MUSIC / Upbeat: Game and set

ANOTHER move towards Mark McCormack's domination of the European concert agency field: IMG Artists (Europe), the London-based classical music wing of the US sports management supremo's empire, has plucked two of the leading singers' managers from rival agencies, writes Andrew Green. Tom Graham of Harrison/Parrott and Diana Mulgan of Lies Askonas Ltd have agreed to form an opera department for IMG. There seems little doubt that most, if not all, of the singers they represent will follow them: the lists include such names as Olaf Baer, Barbara Bonney, Samuel Ramey and Karita Mattila.

Having two years ago bought up a substantial proportion of the Harold Holt agency, IMG has gone on to sign a range of talent from within the UK music industry. The IMG Artists (Europe) managing director, Stephen Wright, rebuts suggestions of a 'reach for the cheque-book' approach: 'Tom and Diana have chosen to join IMG.' Jasper Parrott, Harrison/ Parrott's managing director, said he was 'naturally dismayed'. Graham's only comment has been to say that 'negotiations are in progress for an orderly transfer'.