R Douglas Sheldon, one of the best known artist managers in the world, resigned as Chairman of Columbia Artists in 2019 after serving that company and the music world for over 50 years. He headed many of Columbia’s many departments and committees and held successive several titles including Executive Vice President and Managing Director before being elected Chairman.
He is known for representing some of the world’s international artists including Anne-Sophie Mutter, Valery Gergiev, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Leonard Slatkin, Thierry Fischer, Juanjo Mena and Jaap van Zweden. He introduced many instrumentalists to North America including competition winners Olga Ken, Yundi Li, Alexei Volodos, Denis Matsuev, Vadim Repin and managed the Beaux Arts Trio with its legendary founder, Menahem Pressler. He had long term touring relationships with Kurt Masur, Lorin Maazel, Evegeny Svetlanov, Andre Previn, Vladimir Spivakov and Msistlav Rostropovich and managed the careers of Julian Rachlin, Nelson Friere, Lynn Harrell, Christian Zacharias and Khatia Buniatishvili.
His first orchestra tour was to be the Cleveland Orchestra with George Szell who passed away before the tour took place, but resulted in a 27 year touring relationship with that ensemble. Subsequently he represented the New York, Los Angeles, Munich, Manchester BBC, Rotterdam, China and London philharmonics; the Boston, San Francisco, National (US), Vienna, Shanghai and London symphonies; Orchestra National de France, Orchestra de Paris, Orchestra National de Lyon, Orquestra Nacional de Espana, Leipzig Gewandhaus and the orchestras of St. Louis, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Detroit and Pittsburgh.
Known for his strong interest in American/Russian cultural relations he toured the Mariinsky Orchestra, State Academic Orchestra of Russia, National Philharmonic of Russia, Grand Bolshoi Radio Orchestra, Kremlin Chamber Orchestra and the Moscow Virtuosi.
Among his pro bono not-for-profit activities he served as Vice Chair of the White Nights Foundation of America (2004-13), Director and President of the Sidney Central School Alumni Association (2000-present), Music Director of St. Peter’s Church, Perth Amboy, NJ and Choirmaster (1976-present) the Hamilton College Male Reunion Choir (1980-present).
In addition he was President of the 2015 Sarasate International Violin Competition; Grand Chair of the Montreal Symphony’s 2017 Violin and Organ Competitions, and International Advisor to the First China Music Competition 2019. He has been a juror at international piano competitions in Albuquerque, Montreal, and Malta. He will sit on the 2020 Sydney International Piano competition and the 2020 Shanghai International Violin Competition.
He is known for his choral conducting from age 12 and in addition to his posts with Hamilton College and St Peters Episcopal Church he has guest conducted Orfeon Pamplones, the University Glee Club of New York, Orpheus Men’s Choir of Philadelphia and formed his own New York based Baldwin Festival Choir (2008-present).