Ibbs and Tillett: The Rise and Fall of a Musical Empire
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, Andres Segovia, Kathleen Ferrier, Myra Hess, Jacqueline du Pre, Clifford Curzon and Vladimir Ashkenazy, to name but a handful. 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. The history of this unique institution and its owners is told here for the first time, often through the fascinating letters that were exchanged between the artists themselves and the agency.
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