Concord Bicycle Music has partnered with Andrew Lloyd Webber and his Really Useful Group to form the Musical Company, which will provide a full array of services to creators of musical theater works. Sean Patrick Flahaven, formerly Warner/Chappell’s senior vp of theatre and catalog development, has been appointed CEO to lead the new company.
The new entity will provide an all-in-one place infrastructure for musical theatrical creators, by offering a combination of theatrical expertise, publishing infrastructure and label, which can be tapped wholly or a la carte.
Both sides of the partnership — initiated and executed by Lisbeth Barron, chairman & CEO of Barron International Group — are contributing copyrights for management to the new company which has been appointed as exclusive agent to manage performance licensing for professional and amateur productions of his and Tim Rice‘s works, such as Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita, as well his Webber’s solo repertoire including Phantom of the Opera, Cats, School of Rock, Starlight Express, and Sunset Boulevard.
As part of the deal, Bicycle Music will also handle publishing administration for Webber’s song portfolio worldwide, including “Memory,” “The Music Of The Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” “Think Of Me,” “Pie Jesu,” “Love Changes Everything” and hundreds of other songs.
“We are extremely enthusiastic about collaborating with [Concord Bicycle] to create an exceptional multi-disciplinary theatrical music rights management company,” Webber said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the Musical Company has also been named as the manager of Concord Bicycle’s interest in Marvin Hamlisch’s works, including songs, film scores and musicals like A Chorus Line, They’re Playing Our Song, The Goodbye Girl and Sweet Smell of Success.
In addition to administrating the Webber song catalog in mainstream licensing opportunities, it will exclusively manage the grand rights performance licensing for second tier professional and amateur productions of his solo and collaborative works. (Grand Rights licensing are works that combine music and a plot, as in a musical play.)
Currently, there are 36 first class productions — large theater replica reproductions with a professional cast — of his works around the world, and they are being handled by the Really Useful Group.
“TMC enters the market with a unique and superior skill set in support of musical theatre creators: professional & amateur licensing, music publishing and original cast recording,” Concord Bicycle Music CEO Steve Smith said in a statement. “[We are] exceptionally well-capitalized; asset rich…and worldwide.” He added the Musical Company will create new opportunities for its affiliated writers and rights holders as well as , preserving the long-term value of their works.
In forging the Musical Company, they are positioning themselves to compete against such giants as the Rogers & Hammerstein Organization, owned by Imagem, which offers most of those services, minus the label component.
In tapping Flahaven to lead the new entity, they have someone who has been a producer on nine albums nominated for Grammy Awards — including the smash hit, Hamilton. Prior to Warner, he was a producer, music director, orchestrator, composer, playwright, and professional & amateur licensing executive.
“The creators of music for theatre just can’t afford to put their repertoire into a music publishing company focusing on frontline pop and expect to get attention,” Flahaven says. “There are thousands of shows being licensed for professional and amateur productions around the world and we will compete for those rights. We will have access to capital so if a portfolio of existing works come up for sale, we will be able to compete for the acquisition.”
The company, which will have offices in London and New York, will add six positions by the end of the year, and ultimately employ somewhere between 12-and 15 dedicated staffers, in addition to leveraging the staff of Concord Bicycle and Really Useful, Flahaven says. Moreover, he says he will seek to selectively add new signings.
“Starting with these iconic catalogs and the support of Andrew, [the Really Useful Group and Concord Bicycle Music] gives us a terrific base from which to actively seek new talent,” he added in a statement.