Wise Music Classical | Job Vacancy | Managing Editor

Wise Music Classical | Job Vacancy | Managing Editor


Department: Chester Publishing

Job Title: Managing Editor, Wise Music Group (“MSG”) UK Catalogues

Reporting to: Managing Director, Chester Music Ltd & Novello & Co Ltd

Location: Berners Street, London

Salary: According to experience


Wise Music Group is one of the World’s leading music publishers, owning and managing over 200,000 popular and classical music copyrights. The Group is privately owned by one family over several generations, and the UK Head Office is situated in London, in the West End.


• To manage the UK editorial team (the Chester Publishing Dept – “CPD”); to maintain creative and positive working relationships with the MSG’s UK-signed composers.
• To manage directly and to oversee via delegated responsibilities the timely delivery of first class, accurate scores and performing materials of new and revised musical works.
• To establish and manage first class editorial policies and procedures.
• To be the desk editor for certain projects as defined by the Job-Holder.


Shaping the Business

• Managing MSG UK’s editorial policy in relation to both sales and hire publications
• Managing the pre-production of all MSG UK publications – ie from manuscript to delivery of ready to print masters and submitted digital notation software files
• Managing the CPD’s access to a pool of suppliers of freelance editorial services
• Maximising the compatibility of MSG UK publications with contemporary technology and routes to market
• Inputting into strategic issues relating both to catalogue development and also to new publication ideas based on both new material and back catalogue.

Developing the Product Offering

• Maintaining and where possible improving publication standards;
• Identifying new opportunities for the secondary use of existing works in new publications / collections;
• Identifying new opportunities for the availability of MSG publications via digital distribution;
• Assisting MSG affiliate offices where appropriate with editorial projects;
• Introducing potential new composers to MSG.

Taking the Product and Service to the Customer/Market

• Ensuring the timely availability of new musical works produced to first class standards for delivery to the customer
• Managing a failsafe procedure for the correction or revision of musical materials post-premiere
• Communicating clearly with colleagues and customers as appropriate by way of updates to delivery schedules, revision plans, etc
• Taking direct responsibility for a defined list of MSG UK composers, as reasonably required within the Job-Holder’s structural plans for the CPD

Managing the Money

• Introducing efficiencies with a view to controlling overheads;
• Delivering the annual overheads budget for the CPD and managing the agreed budget;
• Spending within agreed limits and signing off freelancers, internal expenses, capital outlays etc.

Managing Information and Knowledge

Managing• the efficient application and maintenance of database resources within the CPD
• the efficient dissemination of publishing schedules and progress reports as appropriate within the MSG
• regular reviews of spending, and adjusting appropriately
• Will need to apply editorial experience and skill for discretionary direct editorial work, an important part of the position.

• Managing the CPD staff
• Setting and implementing performance standards within the CPD
• Conducting performance reviews with, as appropriate, the Managing Director of Chester Music Ltd of CPD staff
• Encouraging and developing the CPD staff so that new projects and areas of responsibility can be confidently delegated



The Job-Holder is responsible for leading a team of Editorial staff comprising the CPD, as well as overhead budgets as required to deliver an annual publishing schedule. The Job-Holder has all necessary access to the data required to realise this responsibility.


The Job-Holder is responsible for:

• Developing as appropriate new systems and solutions to the ultimate target of delivering high quality musical materials to deadline within budget
• Developing transparent management systems for the sharing of editorial and publication-related data internally
• Examining and fine-tuning the CPD’s relationships with freelance type-setters, editors, proof-readers etc
• Inputting into decision-making as regards the signing of composers to the MSG
• Proposing new publication ideas comprising MSG copyrights
• Inputting internally into and leading creatively the development of a robust Asset Management System.

Internal Interaction

The Job-Holder has to work collaboratively with a range of internal people, including:

• Managing Director, Chester Music Ltd;
• Managing Director, Wise Music Group Ltd
• Print Publishing Liaison Manager
• Hire Library Manager
• Promotion Director, UK

and departments including:

• Promotion Department
• Hire Department
• Copyright Department
• IT Department

External Interaction

The Job-Holder will liaise, influence and/or negotiate with a range of people and organisations including:

• MSG affiliates (primarily via local Editorial teams)
• Freelance suppliers of editorial, type-setting, proof-reading etc services
• MSG UK composers and their agents and managers
• The MSG’s print licensee and distributor, Hal Leonard Corp
• Digital sheet music licensees – for example, nKoda.
• Responding to external enquiries relating to MSG works and composers.

Time Horizon

A large proportion of the CPD’s work relates to the timely delivery of new publications for first performance, such publication comprising new works by MSG UK composers. Such delivery schedules range from long term, large-scale projects, possibly involving several performing material elements, to the urgent, last-minute turnaround of short-term projects or late delivered manuscripts. The Job-Holder must be able to juggle resources so as to ensure the smooth running of all forms of project, often concurrently.


The Job-Holder is responsible for managing the CPD as a first-rate and cohesive team. Management responsibility for the CPD staff is direct. The Job-Holder is also responsible for the management of the MSG UK’s relationship with freelance suppliers and for ensuring that such suppliers meet the clearly communicated targets and schedules delegated to them. The Job-Holder is accountable for the performance of the CPD and for ensuring that team members are motivated and that they maintain appropriate relationships with composers, with colleagues and with customers.


The Job-Holder has full authority to:

• Delegate workload within the CPD
• Establish terms of business with freelance suppliers subject to general parameters discussed with the MD, Chester Music.
• Focus and target the work of CPD and its staff



Music degree level or equivalent required


Direct working experience of music editorial environment, either as a publisher employee or as a supplier, is essential.


Knowledge of music editorial practices and of software typesetting systems is required. Broad knowledge of the MSG classical catalogue and its composers is ideal.

Skills and Abilities

• The Job-Holder needs to show existing high-level ability to desk-edit.
• The Job-Holder needs to be able to apply and communicate existing editorial knowledge to the diverse constituencies of composers, performers and the internal publishing team.
• The Job-Holder must be able or have the clear potential to manage the CPD and the team of external editorial suppliers.

Personal Qualities

The Job-Holder must be
• A team player
• Concise and clear communicator
• Flexible in approach to dealing with a broad church of music and composers
• Enthusiastic as regards the work of MSG’s composers and of Wise Music Group as a whole.


Core working hours are 0930 to 1730 Monday to Friday, however you will need to be flexible and able to work additional hours as required ensuring deadlines are met.

Deadline: 12 noon on Friday 15th March 2019
Applications should be sent to: Jenn.Perry@wisemusic.com