For the greater part of the twentieth century, Ibbs and Tillett's concert agency was to the British music industry what Marks and Spencer is to the world of the department store. The roll-call of famous musicians on its books was unmatched, and included such international stars as Clara Butt, Fritz Kreisler, Pablo Casals, Sergei Rachmaninov, Andr Segovia, Kathleen Ferrier, Myra Hess, Jacqueline du Pr Clifford Curzon and Vladimir Ashkenazy, to name but a handful. From 1906, the success of the company was due to the dedication of its founders, Robert Leigh Ibbs and John Tillett. After their deaths, the agency was run by the latter's wife, Emmie, who, dubbed the 'Duchess of Wigmore Street', became one of the most formidable yet respected women in British music. The history of this unique institution and its owners is told here for the first time, often through the fascinating letters that were exchanged between the artists themselves and the agency. It begins in the latter years of the 19th century with the concert and theatrical manager Narciso Vert, for whom both Ibbs and Tillett worked until his death in 1905. The story then becomes a history of musical life in twentieth-century Britain, illuminating aspects of the day-to-day management of concerts and festivals, the lives and livelihoods of professional musicians, as well as those who strove to join their ranks through audition or recommendation. The changing profile, and particularly the onset and development of personal management of artists represented by Ibbs and Tillett and their reception in the press, can be viewed as a barometer of musical taste. The demise of the agency in 1990 was indicative of just how much the world of British music had changed by the end of the century, but despite its loss to the profession, the legacy and influence of Ibbs and Tillett has remained a benchmark in today's highly competitive world of artist management and concert promotion, many of whose principal operators began

chapter Three|7 pages

Memoirs of Pedro Tillett

chapter Four|20 pages

The First Year: 1906

chapter Five|9 pages

Clara Butt’s Australian Tour: 1907

chapter Six|12 pages

Artists and Auditionees: 1906–12

chapter Seven|11 pages

Artists and Auditionees: 1912—14

chapter Eight|10 pages

Concerts and Festivals: 1910–14

chapter Nine|14 pages

Artists and Auditionees: 1914—18

chapter Ten|13 pages

Agencies and Artists: 1918—23

chapter Eleven|11 pages

Artists and Auditionees: 1920—29

chapter Twelve|20 pages

Letters from Artists: 1920—29

chapter Thirteen|15 pages

Letters from Conductors: 1930—39

chapter Fourteen|20 pages

Letters from Pianists: 1930—39

chapter Sixteen|21 pages

Artists and Auditionees: 1930—39

chapter Seventeen|16 pages

The Politics of Music: 1930—39

chapter Eighteen|7 pages

A Conductor in 1933

chapter Nineteen|16 pages

Concerts, Artists and Auditionees: 1940—49

chapter Twenty|24 pages

Agency Changes: 1940—49

chapter Twenty-One|18 pages

Kathleen Ferrier

chapter Twenty-Two|18 pages

Artists and Agents: 1950—59

chapter Twenty-Three|25 pages

The Winds of Change: 1960—69

chapter Twenty-Four|16 pages

End of an Era: 1970—82

chapter Twenty-Five|17 pages

The Final Decade: 1980—90