Maxima Artist Management Limited was founded in 2004 as a limited-roster agency, representing New Zealand's most important musicians and distinguished international artists throughout the Pacific Rim. In 2007 the company began placing artists in China, and now maintains a large network of relationships for touring groups to China from Europe, the US and Australasia, as well as sending Chinese artists and ensembles throughout the world.
A trained baritone, Director John Ballard studied voice at the Eastman School of Music under the great Chinese bass Yi-Kwei Sze (斯義桂). After a brief career in Europe -- highlights included appearing on the stages of the Vienna Staatsoper, Salzburger Festspiel and at La Scala in Milan -- he spent several years broadcasting with WQXR in New York City. He then added experience in public relations, advertising, sales, and management before moving to New Zealand in 1997. There, he founded Speech Recognition of New Zealand and built it into the country's leading speech recognition distribution, sales and training organisation before selling the company in 2004.
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