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ICM Sells Classical Division

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — International Creative Management, one of the largest agencies in the entertainment business, has announced that they are divesting their classical music & performing arts division. ICM Artists represents a wide range of classical performers, conductors and composers, including artists such as Yo Yo Ma & Daniel Barenboim. According to Bloomberg, ICMA will be acquired by a coalition of employees, lead by President/CEO David Foster and EVP/Managing Partner Byron Gustafson.

ICM is selling off the classical music unit to focus on pop music, television, film and publishing, which tend to be much more profitable. Classical music has suffered lately, with its share of music sales dropping by $200 million dollars in the past decade.

"The fact that ICMA is not profitable to ICM — even though it represents some of the most important and famous musicians in the world — shows how difficult and unprofitable this business is compared to its movie or sports businesses," Kathryn Takach, president of Thea Dispeker Management, a classical artist management firm told Bloomberg.

Discussions for the buyout have been underway for some time now. During a recent interview, Foster told Bloomberg that he hopes that the acquisition will allow for more flexibility and innovation in the classical music market.

"The big difference with classical music is that you spend a lot of time with immortal, creative works, whether it's Beethoven's symphonies or Verdi's operas, so the artists' careers in this field are much, much, much, much longer," Foster said.

Current ICMA staff that will make the transition include Patricia Winter, Neil Benson, Jonathan Brill, MaryPat Buerkle, Jason Bagdade and Caroline Woodfield. The new firm will keep the same name until June, when a new name will be announced. The firm intends to open offices in Manhattan. – CelebrityAccess Staff Writers