Online resources

Videos, links and resources for young artists, based on topics from Sounding Board seminars

Do I need an Agent?


How to approach an agent

Top tips for approaching an agent:

Agents receive a huge amount of requests from emerging artists. How can you make yours stand out?

Make it as easy as possible for the agent to learn about you. Write a short email that introduces yourself, with a link to a performance clip they can watch or listen to online.

Don’t send a bulky press pack in the post with CDs. When did you last use a CD player?

Show that you’ve thought about who you’re communicating with. Make sure each email is personalised (never start with ‘Dear Agent’!). Have you thought about how you might fit into this particular agency’s roster? Show them you’ve done some research.

What makes you different from other young artists? For example, tell them about your unique and thoughtful programming, or other distinctive artistic feature.

Show that you have scope for development – as all artists, at every stage, do!

Finally, remember that agents are often tipped off about exciting new artists by their existing contacts, whether that’s a conductor, friend or conservatoire personnel. Remember to always present yourself at your best – you never know who may be listening!


What is the key role of an artist manager?


Artist manager vs booking agent

Do I want an artist manager or a booking agent?

Artist managers and booking agents offer very different services. It’s about more than getting a busy contact diary!

Booking agency Artist manager
Provides artists with a diary service Provides advice for its artists and offers strategic career development
Seeks to engage artists in any concert bookings    Has strong relationships with concert promoters who rely on the agent’s artistic credibility
Purely commercial basis Interested in the longevity of its artists’ careers



How to approach small promoters

Top tips for approaching small promoters

Make sure you personalise your emails. No one likes feeling like another name in a list.

Research the promoter before you get in touch. Have a look at their current or previous seasons – do you think you fit into their artistic ethos? If so, prove it!

Unfortunately, just having a great CV and a nice recording often isn’t enough to grab a promoter’s attention. Go into the communication with the assumption that you need to do a lot to stand out. What might the promoter want from you that other artists can’t offer?


Artistic Development


Success and fulfilment


What an artist manager looks for


For more information on our 3 panellists, visit:

Do I really need to sell myself?


Why do we need to promote ourselves?

How you are presented online is critical to your success as an artist. All your online material should be of the same high standard as your artistry.

Search for yourself on Google and social media. Think: Is this how I want to be known as an artist? Am I proud of all the media out there about me? Is everything up to date?

If the answer to any of these is “no”, then do something about it, before someone else sees it and you lose an opportunity…


How to find what works for you

One of the most effective ways to promote yourself is to carve out an artistic niche. What are you particularly passionate about that can set you out from the crowd?

Create an artistic output and a personal brand that focuses on what makes you unique as an artist.

Only you can find out what makes you unique. This takes time.

Trust your intuition: if you think “this isn’t me”, don’t do it!

Once you become known for a specific niche, you can branch out to other areas


Create valuable content


Building networks in classical music


Find out more about our 4 panellists:

Alexandra Dariescu

Encore Music

Classic FM

Nicky Thomas Media

Stand out! Making your mark in a competitive industry

Highlights from YCAT Sounding Board’s panel discussion on making your mark as a performer (October 2018).

Jess Gillam (saxophonist), Ashutosh Khandekar (Editor-in-Chief, Opera Now) Ben Rayfield (Managing Director, Rayfield Allied), Tamsin Waley-Cohen (violinist) and Alasdair Tait (Chief Executive, YCAT) discuss topics including:

Standing out in a competitive market place 00.06
Giving interviews 02.26
Starting out 03.33
Recording 06.32
Online presence 07.51
Competitions 9.58
Making your own opportunities 12.26