Richard Kirstein

Richard Kirstein

Founding Partner

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About Me

I'm the author of Music Rights Without Fights and music rights procurement specialist. I'm also a regular speaker at conferences and universities.

I’ve spent my entire career working in music – as a performer, composer, music publisher and music rights specialist. Since 2003, I’ve acted for brands and agencies who buy music talent and rights for marketing campaigns.

I launched Resilient Music in 2010 to help brands and agencies improve their understanding of the music industry in order to strike fair deals with rights owners and talent. We broker artist brand partnerships, artist sponsorships, brand ambassador agreements, live performances, sync licences, artist waivers, session musician agreements and composer commissioning deals.

It’s a complex landscape in which advertisers are frequently led astray and fail to adopt the proper due diligence they would apply to non-creative assets. I work with clients who want to take greater control of music buying – acting earlier, improving their bargaining position and where possible acquiring music IP.

I work closely with the marketing procurement community and enjoy collaborating with client-side teams, external consultancies and forward-thinking agencies – always keeping the brand’s best interests front and centre.

Professional Information

INDUSTRY: Advertising

CATEGORY: Marketing


Work experience

Founding Partner

Resilient Music LLP

September 2010 - Present | United Kingdom

Resilient delivers a smarter way for brands and agencies to buy music talent and rights.

We understand both sides of the story. Building a bridge between the music industry on one side and brands & agencies on the other. With extensive experience working in record labels, music publishers and ad agencies, we understand the drivers that make each party tick.

We spend a lot of time with brands: in their world; at their premises; in their mind set. Our background in agencies means we have a much greater understanding of how music fits into the marketing mix; raising brand awareness, driving sales and increasing profits. We start with your vision and end with negotiating the best deal on the right music. It’s called creativity without compromise.

We are passionate about the music industry: we go to gigs; we play in bands; we have great connections within the business. We also understand how fragmented and complex the world of music rights is. Our in depth knowledge takes the pain out of the music buying process. We have made it our mission to understand the procurement perspective: and we think we have succeeded.

We believe transparency is vital. Procurement is a critical function within brands but is often feared by agencies. That is why we have produced our 5 Essential Steps to Smarter Music Buying: Music To Your Ears. We believe that a better understanding of the process, and greater transparency in the industry, will help our clients manage their budgets and secure optimal deals on music rights.

Our brand clients are mostly in the fashion, automotive and alcoholic beverage sectors.

Our agency clients are forward-thinking independents who aren't mandated to work with sister company suppliers.

Managing Director / Founder

Leap Music Limited

April 2003 - August 2010 ( 7 years, 4 months )

Leap was a joint venture between myself and BBH Communications Limited (the holding company of Bartle Bogle Hegarty). Leap was the first music publishing company inside a UK ad agency which created significant waves within the publishing community at the time.

During my time running Leap, I led a team which built a catalogue of copyrights acquired from composers and unsigned bands, all of which were used in TV advertising campaigns.

We also brokered close to 1,000 sync licence deals for multiple brands owned by Diageo, Unilever, Chivas Brothers and Britvic and Unilever together with Audi, Vodafone, Boots and M&S.

Head of Film, TV & Media

Zomba Music Publishers Limited

March 1994 - April 2003 ( 9 years, 1 month )

Zomba was the World's largest independent music company prior to its acquisition by BMG in 2002.

Having established Zomba Music Publishers' Film, TV & Media department, my role included:

(1) Synchonisation
Promotion & licensing for Zomba controlled songs & Jive / Silvertone controlled recordings including Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, N-Sync, R.Kelly, Stone Roses, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, Daft Punk, Bruce Springsteen & many more. During my tenure, Zomba Music Publishers' annual UK synchronisation licensing income increased ten fold.

(2) Publishing Administration
Striking & managing agreements with Channel 4, HTV, Border TV, Channel TV, September Films, TWI, The TV Corporation & Brighter Pictures.

(3) Composer Representation
Promoting Zomba signed composers for film & TV commissions and brokering agreements with commissioning bodies e.g. Nitin Sawhney & Chris Elliott


Nim Nim Musik

January 1992 - December 1993 ( 1 year, 11 months )

Nim Nim Musik was a music production company creating original scores for TV & commercials. Operating from a studio in London's West End, I split my time between composing and New Business.



January 1986 - January 1990 ( 4 years )

Clarinet, recorders and backing vocals for acoustic ensemble Miro, led by Roddie Harris.

3 tours of Northern Italy, 2 album releases, residency at The Troubadour in London's Earls Court.

Keyboard player & songwriter

The Company She Keeps

January 1986 - January 1988 ( 2 years )

Signed to Coldharbour Records (UK) and Belaphon (Germany). Single releases, UK tours, TV appearances, Radio 1 play.

Shot promo video for "What A Girl Wants" with Rik Mayall


London Business School

Diploma of Strategic Business Growth

2006 - 2006

Dartington College of Arts

Diploma of Composition for Film

1991 - 1991

The City University (London)

BSc (Hons) of Music

1983 - 1986

Guildhall School of Music & Drama

Performance Diploma of Clarinet

1983 - 1985