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Major shakeout at Simon Rattle’s agency

The two heads of Askonas Holt – which represents Rattle, Abbado, Barenboim and more – have announced their retirement at the end of 2013. Martin Campbell-White and Robert Rattray will become consultants to the company. The new chief exec will be Donagh Collins, who will take on personal responsibility for the Rattle career at a delicate moment as he wends his way out of Berlin.


MC-W has been eyeing the carpet slippers and cricket binoculars for a while. Rattray’s simultaneous departure signifies a bold generational leap and a huge jolt to the classical agency map. Expect Askonas Holt to lose some old-time artists, gain some new. Here’s the press release, just landed:





Donagh Collins to become personal manager to Sir Simon Rattle and Magdalena Kožená


London, 25 February 2013



The Board of Askonas Holt today announced the appointment of Donagh Collins as their new Chief Executive, effective from 1 January 2014. The appointment follows the decision by Martin Campbell-White and Robert Rattray to assume a consultative role for their artists and the company they have collectively served for 77 years.


As Director of Tours and Projects at Askonas Holt, Collins’ leadership of the tours department has made it one of the many outstanding areas of the company’s achievements. The relationships that he has built with artists, orchestras and promoters all over the world are second to none. This experience is recognised by Sir Simon Rattle and Magdalena Kožená who have chosen him to be their personal manager.


In addition to Collins’ appointment, Mark Hildrew becomes Executive Director from January 2014.  Sue Spence and Joel Thomas assume responsibility for overseeing the vocal department, while Jilly Clarke continues to be responsible for the instrumentalist department.


Peter Bloor has announced his retirement, effective from October 2013. Peter has worked with Robert for over 25 years where together they have built a singer’s roster which continues to be internationally acclaimed.


In a joint statement, Martin Campbell-White and Robert Rattray commented:

“We’re delighted by Donagh’s appointment as he is undoubtedly the man to lead this great company with its incomparable roster of artists and to ensure its continued growth and unmatched service to its clients.”


Askonas Holt’s Non-Executive Chairman, Michael Cassidy, commented:

“’The Board is delighted to announce Donagh’s appointment as the company’s next Chief Executive. I know that the Board and all the staff at Askonas Holt join me in thanking Martin and Robert for their contribution to the company which is unrivalled in the history of artist management and the list of artists they have worked with for so long says everything. We’re delighted that they’ve both agreed to act as consultants to the business, ensuring the artists have access to their broad experience and expertise.”


Sir Simon Rattle commented:

“Martin’s been my manager since I was 19 years old and his support, guidance and friendship have meant more to me than words will ever be able to convey. Donagh has long impressed me and so there was no hesitation on my part that he should become my manager and I look forward to working with him even more closely in the years ahead.”


Donagh Collins commented:

“It is an honour to be taking over this major responsibility from Martin and Robert. They step down at a time that has never been more exciting for Askonas Holt, with an enviable roster of artists and tours and a fantastic staff dedicated to their work and the careers of all of our clients. I am greatly looking forward to taking on new responsibilities and exciting challenges and leading the company on to continued success and development in the future.”



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