Mariedi (Mary) Anders
December 26, 2009
Mariedi Anders died on December 26, 2009, one month shy of her 95th birthday. She was the founder of Mariedi Anders Artists Management, Inc., the first, and, for a long time, the only concert artists management company in San Francisco. A consummate classical music impresario, she dedicated her professional life to introducing and sustaining performances throughout North America in major concert halls and music festivals as well as universities and small communities. A pioneer in a male-dominated field based largely in New York City, her passion was to create a roster of exceptional performers equal to any in the world, consisting of chamber ensembles, soloists, singers and conductors. In 2007 Mariedi Artists Management merged with California Artists Management where she continued to work actively as a senior partner until her death.
Born in Vienna Austria, Mariedi came to the U.S. with her husband and son in 1938 at the age of 23. The family settled in San Francisco in 1944 where two additional sons joined the family. In the mid-50s, Mariedi went to college and subsequently graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA degree in Theater Arts. She established Mariedi Artists Management in 1959.
For 50 years, she traveled far and wide recruiting both renowned and emerging concert artists. Her keen ear for music and instincts for talent along with a fluent command of 5 languages led to some particularly important and successful collaborations with artists from Europe, introducing U.S. audiences to such important artists as the Amadeus Quartet, the Kings Singers, Josef Suk, Thomas Zehetmair, Theo Adam, Peter Schreier and Lucia Popp. In the 1960s, taking advantage of cracks that were beginning to appear in the Iron Curtain, she learned Russian and, succeeded in bringing many Russian and Eastern block musicians to North America including the Borodin Quartet whom she represented for more than 45 years, Natalia Gutman, Alexei Lubimov and Elisso Virzaladze. She particularly loved working with conductors, and helped launch the careers of Leonard Slatkin, Sergiu Comissiona, Robert Spano, Carlos Kalmar, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Eri Klas. To each of her artists, she provided opportunities for growth and success, and to each one she was family, providing a home away from home when they performed in the San Francisco Bay Area, and traveling throughout the world when they performed elsewhere. Her San Francisco home frequently provided an opportunity for artists' rehearsals and informal, musical soirees. Mariedi Anders seemed an eternal legend among her artists and colleagues, beloved for her engaging personality and charm and respected for her strong will and tenacity. An important presence among concert presenters around the world, she was one of the founding members of the Western Arts Alliance, which awarded her its Distinguished Service Award in 1986. She was awarded a lifetime membership in the Association of Performing Arts Presenters. Upon learning of her death, Houston Symphony Music Director, Hans Graf wrote,
“This is very sad and a great loss. She was the person who changed my life in bringing me to America in 1989 and in helping to develop my work there. I am grateful for that and for the many years of collaboration which are a great and important part of my professional life. Not to mention that she was an astonishing, warmhearted and never tired human being, an example for us all.”
Mariedi loved her adopted City by the Bay and enjoyed an active life of hiking, skiing, playing tennis and regularly attending Wednesday nights at the Symphony and Tuesday nights at the opera. In later years, her family, especially her grandchildren and great grandchildren, and her Monday night bridge games provided much stimulation and great enjoyment. She was preceded in death by her husband Ernst and son Peter. She is survived by her sister, Hanni Forester; her two sons, Tom and Jim; her two daughters-in-law, Cindy, and Connie; her 6 grandsons Ben, David, Elliot, Michael, Geoffrey and Max; and her 7 great grandchildren Lella, Romeo, Luna, Nicholas, Eva, Sarah-Vienna and Jude; all of whom miss her.