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  Composers and Performers  fpn1956 at 11:07 on 26 June 2008

I have sent a number of my compositions to interested parties(mostly performers)who wish to look through the music,for possible performance.
Months later,I hear nothing and receive no response to enquiries.
What right has a performer(no matter how famous or talented)to hold on to a piece of work by someone else with no indication of when performances will take place?
Isn't this a cheap way of building up a performer's repertoire and HOW can I ensure this does NOT happen again?
Whenever money or commissions are mentioned,correspondence and interest rapidly deteriorates!
By the way,I am a PRS member and all my works are registered with them.

  Re: Composers and Performers  Nicolas Tzortzis at 12:45 on 26 June 2008

I'm sorry but I didn't get that quite right:
You send performers pieces and you don't hear back from them.Did they ask you to do that or dis it your initiative?
Do they play your pieces?if yes,they should tell you when and where.
If they don't play them,what kind of response would you expect? "ahhh,yeeees,I did take a look,but unfortunately my schedule doesn't allow me to programm your work",or something of the sort.A kind way to let you know they are not interested.

I think that the only way to ensure that this does not happen again is to not send anything ever again.When you send,you are automatically setting yourself up for this.
And if you send to famous and talented performers,with busy schedules,then it is only logical that you don't get any answer,them being so busy and all...
my thought?keep sending.but once you send it,forget all about it.And if at some point you get an anwser,that's cool.if not,no problem,life goes on.It's the same as with competitions..
perseverence is everything.

  Re: Composers and Performers  Account Closed at 19:25 on 30 June 2008

I guess that it's a bit like approaching publishers. When I send pieces off, I make it clear that I wish to know that they have arrived, and how long the review process will take. When the estimated review time is up, then I will chase the publisher if I haven't heard anything. Some publishers don't acknowledge anything, so if I hear nothing, I assume they have no interest in the works.


  Re: Composers and Performers  James McFadyen at 19:43 on 30 June 2008

It could take up to 6 months to get a reply from a publisher, sometimes more. Although smaller publishers are able to respond far quicker.

Publishing schedules are yet another matter and the composer will have to be patient; there's a lot that goes into putting a work into publication.

  Re: Composers and Performers  atticmusic at 22:17 on 30 June 2008

I have to confess, the process of getting new music performed is very frustrating,especially when trying to interest well known figures. I have found that approaching local groups and soloists the most successful way to hear my music played - though most are not professional, many are enthusiastic and pretty competent.
Hope you get some success with your efforts.


  Re: Composers and Performers  scott_good at 05:05 on 01 July 2008


local is the way to go for so many aspects of life.

i always recommend that composers keep up their performing. this is the best way to meet musicians.

and although i agree in part with nicolas - perseverance is key to any success - i think it is wise to leave as little to chance as possible. perform. go to concerts. get excited about players or ensemble and let them know you are interested in working with them. but honestly, cold calling is rarely successful. people want to work with people they know (unless that person has a reputation...). this is how most things work in life.

i find it very discouraging to get rejections. so, i leave very little to chance. there are soooo many composers, one has to ask one's self "why would they pick me, when there are so many other choices?" a personal connection (+ quality!!!!) is the key to getting works played.

i have never had a piece not performed. how? compose for people, not paper.

another idea: maybe if a special event is happening (whatever that might be), a new work might be welcome to enhance the event - think about function and purpose - have your work be a special contribution to something larger than just musical performance.


  Re: Composers and Performers  cStark at 18:32 on 22 July 2008

First of all, make sure that no work from you is being played without your knowledge or allowance.

Apart from that, I don't see any problem. If you want a feedback or, more than that, a performance of your pieces, there's no other way than you making the first step, make some calls and ask if your piece has already arrived and been studied by the performer(s). If yes, just ask for a feedback - maybe there are some problems or questions left open.

My experience with professional musicians is: they don't have that much time. And even if, they rarely are very motivated to study new or experimental music scores in their freetime.

So, in my opinion, there are three ways out of your problem:
Either you're already SO important and famous that everybody is hot for playing your stuff.
Or you make the first step und put the musicians you chose for your music under some soft(!) kind of pressure. I mean - sooner or later you will have to communicate with them either way.
Or you don't send anything to anyone, and ask for a meeting instead. During that meeting, you can hand out a copy of your work, so you can make sure that he or she receives the piece and takes at least a peek at it while you're present. That's what I do mostly.

I don't really know that much about the new music scene in the U.S. - do you also have something like the Ferienkurse fuer neue Musik Darmstadt? If you do, you really have to check it out, because you meet many musicians there, who are actually interested in playing your stuff.