IT'S QUIET, the phones are not ringing, no musicians calling, no artists on referral. I'll get to read the papers from start to finish, even the ads.
I even finished reading all the review clippings Janie keeps sending. Every debut recital begins to read alike. Either every young artist is from the same mold or all the reviewers studied journalism with the same mentor.
Husband Elliot left for Kennedy Center for last performance of "West Side Story." I found it a little less fascinating this time around. Maybe I hear too many performances, good and bad. Have to resolve that somehow. Don't really know how. Everyone has an artist they want you to hear and you don't want to miss hearing and possibly representing that next Paganini, Rachmaninoff or Caruso.
Went off to New York Philharmonic, with reception after. Try not to talk business, but most of it is pleasure. Being with old friends who have graduated into key positions in arts management makes this business a pleasure. Everyone who doesn't live here anymore always wants to be caught up with what is happening in Washington. Fifteen years ago nobody cared.
Came home and listened to the National Gallery Orchestra concert on radio . . . too late to try and get into their concert at the Gallery. One of these days, hopefully, I will be able to dovetail all the Sunday concerts with 15 minutes to spare. Heard a lot of music today and it was all appreciated. Gives one a nice warm feeling to know we are more than just a government town, that we have arrived artistically. Monday
Into the office at 10 o'clock, no hassles with traffic. That's the nice thing about having part of the office in one's home. A call to AGMA in New York to make sure we have all the material for the AGMA franchise. Surely don't want to be named on unfair list. Conference call with Janie, my associate in Florida, to check on open dates for several of our artists in the next 18 months. Booking 18 months in advance for the artists makes life a lot easier, but I sure hate giving away 18 months of my life in advance every day. I don't mind putting a 90-day hold on dates, because it gives us a chance at the en-route bookings.
When I die, my headstone will probably read, "DIED IN THE YEAR TWO THOUSAND . . . and holding for 90 days." Have to have a sense of humor about it all or one could go mad. Nearing the half-century mark hasn't been easy and being the only classical artist management in town isn't easy either, but it's exciting and fulfilling.
Received a call from a violinist who is in New York and free-lancing . . . wants to use us for a recommendation. Nice of her to call; mostly ones we don't know use us without asking. Another young artist calls asking for instant information on what is available in the next couple of weeks for concert engagements in Washington. They don't seem to understand that one doesn't call a sponsor four weeks before one wishes to perform. I explain this and then he asks if he can consult with me over the phone. Impossible.
Took the time today to revise seminar on "Practical Approach to Artist Management for the Developing Professional Performing Artist." Changed cost figures, as the present ones are not applicable; expenditures for the artists escalate, as does everything else.
Spending the evening with good friends at the Philadelphia Orchestra concert, listening to the magnificent sounds of the Saint-Saens "Organ Symphony." Elliot said he had not heard it in 20 years when he last performed it. Nice to be taken on a busman's holiday. Tuesday
First thing this morning I gathered facts from our files for the National Entertainment Conference Seminar on "Residencies for Artists Using All Campus Resources." Discussed with Liz Silverstein of Chicago the possibilities of having a social-working meeting prior to the seminar. Meets with her approval.
Took a half an hour with a pianist consulting on when he should do a New York debut concert, and how to juggle performance dates for best PR exposure, since it is during a holiday period. A small symphony orchestra calls, asking for information on a variety of subjects pertaining to everything from artists to audience development.
Stage Bill calls, wanting personnel list for orchestra for Washington Opera productions. Finally devised a system for putting my hands on important papers when I need them in a hurry. Called to New York to explain to our co-manager that we try not put "get-out" clauses in our contrats. It's difficult to make him understand that even if everyone else does it, we don't like it.
Mail was heavy today with a lot of people wanting management, and with birthday wishes for me. Nice to be remembered. Gorgeous flowers invade the premises. Wednesday
Letter from Pagano in Brazil, thanking us for being an "inspiration." Two of his recordings being cut and we will have U.S. distribution rights. Nice! Heavy discussion with partner on Russian artists coming here and appearing right now. I wouldn't mind if the artists were allowed to keep the big fees they receive. They are on fixed fee by U.S.S.R. and the big fee money goes right to the Soviet government, unless they have changed policy, which is doubtful. Partner feels it helps detente. The artists are not allowed to really know Americans, and our artists who concertise there are virtually underpaid and kept in careful isolation. The only one who profits is the Soviet government. My objections are really strenuous and not resolved, but a phone call from an old friend in town for a meeting gets my stomach unknotted long enough to make a dinner engagement.
Tonight at dinner, we discuss the Olympic vs. the Performing Russian Artist; to me it is all the same. The Russians, when they win them, keep the gold, no matter whether it is pure gold or green folding money. I wonder if it will ever get resolved. Thursday
Started early this morning with letters and contracts. Nice to have negotiations settled and contracts on their way. Press kits are all updated and ready to go thanks to our part-timer. This gives me time to listen to have of the artists' tapes we have been sent for review. Will send back those made in studios, advising they should be performance tapes only. Came up with two good tapes and will send them out for further review to our panel of concert-goers.
Started work on the next newsletter. Difficult to pull the most interesting material and reviews for each artist. All the material is good, as are the reviews, but what I think is the most intriguing to sponsors is not always what the artists find intriguing. Everyone's a critic -- critics about artists, artists about managers and managers about everybody.
Got out of the office at 5:30, determined not to work overtime today. Since we have dinner engagement at 8, I have time to relax and read a few chapters of "The Stand." Hard to put down and worse when Elliot keeps asking, "Haven't you finished it yet?" Friday
This day is either so hectic or so calm, never in between. Everyone where they should be as far as travel is concerned. Thank goodness, not enough bad weather or strikes to slow up air travel. Sponsors and and artists happy. Hold that thought for the next couple of weeks.
Tape evaluations from last month are back. Everyone seems to be in agreement about those particular performances. Must now return tapes to their respective owners. Our computer mailing lists look fine and with the exception of a few additions, we are ready for all future mail-outs.
Received a call from a gentlemen who wanted his fiddle appraised. Why us? I offered two alternatives, Weaver's Violin Shop here, or a trip to London to J. A. Beare. Then suggested that if he wasn't playing on it he might like to loan it to a fine young violinist who really needed a good violin, that is if it really is a good fiddle. Problem is that the good fiddles land in the hands of collectors, and artists who could really use them either can't afford them or can't find them. Heard that a friend of ours has made available a magnificent violin to the Curtiss Institute for a student. I've always admired this man; now he deserves sainthood.
Off to Harlequin Dinner Theater to see a good friend and relative perform. Cabaret is a delight. The energy coming off that stage after midnight is remarkable. Saturday
Tried not to work today. Read through all the monthly trades. More letter requests from future artists wanting representation. Time of the year when the directories give new addresses of management. Will not answer those form letters. Did answer personal letters.
Took a much needed walk down to Rock Creek Mill. It is a lovely place to walk, summer or winter. Took ourselves to Ana Maria's house to hear her play through her recital program for the little tour. Amazing concentration in one so young. To be able to watch a talent nurture and grow is one of the big pluses of being a personal manager. I'll hold that thought for a lot of weeks.