Martin Bandier

Visionary Leadership Award

Martin N. Bandier is one of the most renowned music-publishing executives in the industry. In his tenure as Chairman and CEO of Sony/ATV Music Publishing, Mr. Bandier oversaw some of the most valuable catalogue assets and popular current artists and writers. The Sony/ATV catalogues included some of the biggest names in music, including The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan, Marvin Gaye, Michael Jackson, Carole King, Kraftwerk, Joni Mitchell, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, Queen, The Rolling Stones, Richie Sambora, Sting, Hank Williams and Stevie Wonder, among others. 

Prior to joining Sony/ATV, Mr. Bandier ran EMI Music Publishing for over 17 years.  Under his leadership, it became the world’s largest and most successful music publishing company, as he acquired the rights to some of the most famous songs ever written and signed many top songwriters and artists. EMI Music Publishing became a wholly owned Sony company in November 2018.

Mr. Bandier’s involvement in the music industry dates to 1975, when he, Sam LeFrak and Charles Koppelman formed The Entertainment Company, where he achieved hits with a number of best-selling songs.  He went on to co-found the Entertainment Music Company and SBK Entertainment World, where he modernized music publishing by expanding the use of the catalogue in commercials, films, sound recordings and stage productions.  He also set up an advanced collection system for SBK’s vast copyright holdings.  SBK sold its music publishing interests to Thorn EMI in 1989, and Mr. Bandier was appointed head of the combined music publishing division, EMI Music Publishing. He catapulted the company to new heights with a number of major catalogue acquisitions, taking it from the fourth largest music publishing business to the number one ranking.

Mr. Bandier’s many civic and industry commitments include membership on the boards of the City of Hope, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the NMPA, where he is Vice President of the Board of Directors. He also serves as a trustee of the T.J. Martell Foundation. The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares Foundation, the affiliated charities of The Recording Academy, announced that their respective Boards had elected Bandier to be a MusiCares Director.  His many industry achievements include numerous and consecutive years as Publisher of the Year by performing rights organizations ASCAP and BMI. In 2007, Sony/ATV won Nashville’s “Triple Crown,” an unprecedented and historic achievement in music publishing with ASCAP, BMI and SESAC each naming Sony/ATV its Publisher of the Year. Since Bandier joined in 2007, Sony/ATV went on to win both of the industry’s top awards, the ASCAP Pop Publisher of the Year and BMI Pop Publisher of the Year, on a number of occasions, among countless other honors.

In 2006, Bandier founded a music and entertainment industry degree program at Syracuse University, appropriately named The Bandier Program for Music and Entertainment Industries; its first class graduated in 2011 and it has become the leading music business program.