About Dispeker Artists
The history of Dispeker Artists spans decades of American classical music history and touches on some of its most notable performers. Dispeker’s founder Thea Dispeker was born in Munich where studied piano under Walther Lampe before pursuing a doctorate in musicology at the University of Munich. She immigrated to New York City in 1938, escaping Nazi Germany. There, she founded her own agency in 1947. Her initial clients included Richard Tucker and John Brownlee. She quickly gained the trust and admiration of artists such as Aaron Copland, Martina Arroyo, Judith Blegen, Roberta Peters, Håkan Hagegård, Jan Peerce, Lukas Foss, Hermann Prey, Pablo Casals, and Wieland Wagner, among many others. The same year that she founded her agency, Thea co-founded the Little Orchestra Society with Thomas Scherman as conductor. In 1950, Thea was named the Managing Director of the Pablo Casals Festival in Prade, a position she would continue for three more years.
Thea Dispeker received substantial recognition for her work during her lifetime. She received the Handel Medallion for her work as Administrative Director of New York City’s Handel Festival, New York City’s highest award given to individuals for their contribution to the city’s intellectual and cultural life. She additionally received the Service Cross from the President of West Germany, their most distinguished arts award. In 1997, in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the foundation of Dispeker Artists, Thea Dispeker received an Award of Merit from the International Society for Performing Arts Foundation.
Following Thea Dispeker’s retirement in 1998, the agency benefited from the leadership of Laurence Wasserman, Kathryn Takach, and Stephen Lugosi, all of whom helped to develop the agency into the multifaceted and formidable institution it is today. Known for many years as a seedbed of operatic talent, Dispeker Artists has diversified its roster in recent years and today proudly represents distinguished conductors, instrumentalists, opera and concert singers, ensembles, and chamber orchestras. Most recently, Dispeker Artists has expanded into the development and international touring of special projects, including cirque dance theater accompanied by symphony orchestra.
Dispeker Artists is currently directed by Emmy Tu and enjoys an extensive market in the United States, Canada, and Europe, with recent expansion into Mexico, Central and South America, and Asia.