Composers Forum is a daily web log that allows invited contemporary composers to share their thoughts and ideas on any topic that interests them--from the ethereal, like how new music gets created, music history, theory, performance, other composers, alive or dead, to the mundane, like getting works played and recorded and the joys of teaching. If you're a professional composer and would like to participate, send us an e-mail.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2005
How to get your music performed

I agree that knowing a lot of performers, especially wonderful performers who love your music, are self-starters, and create their own concerts and performance opportunities, helps you have more performances. You meet these performers in music school, at conferences, by attending their concerts, through friends and the performersí agents, and sometimes accidentally at parties, for example. You reach out to them by sending them scores, CDs, brochures, and CD and concert advertisements. I think the main thing about getting performances is to remain actively hopeful. Be persistent in a good way. Trust that you have written music that some number of performers will want to perform, love, and champion. If you feel that your music is valuable, it is easier to offer your music to performers and conductors.

This advice assumes that you have already gotten the music copied beautifully and that the CDs are reasonably well recorded and clearly marked.

Actually, the quickest way to get your music performed is to either arrange a concert yourself or to collaborate with another composer or group of composers and put on a concert. Hire the players and do the advertising and get the music out there. If you donít already have a recording of the work, make one at the concert. Then you will have a recording to send out to get further performances. Be a self-starter yourself. You donít have to wait to see if a mythical string quartet will magically fall in love with your new quartet. You can hire one and then at least you can hear the piece outside of midi. You can make whatever changes seem desirable and you can proceed onward. Bravery is likely to be rewarded.




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