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International: Senior Vice President • Vice President • Director (international)


Personnel in this area manage the company's international music publishing assets. At BMG, Ron Solleveld is specifically responsible for the well-being and running of the company's music publishing concerns in Latin America, Canada, Eastern Europe (Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary), and to some extent Spain and Asia. The executive in each respective country reports directly to him. He is involved in working to improve and enforce royalty collection laws in foreign countries, and negotiating deals to acquire or subpublish existing song catalogs.


First, you must possess a business education, the ability to structure a budget, and knowledge of publishing laws throughout the world. Second, you should have an appreciation for all different types of music, and an understanding of the overall music industry. You should be multilingual and self-motivated and have the ability to work well with people from many different cultures.


When he is not traveling to one of the territories he oversees, Ron Solleveld is in his New York office around 9:30 a.m. His first task is reading and responding to e-mail. Throughout the day he may be called upon to solve a crisis with one of the foreign offices, while continuing to work on strategic planning negotiations for better foreign rights for the company's catalog, and negotiating to acquire or subpublish other catalogs. One to two weeks each month, for nine months of the year, Solleveld travels around the world to work with the territories he manages.


“You need good mentorspeople that take you under their respective wings.”

“It doesn't hurt if you are well traveled and understand what music goes where in which country, and why certain things don't go in particular countries.”

The ability to speak a second and third language is an advantageSpanish, German, French, Japanese.


“One of the most important things is to learn different languages. Oddly enough, you find a lot of Dutch people in international positions because of the Dutch education system. You have to learn four languages before you can graduate. If you aspire to do something international, it wouldn't hurt to at least have your Spanish, German, and French handy.” Strive to get any position at a major publishing company and then express your desire for working international.


Born in Java and raised in Holland, Ron Solleveld is the son of the founding president of Polygram Music. Even though he grew up around the music business and had his father as a connection, he began his professional career at the bottom. He served a six-month internship in 1967 as an assistant's assistant of international repertoire at a small music publishing company in Paris. “At night I would go around to discotheques, hand delivering newly released product. Doing a little promotion.”

After returning to Holland for mandatory military service, Solleveld studied international business, earning a scholarship in 1971 that afforded him the opportunity to study at Kent State University. “It was my first encounter with American culture. It was the year after the shootings at Kent and it was still a pretty sad place, but it was an amazing experience.” While there, he completed his undergraduate work and earned a master's degree in business administration.


“Saying ‘no’ to people. Constructive criticism is one thing, but sometimes there are people that come in and they are incredibly happy with what they have created, but it doesn't look like it is ever going to go anywhere. I hate to tell them and burst their bubble.”


“To see something that we built up in country ‘A‘ cross over to country ‘B,’ and become a success there as well. We put things together in South America that became hits in Asia and vice versa. I really like to see when something crosses over. In other words, developing worldwide hits. That is a lot of fun.”

In 1973 Solleveld went to work for Chappell Music in New York as assistant to the international manager. Promoted when his boss returned to France, he eventually became the general manager of Intersong USA. During this time, he also acted as international manager for Chappell Music. In 1977, he accepted a London post to head the Intersong International Desk, making deals outside the country of origin and North America for all worldwide Intersong agencies.

Solleveld returned to the United States in 1980 and went to work for CBS Songs as the liaison between the international and domestic divisions. A year later he moved to RCA Records to rebuild their publishing company after an ill-advised sale of their United States catalog. As publishing was not considered important at RCA at the time, most of his duties involved looking after the licensed labels, among them Jive, Motown, and Virgin, for the Latin American and Asian markets. In 1984, he was named president of Toronto-based Sunbury-Dunbar Music Publishing (now BMG), RCA's Canadian music publishing arm. There he became involved in the Canadian Country Music Association and served as secretary/treasurer of the organization.

RCA Music Publishing became BMG Music Publishing in 1986, and two years later, Solleveld was asked to return to New York to help organize the company's various international activities into one cohesive musical publishing effort. Serving as vice president of International BMG Publishing, worldwide, Solleveld had specific responsibilities over Canada, Spain, Latin American, and Eastern Europe.

Solleveld left his post with BMG in 2002, to join performing rights organization BMI as vice president, international. Eight months later he was promoted to senior vice president, international. Solleveld oversees all of BMI's international activities with an emphasis on relationships with foreign performing rights organizations. The key to his success is an ability to establish relationships with songwriters, composers, and music publishers around the world. www.bmi.com

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