What do A&R Directors do?A&R was developed in the 50s when it was rare for artists to write their own material. In those days A&R was concerned with matching artists with songwriters. Nowadays A&R is responsible for scouting new talent, signing them to a label and then overseeing all aspects of the process that leads up to the delivery of all finished recordings. A&R is also concerned with the development of artists as they grow and mature.
The Artist & Repertoire (A&R) Director runs the department responsible for finding and signing new music talent. They are responsible for the budget of the department, managing the staff, hiring new staff and sometimes acting as A&R manager for larger acts. They are responsible for managing the A&R co-ordinators and other A&R staff.
An A&R Director needs a thorough understanding of music and the contemporary music scene. They need to know how music works and how albums are recorded and produced. Decisions must be based on sound knowledge, research and understanding of the music. It is helpful to have a good understanding of a variety of genres, for example classical, contemporary, rock, pop, and jazz. They also need excellent judgement to make decisions about the likelihood of commercial success, and the negotiating skills to ensure they get the best deal for the record company while supporting the artists' ambitions.
Job description sources include (but are not limited to) imdb.com, skillset.org and wikipedia.