Music has a way of etching memories into our brains. The creation of these memories is a composer’s greatest joy in collaboration with you.
Working one-on-one with each other, we have the advantage of discussing ideas, preferences, strengths, constraints, and other parameters for the project you envision from the start. We will share an objective that has never really been had before!
What and for Whom?
What is the occasion? If you are requesting an instrumental work, I have many ideas for band and orchestral projects which I have yet to explore; but what are your ideas? If you are requesting a choral or vocal work, the choice of text(s) to be sung is of utmost importance. So, I always encourage my collaborators to come with a text, poet, or subject matter in mind.
There are often obstacles in securing permissions to set, print, copy, and (self-)publish music on certain texts, e.g., delays in correspondence, significant fees, or refusal on the part of copyright holders. As a general rule, texts published after 1923 are still under copyright in the United States. In spite of such inconvenience, it is an especially enriching experience to work with a living author or poet, rather than to settle for an old, public domain text in archaic language.
My current commission fee for an original musical work is $1,000 USD per minute or, with the addition of a piano or keyboard part, $1,500 USD per minute. This expense covers composing, engraving, securing permissions for a text if necessary, part extraction if necessary, printing, copying, and shipping per your request. All fees are negotiable.
In most cases, I will ask for 1/2 of the fee upon signing the Contract and 1/2 upon delivery of the score(s). If you are not able to pay 1/2 of the fee upfront, I will ask for 1/3 of the fee upon signing the Contract, 1/3 upon delivery of the score(s), and 1/3 the day of the première of the commissioned work.
Effective 1 January 2018, I require at least a six-month window between the date of receipt of your initial payment of the commission fee and the deadline for the submission of the commissioned work. I will not consider myself hired under any circumstances until I have received an initial payment, i.e., I will not “work ahead” on any particular project before I receive an initial payment.
Because I am composing multiple commissions per year, understand that I operate on a first-come, first-served basis. To ensure that our calendars run smoothly, it is advisable that we establish a Contract at least one year before the first anticipated rehearsal of the commissioned work. Doing so will give us plenty of time to discuss our thoughts concerning the work and to secure permissions for a text if necessary.
Updated 11 May 2018.