Arthur Judson, first president of Columbia Artists. (detail from a 1946 portrait by Valentino Sierra)

Columbia Artists folds after 90 years

Mark Gresham | 30 Aug 2020

Columbia Artists Management Inc. (CAMI), a legendary artist management company in the performing arts industry, is calling it quits, shutting down after nine decades of operation. CAMI represented a very large number of active classical artists worldwide and throughout its long history played a pivotal role in classical music in America.

According to a statement emailed to CAMI artists on Saturday, the agency said it will be closing its doors on Monday, attributing its demise to the “prolonged pandemic environment.”

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From the statement:

It is with a heavy heart that, having endured a prolonged pandemic environment, we must announce that effective August 31, 2020, Columbia Artists Management, Inc. will close its doors. Throughout our 90-year history in supporting the arts and artists in New York and around the world, it’s been a joy to be your advocates in your careers. We still believe in every one of you and your creations and are hopeful that the world will come back performing and creating like never before.

Columbia Artists has engaged with a fiduciary to enter into an assignment for the benefit of creditors, a form of insolvency proceeding where assets are liquidated, and claims addressed in an orderly manner. We are working tirelessly to provide each of you individual, concrete guidance on your specific situation over the coming days. In addition, we’re working together with the fiduciary to see a safe place to land for your Columbia Artists relationship.


Based in New York City, CAMI was established as Columbia Concerts Corporation in 1930 by Arthur Judson and William S. Paley. Judson lead the organization as its president unti; 1970, when he was succeeded by Ronald Wilford, who died in 2015. Tim Fox, who had been the second in command under Wilford since December 2000, became president after Wilford’s death.

Molly Froschauer at Sherwood Partners, an insolvency professional with a background as a bankruptcy lawyer, has been listed as the contact on behalf of the fiduciary. ■