Upbeat: Positive action

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The Independent Culture
A LEADING figure on the international artist management scene has left his post to set up a fund-raising agency fighting the effects of Aids, writes Andrew Green. Charles Hamlen, who ran the IMG Artists office in New York and represented such names as James Galway and Itzhak Perlman, has founded Classical Action with composer John Corigliano as its chairman. Hamlen's move is his response to the deaths of friends from the Aids virus. The organisation is thought to be the first of its type working within the classical music industry.

Already close on dollars 1 million has been pledged to Classical Action, which intends developing a European profile in due course. A major arts festival in San Francisco and a Beethoven string quartet cycle in Carnegie Hall (from the Tokyo Quartet) are planned as money-raisers. 'Already the Schleswig-Holstein festival in Germany has offered the proceeds of a Leonard Bernstein memorial concert,' says Hamlen. 'The response from artists has been incredible.'

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