Barrett Wissman – Executive and Co-Artistic Director
TAORMINA ARTE SICILIA FONDAZIONE
Ester Bonafede – Intendant
Beatrice Venezi – Artistic Director
Barrett Wissman – Co-Artistic Director
Barrett Wissman has been the Chairman of IMG Artists, the global leader in the performing arts talent management, touring, event management and consulting business for the last 20 years. At the helm of IMG Artists, the Company has expanded its presence across the Americas, Europe and Asia. IMG Artists represents over 500 artists, arts organizations and companies in addition to founding and operating festivals and working with non-profit arts organizations around the globe.
Mostly recently, Barrett Wissman was appointed as the Executive and Artistic Director of the Taormina Film Festival, www.taorminafilmfestival.com, and recently completed his first edition of the Festival. Mr. Wissman has re-established the event’s significance both in the Italian and international markets attracting over 60 films, multiple international and European premieres and appearances by some of the biggest international and Italian entertainment celebrities and movie stars active today. The Festival is one of the most prestigious film festivals in Europe and Italy attracting international filmmakers, actors, and film lovers from all over the world. The festival boasts a rich and vibrant history and has hosted the premieres for numerous notable films including La Dolce Vita, The Godfather, Braveheart, Mission Impossible and many, many more.
Mr. Wissman founded and is currently a principal and partner in technology, and investment companies as well as on the boards of several non-profit enterprises. He has continued to be actively involved in music, serving on the boards of arts institutions including the Fondazione Accademia Internazionale di Imola, one of the most prestigious academic institutions of higher learning in music performance. Mr Wissman is also the Chairman of the Del Sole Foundation for the Arts and Humanities which supports performing arts organizations, talent and events around the globe.
Barrett Wissman’s commitment to music began at an early age with serious piano study. He made several debuts as a concert pianist with prominent orchestras from the age of 11 and won several national and international competitions thereafter. He graduated cum laude from Yale University and went on to receive graduate degrees in music from Southern Methodist University and the Accademia Chigiana in Italy.
Mr. Wissman founded the Festival del Sole in Cortona, Italy and Festival Napa Valley as well as the Singapore Sun Festival in Singapore, The Palm Springs Life Festival in the Coachella Valley and the Placido Domingo Festival in Seville Spain, which have all celebrated the performing, visual and culinary arts as well as theatre, dance and wellness.
As part of his work in the arts, Barrett Wissman has collaborated as a producer and collaborator with such great artists and luminaries as Robert Redford, Jeremy Irons, Placido Domingo, Harrison Ford, Sophia Loren, Anthony Hopkins, Sting, Renee Fleming, John Malkovich, Robert De Niro and many others.
Mr. Wissman has been given the honor of being a Honorary Citizen of Italy or “Cittadino Onorario” by the Italian government and has received an award from the Italian American Association as one of the most influential Americans in business in Italy for his accomplishments there by the Mayor of Florence and later the Prime Minister of Italy, Matteo Renzi.
Mr. Wissman has most recently founded one of the leading management firms in the social media business advising talent, brands, companies and non-profit organizations on their strategies in the social media business.
Mr. Wissman recently co-founded the W Preserve in Montana with Nina Kotova to create a haven for performers, visual artists, writers and thinkers alike. Against the spectacular backdrop of the Beartooth mountains and millions of acres of national forest in south central Montana, W Preserve is a retreat where artists can meet, collaborate, exchange ideas and perform in the midst of untouched natural beauty.
In 2021, Mr. Wissman founded Domus Artium, which brings international artists, actors and musicians to Rome to perform in venues of architectural and historical significance. The project and its elements can be seen on its website, www.domusartium.org .