations of our business.
Olli Brummer has been working as
an Artist Manager at Fazer Artists’ Management since 2009.
Alongside with his artist management work at Fazer,
Olli has been involved in producing tours and events in
Europe and Asia. From 2010-12,
he worked as the Chief Executive of the ‘Music by the Sea’
festival in Inkoo, Finland.
Olli is a graduate of the Sibelius Academy Vocal Department
(Master of Music) and completed his studies in
musicology and communication at
Helsinki University (Master of Arts). Follow Olli on Twitter: @OlliBrummer.
Fazer Artists' Management Inc.,
founded in 1903, is one of the world's oldest artists'
agencies in the field of classical music.
The company is the exclusive representative
of numerous international artists ranging
from celebrated maestros to wonderful young talents.
Today, Fazer Artists Management is the leading artists'
agency in Finland.
The company also organises concerts and tours
in Finland and abroad. Follow: www.fazerartists.fi
and on HELLO STAGE!