Virginia Braden is one of Australia’s first artist managers, establishing her firm, Arts Management, in 1979. Representing a wide range of creative talent including opera singers, composers, instrumentalists, lighting designers… the list goes on; Virginia’s calm and sage advice has influenced the development of dozens of professional careers of countless well-known names.
In this episode, she discusses the sacrifices and effort involved in pursuing a career in the arts, the ramifications of early retirement usually out of an artist’s control and some of the realities facing female performers in particular.
Virginia Braden has experience working in the Arts both in Australia and overseas. She established her firm Arts Management Pty Limited in 1979, providing personal management for over a hundred and fifty Australian and international conductors, instrumentalists, singers, directors, and designers. The firm also undertook a range of projects in all fields of the arts including the administration of the Miles Franklin Literary Award, the Portia Geach Portrait Prize for Women and a number of other projects. She handed over Arts Management to new owners in 2008 and is now undertaking freelance consulting. She has been Director of several Boards including Craft Australia, the Seymour Group, The Song Company and was Chairman of the Australasian Association of Classical Music Managers. She served as Deputy Chairman (1999–2000) and then Chairman (2000–2003) of the UK based International Artist Managers’ Association which has a membership of over 500 firms of artist managers worldwide. She retains close links with IAMA and has represented it at various conferences and meetings around the world. She was a Director of Opera Australia 2010–2017 and Director of the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) 2010–16.
In 2013–2015 she undertook a review for the Board of the Sydney International Piano Competition, making recommendations for the wide-reaching update of the event and then implementing them in time for the 2016 Competition. She was elected a Director of the Board in December 2016 and Chairman in 2017. She was appointed to the board of Pinchgut Opera in July 2017.
Virginia has provided career advice and mentoring to a wide range of artists and arts managers over a number of years. She is an Honorary Life Member of the International Artist Managers’ Association and the Australian Music Centre. She was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for services to Arts Administration in 2010.