Concord Music has acquired legendary theatre publisher and licensor Samuel French and launched Concord Theatricals.
Concord Theatricals is comprised of the professional and amateur theatrical licensing catalogs of Samuel French, Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals, Tams-Witmark and Concord Music’s joint venture with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group, The Musical Company.
According to Concord, the merger makes Concord Theatricals the ‘most substantial licensing house in the world’ and the only one providing comprehensive services to creators and producers of musical theatre, including theatrical licensing, music publishing and cast recordings.
In addition, Concord Theatricals develops, licenses, produces and invests in new musicals for first-class production.
Over its 188-year history, Samuel French has represented some of the most popular plays and musicals in the English language throughout the world from their offices in the US and UK.
Its catalog of over 10,000 titles includes plays by August Wilson, Ken Ludwig, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Lorraine Hansberry and Neil Simon, along with the musicals Grease, Chicago, Fun Home, The Wiz, The Secret Garden And Heathers.
Concord Theatricals is guided by an executive team of experienced theatre professionals drawn from all four companies worldwide. The team includes Ted Chapin as President and Chief Creative Officer of Rodgers & Hammerstein and Sarge Aborn as Chief Executive Officer of Tams-Witmark.
Concord Theatricals senior staff includes Victoria Traube, Imogen Lloyd Webber, Abbie Van Nostrand, Amy Rose Marsh and Vivien Goodwin. Concord Music’s Publishing business maintains a wealth of theatrical experience in its President for North America, Bill Gaden, and its President for Europe, John Minch.
Lisbeth R. Barron and Barron International Group, LLC initiated and acted as the exclusive financial advisor to Samuel French for the transaction. Barron also represented Concord on its acquisition of Rodgers & Hammerstein and the other assets of Imagem Music Group, as well as having advised Tams-Witmark on its sale to Concord.
Concord’s investment began with the acquisition of the Marvin Hamlisch catalog in 2011, the creation with Andrew Lloyd Webber of The Musical Company in 2016 (which licenses the likes of Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and School of Rock) and the acquisition of the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization as part of Imagem Music in 2017, including the rights to The Sound of Music and Oklahoma!
It also acquired musical theater licensing organization Tams-Witmark in 2018, including titles such as A Chorus Line, Cabaret and Hello, Dolly!
“Samuel French adds to Concord Theatricals a broad diversity of rights, relationships, experience and executive talent, along with a great family legacy that will continue to flourish with Nate and Abbie’s participation.”
Jake Wisely, Concord
The company also recently participated in the creation of two new productions aimed at Broadway and the West End with an investment in Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill And The Development Of Soul: The Stax Musical.
Concord Theatricals is led by Sean Patrick Flahaven, who has spent the last two years as the founding CEO of The Musical Company.
Flahaven has over 20 years’ experience as a music publisher, licensing executive, record and show producer, music director/arranger, and composer/playwright.
He will report to Concord Music Chief Publishing Executive Jake Wisely.
Nathan Collins, who has served for eight years as President of Samuel French will be General Manager, Concord Theatricals, reporting to Flahaven
“It’s a genuine privilege to represent these iconic shows and catalogs. We are uniquely positioned to promote our writers’ work and competitively expand our roster going forward,” said Flahaven.
“Our focus is on serving our clients’ art, protecting their rights and helping our customers bring great theatre at every level of production to audiences all over the world.”
“For 188 years, Samuel French has been the iconic name in theatrical licensing and publishing and this merger will enable us to continue to provide our clients with the most innovative products, dynamic marketing and transparent reporting.”
Nathan Collins, Concord
Jake Wisely added: “Samuel French adds to Concord Theatricals a broad diversity of rights, relationships, experience and executive talent, along with a great family legacy that will continue to flourish with Nate and Abbie’s participation.
“French also broadens our existing relationships and business synergies, as we now represent all of the musicals of Marvin Hamlisch, both the stage rights and film and TV music rights of Agatha Christie Ltd., as well as various recordings and now the plays of Steve Martin. With Samuel French, Concord is no longer just music.”
Collins said: “The Samuel French team is incredibly excited to join the Concord Theatricals family.
“For 188 years, Samuel French has been the iconic name in theatrical licensing and publishing and this merger will enable us to continue to provide our clients with the most innovative products, dynamic marketing and transparent reporting.
“Under Sean’s leadership, we will build upon the great catalogs of the two organizations and create the preferred home for the works of playwrights, composers and lyricists.”Music Business Worldwide