Getting your work performed

Hello

I am looking for the best ways to get my work performed.

I am planning to go to concerts and speak with performers and check with composers competitions but are there other ways people here could recommend

Many thx

Jon

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  • Although I have just done things myself for a while now, I wrote some things in the past that were performed live by myself and others in small groups. My takeaway from those experiences was that the easiest way to get your work heard live and with real performance is to know/befriend both performers and individuals who organize relevant events...and if you don't know people in high places, you may need to set the bar pretty low and compose accordingly. A piece for few performers at a smaller venue stands a much better chance at getting all the way to being played and heard by some people. It also helps to write something that the specific performers you have in mind are actually interested in doing. If you write something the performers don't like stylistically or that they physically struggle to play (a very real risk if you don't play the instrument yourself), then it can easily turn into battle if you aren't paying them to put up with it. 

  • If I need to record a piece with good musicians, I have to pay. I certainly don't object to paying good players well, because they deserve it, and you get what you pay for. It takes a bit of budgeting, though (and don't forget the catering!), and can't be done often as liked.
    A handy spinoff of this, though, is to write another piece for the ensemble or soloist you have used, and dedicate the piece to them. This gives you a connection on paper, and a piece they can 'call their own' is likely to interest them more than an anonymous submission.
    Even if you haven't worked with them, go to a performance of theirs, then contact and say you were so impressed by their expertise you have decided to write a piece for them. Its an introduction.

  • Get some friends.  Have them over for beers and have them play through your music.  This is a time tested method.  Your friends love you and will try their best for you.  But at the same time, because they are your friends, they will also tell you the 'bad news' when something doesn't work or is generally sucky.  Get some beer/wine/food.  Make a party out of it.   Not only will this get your music played, but will help in building relationships with performers, which is CRUCIAL in the 21st century.  The old model of the composer writing his music in a vacuum is no longer useful. Add social media (Google hangouts, U-stream etc.) and it's really, really easy to get yourself out there.

    Performing your own work is also a great idea. After all, no one will ever understand your music better than you.  But there is a part you will be missing which is the lesson regarding when OTHER people have to decipher your scores which really is one of the most important lessons one can learn from each piece.

    -tim

  • I am in the exact same position. My attack has been to reach the AGENTS of the Pianists / Ensembles as well as the musicians. Also, go to the nearest symphony orchestra(s) and get a meeting with the President of the Orchestra. It would be well advised to get that meeting through someone the President knows.  A new face in the crowd is not enough to get their attention.  And TENACITY TENACITY TENACITY.  DILEGENCE DILEGENCE DILEGENCE, MAKE IT FUN, FUN, FUN.

  • Hi! I agree that directly approaching the people you want to play your works is obviously the best option. However realistically keep in mind if these instrumentalists aren't getting payed, they're going to want reason to play your works. If possible presenting a sample produced score or piano reduction would be the simplest bets. 

    Also aside from concert performances there are plenty of ways to get your works performed and out there. Look out for contemporary art & music programs etc. You can just build from there, if a performer sees your work already being played they'd probably feel much more comfortable.

    Best luck!

    -Kora



  • Kora J said:

    Hi! I agree that directly approaching the people you want to play your works is obviously the best option. However realistically keep in mind if these instrumentalists aren't getting payed, they're going to want reason to play your works. If possible presenting a sample produced score or piano reduction would be the simplest bets. 

    Also aside from concert performances there are plenty of ways to get your works performed and out there. Look out for contemporary art & music programs etc. You can just build from there, if a performer sees your work already being played they'd probably feel much more comfortable.

    Best luck!

    -Kora

    Getting your work performed
    Hello I am looking for the best ways to get my work performed. I am planning to go to concerts and speak with performers and check with composers c…
  • Thank you Kora. I received exactly what you said, concerning a touring concert pianist who was concertizing at the Chicago cultural center on Michigan Avenue. His name is Sohiel Nasseri, and he told me how much more interested he would be should my work be already performed in a recital.  He told me how things were done in New York like this.  A composer funds the recital, the performer, the venue, and hopes for critical response rather than an immediate financial one. Of course paying for all of those would be upwards of $2000.00 at the minimum.  Mr.Nasseri also insisted that I remember that he is in SHOW BUSINESS.  And that should always be close in mind.



    Wesley Lawrence Curry II said:



    Kora J said:

    Hi! I agree that directly approaching the people you want to play your works is obviously the best option. However realistically keep in mind if these instrumentalists aren't getting payed, they're going to want reason to play your works. If possible presenting a sample produced score or piano reduction would be the simplest bets. 

    Also aside from concert performances there are plenty of ways to get your works performed and out there. Look out for contemporary art & music programs etc. You can just build from there, if a performer sees your work already being played they'd probably feel much more comfortable.

    Best luck!

    -Kora

    http://composersforum.ning.com/forum/comment/show?id=773368%3AComment%3A376895&xn_out=json&firstPag…
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