Irwin Z. Robinson, Chairman of Paramount Pictures Music Publishing Group and Chairman of the Board of the National Music Publishers Association and the Harry Fox Agency, will receive the first New York University Steinhardt Music Business Program Visionary Award. This award honors a business figure of note for their lasting and positive impact on the music industry through innovative, effective, and creative business leadership. The award will be presented on Wednesday, April 2, 2008 in the Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th Street.
Robinson has been involved with the careers and/or the catalogues of hundreds of well-known songwriters and composers including Carole King, Gerry Goffin, Neil Sedaka, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, David Gates, Mac Davis, Carole Bayer Sager, Todd Rundgren, Mark James, Sammy Cahn, Jule Styne, Burton Lane, George and Ira Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, The Bee Gees, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Marvin Hamlisch, Hall & Oates, Alan J. Lerner, Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Stevie Wonder, Gloria Estefan, Smokey Robinson, Rod Stewart, Bono, Lou Reed, Pink Floyd, Linda Perry, Buckcherry, Bjork, Bush, Boyz II Men, Phil Galdston, Aimee Mann, Shakira, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Akon, and Hal David.
Robinson is a tireless advocate for all creators of music and in January of this year testified before the Copyright Royalty Board in support of the rights of songwriters, composers, and music publishers for an increase in the mechanical royalty rates in connection with the sale of physical and digitally delivered recordings. Mr. Robinson has also given testimony at Congressional hearings in connection with proposed legislation to streamline the licensing of mechanical recordings.
In each of the companies he managed, Robinson instituted new business innovations encouraging songwriters to collaborate with other creators within the company and those signed to other publishers in order to both broaden the creative horizons of these songwriters as well as to ensure the highest quality repertoire for his company. He also encouraged collaboration with songwriters and composers in countries outside the United States, thereby facilitating the dissemination of these works internationally. His companies developed new royalty systems to ensure that songwriters and composers received accurate and timely royalty statements.
Robinson is a member of the ASCAP Board of Directors and serves on the Executive Committee of both ASCAP and NMPA. He is also on the Board of the Songwriters Hall of Fame and has served as a trustee of the U.S. Copyright Society.
Robinson formerly served as chairman and chief executive officer of Famous Music Publishing (1992-2007), president and chief executive of EMI Music Publishing Worldwide (1987-1992), and president of Chappell/Intersong (1977-1987). His first position in the music industry was with Screen Gems-Columbia Music/Screen Gems-EMI Music, Inc. (1964-1977) where he served first as general counsel and then as vice president and general manager.
Robinson was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1962. He was honored with the Abe Olman Publisher Award for lifetime achievement in music publishing at the 29th Annual Songwriters’ Hall of Fame Awards in 1998.
About the NYU Steinhardt Music Business Program The NYU Music Business Program prepares both graduate (MA) and undergraduate (BMus) students to be leaders in the dynamic, global music marketplace. Academically rigorous and cross-disciplinary by definition, Music Business combines the boundless artistic resources of
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