London – Blog 1 – Allie Taylor

As a dual degree student studying Violin Performance in SMTD and Communication Studies in LSA, I have many areas of passion, and I am constantly looking for ways to combine them. Working at Askonas Holt for my first couple weeks here in London, England, has shown me the endless combination possibilities. Askonas Holt, a classical music management company (whose clientele include the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Simon Rattle, Joyce DiDonato, etc.), has welcomed me whole heartedly into their community, throwing me into different jobs and tasks that are expanding my knowledge and curiosity of the music and arts management/admin industry tenfold. I am able to see how managers work on a day to day basis, and how the roles of the managers, assistant managers, tour managers, program/project managers (the list goes on) differ and compare. The company has hooked me up with comp tickets to a number of events and concerts that feature their clients, and I have had the wonderful opportunity to attend an opera festival (https://thegrangefestival.co.uk) with my lovely boss.

 

It feels as though I am getting a real taste of what it would be like if I were to work at the company; I feel like more than an intern. Apart from the fact that I am not running out to get coffee (the office has a gorgeous kitchen with 4+ nespresso/coffee machines!!!! A dream!!!), the work I am doing has substance, and is interesting. For example, without giving away any confidential information, I have the opportunity to arrange the scheduling on their main diary database for many of their artists and the festivals/shows they are doing, as well as organizing the schedules for their touring partners (which include the Berlin Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic) on their diary database – both retroactively and for upcoming events. I am able to get familiar with contracts, and how legal contracting and negotiation works (between the promoter or venue, the artists, and the managers), which allows me to see what the expectations are of each party involved — something extremely important if I am to pursue this professionally. And, as if it couldn’t get any better, artists come into the actual office and give private concerts for the staff. Just last week, the Chiaroscuro Quartet came in and gave a private performance of a Beethoven Quartet!

 

I feel incredibly lucky to have this opportunity with such an amazing company, in one of the best cities on Earth. I look forward to what is to come — I will also be spending a few weeks with the London Philharmonia Orchestra, where I will be working in the office and on their Virtual Orchestra project in Bedford, England. So excited to see what the future brings!

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