Doug Sheldon has a long-standing relationship with violinist Vadim Repin. The pair first met when Repin was 16 and had been invited by cellist Mstislav Rostropovich for a Relief Concert for victims of the 1988 Armenian Earthquake. Thereafter, Sheldon represented Repin for years, and says "it is great to now re-enliven that relationship."
While Repin's playing speaks for itself, Sheldon is also excited by Repin's work in other sectors of the music industry. "Vadim turns 50 this August and is in his prime," Sheldon told The Violin Channel. "[He is] doing incredible things with commissioning concertos and organizing the International Trans-Siberian Festival."
Sheldon, who launched his own artist management firm in December 2020 following the collapse of Columbia Artists, is enjoying the chance to run the company in his own way.
"I felt the business was less and less about agent-artist partnerships and more about corporate profile and profits," he said. "Although profile and profits are important to both artists and agencies, the management effort has to be more personal and more about the artist’s whole life. The bean-counters do it for the fees and commissions. The manager does it also for the development of repertoire, artistic vision, sustained relationships, and the balance of an artist’s whole life."
Sheldon notes that the industry has undergone a paradigm shift in recent years. "The days of larger corporations with larger payrolls and extensive office space are gone," he added. "The focus is more than ever on ‘you only eat what you kill’ and to achieve that one has to have a leaner structure while still providing focus and involvement in the artist’s work and life."
Repin joins Anne-Sophie Mutter, Claire Huangci, Lera Auerbach, Simone Lamsma, Tom Borrow, and Yulianna Avdeeva on Sheldon's artist roster.