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Meet the Music Publishers: Interview with Cecilia León Rodrigo of Ediciones Joaquín Rodrigo

Introducing ICMP's Meet the Music Publishers interview series.  Every Friday, we will feature an interview with a music publisher to gain an insight into the role, what it involves and how they came into the business. For our first interview, we had the privilege to speak with Cecilia León Rodrigo of Spanish independent music publisher Ediciones Joaquín Rodrigo.

Joaquín Rodrigo, who is Cecilia’s grandfather, was a Spanish composer and pianist. Rodrigo's music is among the most popular music of the twentieth century. In particular, his Concierto de Aranjuez is considered one of the pinnacles of Spanish music and of the guitar concerto repertoire.

How did you get into the business?

When my grandfather passed away, my mother, the only child of the composer, decided to set up Ediciones Joaquín Rodrigo because she saw that there was a need to recover some of her father’s works in order to promote them better. The ultimate goal was to recover, little by little, as many works as possible. Just recently, our company has recovered most of his repertoire for online purposes.

What concerns do you have in your market?

My biggest worry is piracy – the theft of music. I am concerned that today’s young people will grow up thinking that music is free – that it has no value.  I also worry that people won't be aware of the enormous intellectual effort of the creator.  

What’s a typical day like for you?

My day is really varied because we work towards the promotion of the music as well as watching out for business interests. I need to keep our website updated with news, video and other announcements. We are very active on social media so I am tweeting every day. I also need to process orders for merchandise, regularly review statements from authors societies and deal with licensing request from all kinds of users. Performers and researchers often approach us with various questions so I need to keep on top of these requests too. With the digital revolution, we are extremely busy with transferring all our scores into digital format for use on all kinds of media. This is a big challenge but also a huge opportunity for us.

How is your relationship with your local collective management organisation?

Overall we have a good relationship. We’ve obviously had our ups and downs but this cannot detract from the good work that has been undertaken over the years. We are now at a critical moment and we must work together to improve the situation. My relationship with SGAE is twofold: on the one hand, in my capacity as publisher, and on the other hand as a board member of SGAE representing AEDEM, the Spanish Association of independent Music Publishers. We are very active in the defense of the interests of our members and it is important that our voice is heard both from within SGAE as well as within international forums in our sector.

Is there legislation coming up in your territory?

Yes, as the European Court has invalidated the Spanish Government's model of compensation for private copying, which stated that it should be paid from the General State Budget.  The judgment of the European Court of Justice has ruled that it is contrary to the rules contained in the European Directive as it does not ensure that the cost of compensation is borne by the users of private copies. This will result in a future national regulation of private copying and its compensation to comply with European regulations.

How do you see your market evolving over the next ten years?

Despite the various setbacks, I am optimistic. We have survived and are now overcoming a serious economic crisis so the situation looks brighter for the creative industry.  With digital rapidly coming to the fore, the market will continue to change. We have had to make huge adjustments to deal with this shift, but this is an enormous opportunity and we are embracing it.  

For more information see: www.joaquin-rodrigo.com

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