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Commissions: Headliner


One of the principal duties we have as musical artists—and often one of the greatest joys—is to encourage and collaborate with composers. In performing the great works of the standard repertoire, musicians are essentially in conversation with a composer. For example, one of the reasons young orchestral players study concerti and symphonies is because the composers of the past have much to teach us through their work. It is truly a magnificent experience to sit at the organ console and learn my way through a Bach prelude and fugue — he is an incredibly patient teacher! Having this compositional conversation with a living composer can be a very rewarding experience.

As artists we must continue to play and perform the classical canon, but we are also charged with fostering new growth and new music that reflects the peoples and cultures of today. As a composer, I seek to further develop my musicianship in the compositional process. There is something exciting about playing music that has never been performed before!

For me, the compositional process often requires more conversation, investigation, and a wealth of meditation before actually sitting at a piano or writing notes on a page. When collaborating with other musicians, I will often discuss musical and thematic inspirations, choice of text, the mission of a commissioning organization or benefactor, what atmosphere is trying to be portrayed through the musical ideas, and many more elements. If I am asked to compose for a specific choir or ensemble, I will often try to attend a performance or at least find a good recording of the group so that I can keep in mind the ensemble’s strengths and soundscape.

Commissioning costs widely vary, and are dependent upon a number of factors:

Duration/length (in minutes)
Deadline (timeframe for preparing final score)
Range of ensemble (size, instrumental vs. choral, etc.)
Text (copyright permissions, translation preparation, IPA preparation, etc.)
Travel expenses (for premier or other host event)

New Music USA (formerly "Meet The Composer") has set up guidelines for the commissioning of new music. If you are new to the process of creating new works, this is a great resource for reading up on the process.

If you have any questions about the process of commissioning a work, or if you would like to start a conversation, please contact me below! It would be my honor and pleasure to help you realize your musical dreams.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Commissions: Team Members
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