Ian Smallbone has earned a reputation for the successful development and delivery of orchestral projects and cultural events around the world for more than 30 years. He spent 25 years managing projects for the leading classical agency IMG Artists, working with a great many of the world’s major orchestras from Philadelphia, New York, Tokyo and Beijing, as well as the great historic European orchestras of St Petersburg, Moscow, London, Munich, Milan and Leipzig among others. His early experience touring orchestras worldwide led to more ground-breaking opportunities, starting with leading the team that planned and launched the multinational orchestra resident at Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and its concert hall Dewan Filharmonik Petronas in 1998, while also developing an extensive touring market for IMG Artists’ clients across the Asia-Pacific region.
On his return to Europe in 2001, a partnership Ian established with the acoustic design firm Artec led to operational planning consultancies for clients such as the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, The Music Centre in Wroclaw and the Ministry of Culture and Communications in Montreal, Quebec. He undertook consultancies for cultural clients such as the National Centre for the Performing Arts in Mumbai and the education department of the City of Basel, as well as the development and launch of the Canton International Summer Music Academy 2005-2007 in collaboration with the Beijing Music Festival Foundation. During those years Ian also delivered a number of cultural consultancies and touring projects for multinational corporations including Swire Group, UBS (Verbier Festival Orchestra), State Street, Credit Suisse, Statoil and Philips.
From 2008-2010 Ian led the IMG Artists production team that staged the award-winning Singapore Sun Festival in partnership with the Singapore Tourism Board, the Abu Dhabi Festival (for the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation) from 2008-2012, the wine and culture festival Divino Tuscany in Florence, Italy in 2011-2012, and the Tuscan Sun Festival 2011-2012.
In 2013 Ian set up the event management and production company Smallbone & Lucifero Ltd with his wife and co-director Eleonora Lucifero, organising international orchestral projects and developing a number of multi-disciplinary and luxury events for private clients, during which time he reconnected with Jan Latham-Koenig, with whom he had first worked in 1992 on tour in Italy. In 2017 Jan invited Ian to join him and Charles Hendry in the creation of what is now known as the Britten-Shostakovich Festival Orchestra, to plan and lead the various stages of development, orchestral recruitment and management of the project with a hand-picked team of experienced staff. This orchestra represents in many ways a culmination of all the projects and events that Ian has produced over the years, and it is a source of immense pride to be working with his distinguished colleagues Jan Latham-Koenig, Charles Hendry and so many exceptionally talented musicians on this new ground-breaking initiative bringing together the very best of young Russian and British talent.