Ibbs and Tillett

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Ibbs and Tillett was a London-based classical music artist and concert management agency that flourished between 1906 and 1990 in the United Kingdom. It was described as "one of the legendary duos in classical music artist management".[1]


Ibbs and Tillett was founded by Robert Leigh Ibbs and John Tillett, who trained under impresario Nathaniel Vert (Narciso Vertigliano).[2] It was Vert who, as Edward Elgar's concert manager,[3] sent Elgar's Enigma Variations to another of his concert management clients,[4] Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra conductor Hans Richter,[5] who premiered the work in London in 1899.


John Tillett's widow, Emmie Tillett,[1] managed the agency after the deaths of the founders, and became one of the world's best-known managers; she was nicknamed the "Duchess of Wigmore Street".[6]

    For the greater part of the twentieth century, Ibbs and Tillett's concert agency was to the British music industry what Marks and Spencer is to the world of the department store. The roll-call of famous musicians on its books was unmatched, and included such international stars as Clara Butt, Fritz Kreisler, Pablo Casals, Sergei Rachmaninov, Andrés Segovia, Kathleen Ferrier, Myra Hess, Jacqueline du Pré, Julian Lloyd Webber, Clifford Curzon and Vladimir Ashkenazy, to name but a handful ... the legacy and influence of Ibbs and Tillett has remained a benchmark in today's highly competitive world of artist management and concert promotion, many of whose principal operators began their working lives as ‘Ibblets.’

— Christopher Fifield, Ibbs and Tillett: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Empire.[6]        

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Andrew Green (26 January 1996). "Obituary: Wilfred Stiff". The Independent. Having developed a classical music wing to London Management through the simple expedient of buying up an existing music agency, the Wilfrid van Wyck office, Stiff then proposed acquiring Ibbs & Tillett, one of the legendary names in classical music artist management. When the deal fell through at the very last moment, Stiff had already moved into Ibbs and Tillett's offices at 124 Wigmore Street. So there he stayed, invited to become a company director by Emmie Tillett, widow of the firm's co-founder and one of the world's best-known managers. 
  2. ^ Jonathan Woolf, book review (5 June 2005). "Ibbs and Tillett: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Empire, by Christopher Fifield". MusicWeb. Vert, whose Conradian name also carried a hint of Conan Doyle, had been born Narciso Vertigliano and is one of the foundation stones of Christopher Fifield’s engrossing story and whose retrieval here is a welcome reminder of the powerful base of musicians Vert established in the late nineteenth and very early twentieth centuries. 
  3. ^ Michael Kennedy. The Life of Elgar, pp. 66, 73. Cambridge University Press, 2004. Hardcover: ISBN 0-521-81076-0. Paperback: ISBN 0-521-00907-3
  4. ^ Kenneth H. Meltzer (15 September 2007). "Program Notes - Masterworks 1". Asheville Symphony. 
  5. ^ Simon Mundy (29 June 2007). "The Growing Significance of Elgar". Gresham College lecture transcript. Elgar had a manager called Nathaniel Vert, who decided to send it not to any of the rising stars of English music like Henry Wood, but to Hans Richter in Vienna. By sending it off to Richter, he really bounced Elgar into an international reputation, because Richter was the man who had given the first performances of Brahms's symphonies and Wagner operas; he was the principal conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic. 
  6. ^ a b Christopher Fifield (2005). "Ibbs and Tillett: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Empire". MusicWeb. Ashgate Publishing, London, in association with The Tillett Trust. ISBN 1-84014-290-1. From 1906, the success of the company was due to the dedication of its founders, Robert Leigh Ibbs and John Tillett. After their deaths, the agency was run by the latter's wife, Emmie, who, dubbed the ‘Duchess of Wigmore Street,’ became one of the most formidable yet respected women in British music.  External link in |publisher= (help)