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LSO’s top spinner becomes Universal’s sh*t shooter

Chaz Jenkins, a sometime nightclub promoter, started up LSO Live in 1999 when orchestras still looked fondly to major record labels for a decent payday at Abbey Road. Sensing that those golden days were over, Chaz turned the self-publishing concert label into the most successful of its kind anywhere in the world, with 105 records in its backlist and a dozen cautious additions each year.

While Berlin blows a bank’s fortune on its digital concert hall, the London Symphony Orchestra has foud a way to make respectable revenues, on disc and online, from live concerts.

That point has not been lost on what remains of the record industry. Chaz signed on today as Universal’s VP for International Marketing, Core Classical – essentially the guy who goes in to find out why DG and Decca releases aren’t selling as hard as they should. Go, Chaz.


Former Head of LSO Live Joins Global Music Leader

LONDON, November 14, 2012 – Chaz Jenkins, former Head of LSO Live, has joined Universal Music Group International (UMGI) in a newly created role, Vice President, International Marketing, Core Classical.  The appointment was announced today by Kate Farmer, Senior Vice President, International Marketing, UMGI, to whom he reports.

Universal Music Group is the global music leader.  UMGI is the division which manages its businesses in more than 50 countries outside the United States.

In his new, London-based role, Jenkins will be responsible for the international marketing and promotion of all frontline releases from core classical artists signed to Deutsche Grammophon, Decca Classics and Mercury Classics.  Key priorities include rising stars such as Miloš and Nicola Benedetti, alongside established superstars Cecilia Bartoli, Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazón and Daniel Barenboim, among others.

Jenkins began working for the London Symphony Orchestra in 1995 as Marketing Manager for their concerts, having started his career as a nightclub manager and promoter.  He developed and launched LSO Live in 1999, the first “stakeholder label” in classical music.  The influential imprint collected its first Grammy Award in 2001 and was at the forefront of the digital revolution – LSO Live was the first classical label to make its entire catalogue available for download and streaming.

Chaz Jenkins said, “I’m delighted to have joined Universal Music and to have the opportunity to help their amazing roster of artists reach the widest possible global audience.  Deutsche Grammophon, Decca and Mercury each have exceptional plans for 2013, with both established and younger musicians.”

Kate Farmer commented, “I’m thrilled that we’ve been able to appoint someone of Chaz’s calibre and experience.  The appointment underlines our commitment to classical music, and Chaz’s innovative approach will help us promote core classical repertoire and expand the audience for classical music in both the physical and digital spheres.”



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  1. LSO Live’s release of Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique made me a believer.

  2. Can we assume he is leaving LSO Live? If so, who is taking over.

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