Charles Hamlen, a champion of the arts, compassionate campaigner and beloved friend and colleague has passed away at the age of 75. Charles and Edna Landau co-founded the artist management company in 1977 that would become IMG Artists when it was purchased by International Management Group in 1984. He developed and managed the careers of numerous luminous classical music stars including Joshua Bell, Evgeny Kissin and Sir James Galway, and helped the company evolve into a global leader of performing arts management.
He is remembered as much for his generous spirit, humour and kindness as he is his exceptional professional accomplishments. In 1993, he founded Classical Action: Performing Arts Against AIDS, a charity that raised millions for AIDS groups.
Barrett Wissman, IMG Artists Chairman, said: “I was so fortunate to come to know Charlie well when he graciously agreed to serve as my Co- Chairman of IMG Artists for several years. He touched all of our lives as an advisor, friend, philanthropist and passionate supporter of artists and the arts alike. He imbued all of our lives with his grace, knowledge and care.”
Alexander Shustorovich, President and CEO of IMG Artists, said: “IMG Artists and the entire arts world lost a towering hero. His professional and personal legacy will long continue as an inspiration.”
Charles Ewing Hamlen was born in Schenectady, NY on July 9, 1943. As a child he studied piano and cello. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in French language and literature and his first career was as a high school French teacher. He is survived by two sisters, the poet Ann Goldsmith and Katherine Reed as well as nieces and nephews.
We send our deepest sympathies to his family, friends and colleagues around the world.
IMG Artists’ Colleagues Remember Charles Hamlen
“Charlie was simply an outstanding human being; he was a great mentor to me when I first started working at IMGA and has been a friend and an inspiration throughout my career in Artist Management. He was one of the kindest people I know, adored by artists, colleagues and friends world over who loved and respected him in equal measure. I’m going to miss him enormously.” – Kathryn Enticott
“It is such a shock and very sad news to hear about the passing of Charles Hamelin. I met Charles in the early days of IMG Artists in the mid 1990’s and was immediately struck by his quiet and charming manner – he was a real gentleman in every respect . Charles was also an outstanding manager of artists – the list of superb artists whose careers he helped to develop is clear evidence of his special talent . It was always a pleasure to meet up with Charles whenever I was visiting New York – the last time just several months ago. The passing of Charles is a huge loss to all who knew him and it goes without saying that he will be greatly missed by us all.” – Nicholas Mathias
“Charlie was an inspiration to everyone who met him. I shall never forget the Classical Action bowling nights which were the highlight of the music industry year in NYC. He will be hugely missed – but leaves behind an indelible memory of his warmth and generosity of spirit.” – Bridget Canniere
“So sad to hear the news of Charlie’s passing. I’ll never forget our conversations over the years. What a wise, kind and generous man he was – an inspiration to all who knew him.” – Alex Monsey
“I first met Charlie during my Sony BMG days through Classical Action. He was so charming, kind and of course brilliant. Charlie will long be loved and remembered by the countless people whose lives he touched.” – Becky Farrell