Exclusive: Rodgers & Hammerstein VP Appointed New Chief Creative Officer for MTI Europe

News   Exclusive: Rodgers & Hammerstein VP Appointed New Chief Creative Officer for MTI Europe
Longtime Rodgers & Hammerstein senior vice president Bert Fink is leaving to join Music Theatre International, the largest musical theatre licensing agency in America, as Chief Creative Officer for MTI Europe, as the company proceeds with its global expansion plans.

The company will open new offices in London alongside its long-standing U.K. agents Josef Weinberger Ltd, and in Melbourne (MTI Australasia), continuing its close relationship with Hal Leonard Australia Pty Ltd.

Fink, who is currently senior vice president/Europe for Rodgers & Hammerstein: An Imagem Company for whom he has been based in London for the last three years, has previously served in R&H's New York office for nearly a quarter century in a variety of publicity, promotion and production capacities. Prior to that, he was a press agent with Fred Nathan, who looked after numerous Broadway shows including Cats, Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera in the 1980s.

Bert Fink
Bert Fink

Fink will join MTI Europe managing director Seán Gray and his team in early 2016. MTI, co-founded by legendary composer Frank Loesser and orchestrator Don Walker, is co-owned by Cameron Mackintosh in partnership with CEO Freddie Gershon. Today the company represents more than 400 titles, including such shows as Loesser's Guys and Dolls and other classic Broadway titles like West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, The Music Man and Annie, as well as the ground-breaking works of Stephen Sondheim that include Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Follies and A Little Night Music.

MTI also represents Cameron Mackintosh-produced shows like Les Misérables and Miss Saigon, Disney's Newsies and Beauty and the Beast. Other contemporary titles include Mamma Mia!, Hairspray and Billy Elliot.

In a press statement, Drew Cohen, president and chief operating officer of MTI Worldwide, commented, "We are thrilled to welcome Bert Fink to the MTI family. Bert's world-class reputation throughout the theatre community, along with his talent for connecting producers with the right shows for their stages, will benefit not only MTI but all of the authors whom we represent, and all of the customers we serve. Few people in our industry have Bert's wealth of experience, and our teams in London as well as in New York and Melbourne are eager to work collaboratively with Bert." Fink adds, "It has been my privilege to work on a remarkable catalogue with [R&H President] Ted Chapin and my extraordinary colleagues in New York, London and Berlin. But I am excited by the opportunity Cameron, Freddie, Drew and Seán have offered me at MTI Europe - a chance to promote an astonishingly rich and varied collection of musicals across the vibrant British and European markets."

Mackintosh commented, "As Music Theatre International expands its worldwide operations I’m delighted, on both a personal and professional level, that Bert Fink is joining our management team, adding his vast experience of the secondary licensing market to ours and ensuring that MTI will remain the pre-eminent and most innovative library of great musicals in the world. I first met Bert in 1982 when he was working in the press office for Cats in New York. I could see from the start that he loved the musical theatre and, like the show he was working on, he was a curious cat fascinated by all aspects of its production. He gained great insight into the process of creating a musical and that, coupled with his boundless enthusiasm, is the reason that during his time with Rodgers & Hammerstein he became one of the great ambassadors of promoting both amateur and professional productions of musicals around the world. Everyone at MTI have known and admired Bert for many years so we are all delighted that he has now decided to settle in Europe and have a new adventure with us, working with our extraordinary stable of authors and shows. An exciting new chapter in MTI’s illustrious 60 years history is about to begin."

"Bert's presence at MTI serves all of us well, and particularly the Junior and Kids programs," Gershon said. "His passion and creativity brings us a fresh talent planting seeds for new performers and, ultimately, for a new audience enjoying the magic of live musical theatre. I've known Bert for many years, and I am genuinely delighted, and feel validated, that my vision of 20 years ago will be carried on in his capable hands alongside that of the great team he joins at MTI Europe."

For further information on MTI and the shows they represent, visit mtishows.com.

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