Meeting Commission Deadlines - Why do Orchestras Accept This?

There is a lot of furor over Golijov using music by Philip Glass in a commission for the Chicago Symphony. One of the comments suggests he struggles to meet commission deadlines. In a blog post defending Golijov, Glass Notes said, "other composers regularly don't meet deadlines on high profile commissions."

WHAT???

Dallas Symphony recently gave a concert of James Newton Howard. Mr Howard was commissioned to write a new piece for the concert but other deadlines got in the way.

While I appreciate a concert of Mr Howard's music has more audience appeal than my own. Mr Golijov also has name recognition that I do not. But I have NEVER missed a deadline --and I never intended on ever missing one.

If I'm contracted for a piece, I consider that contract to be an obligation on my part. Just as much as I hate when an ensemble decides to not play one of my pieces at the last minute, not providing the music for a commission is just as frustrating.

Last year, I was commissioned by the Boulder Symphony to provide a piece for their concert "Heroism Reborn" --which they just gave last Friday. Over the course of the year, the commission was changed from an orchestral piece with solo performer, to an orchestral piece, then to a brass and percussion piece and ultimately brass and timpani music. The last change was only a slight modification from the score I had already provided, but the switch from orchestral to brass and percussion meant I went back to the drawing board to write something completely new.

Composers out there might cringe at the thought of having to write a completely new work for the same commission. But I feel it is my role as composer to give the ensemble what they need for their performance.

I may not have the audience appeal YET - but I will. AND when an orchestra requests a piece of music, they know they will get it.

For those composers out there who can't seem to make their deadlines? How about sharing the wealth? There are a lot of composers like me who would gladly take over any commissions you don't seem to have time for.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Art of String Quartets by Brian Ferneyhough

Pacific Symphony's Ninth American Composers Festival Explores The Composers And Music That Belonged To "Hollywood's Golden Age"

New Music: "A Sweeter Music" by Sarah Cahill