We are about to share with you a picture of the men who run the classical side of 50 percent of the record business, the clan chiefs of the Universal Music Group.
They appear to be posing for a police photo against a bare-brick wall, and two or three of them look as if they have some experience standing in a football wall, judging by where their hands are clutched. Not a tie among them (presumably removed for safety before the line-up).
Actually, they were gathered in Berlin to celebrate 40 years of one of the most agreeable men in the business, the ever-gracious Costa Pilavachi, senior v-p of classical at UMG.
Here’s the line-up:
L-R: Mark Wilkinson (President, Deutche Grammophon Germany, Paul Moseley (Managing Director, Decca Classics), Costa Pilavachi (honouree), Max Hole (Chairman & CEO UMGI), Andrew Kronfeld (President Global Marketing), Dickon Stainer (President, Decca Records Group), Alexander Buhr (Managing Director, Mercury Classics). Photographs by Julia Schoierer
Now this is where I need to declare an interest. Some of Costa’s friends were ask to contribute to a video for the occasion. I was one of them, mentioning what I hope was the most discreditable incident in an otherwise illustrious career. That’s why my name appears in another lineup – the one going out later today as a release to the music press:
Berlin, Tuesday 12 March 2013 – Universal Music Group International’s Chairman and CEO Max Hole tonight honoured Costa Pilavachi, the company’s SVP Classical A&R, at a private dinner in Berlin with a surprise celebration of Pilavachi’s first 40 years in the classical music business.
On the final night of Universal Music’s classical conference and under the banner of; ‘Costa Pilavachi, 40 classic years……and still going strong,’ Max Hole presented a stunned Pilavachi with a short film featuring well-wishes from many of his friends and colleagues from his extensive career. Contributors ranged from Maestro Vladimir Ashkenazy, Mitsuko Uchida, Joseph Calleja and Hayley Westenra to Peter Gelb, Roger Wright, Clive Gillinson, Zarin Mehta, Norman Lebrecht and Pilavachi’s fellow countryman, Greece’s world famous composer Vangelis.
In addition to the film, Costa was also presented with a specially created, framed commemorative disc based on the layout of an orchestra and featuring music from the four decades of his career to date.
Max Hole said: “Costa is a brilliant and inspired colleague. He is respected, trusted and loved by the many people he has worked with over the last 40 years. He has been invaluable in the restructuring of Universal’s classical division and I look forward to continued collaboration with him as we further evolve our classical business.”