If you are interested in commissioning a new composition, the first step is to get in touch. There are many funding avenues for both organisations and individuals to help or cover for commissioning and performance fees.

I broadly follow the commissioning fees guidelines outlined by the Contemporary Music Centre Ireland (CMC). 

Seven Rocks , commissioned by the  Norman Nicholson Society , with support from the  Bitten-Pears Foundation .

Seven Rocks, commissioned by the Norman Nicholson Society, with support from the Bitten-Pears Foundation.

To commission music is to pay a composer to write a particular composition for a specific purpose or event. Anyone can commission music, and any type of music can be commissioned.

Choose a composer whose music moves you and who can write for the occasion and the instrumentation you have in mind. Contact candidate composers or their publisher to request samples of their music.

Base the commission fee on the composer’s reputation, length of the work, number of performers, and the budget of the commissioning party. Consult the schedule of fees in this guide, seek professional advice, and remember, fees are always negotiable.

Keep music copying costs separate. The costs of copying the score, extracting instrumental parts, and duplicating these materials are the commissioning party’s responsibilities. A composer’s publisher may share these costs.

Plan for performance or recording and agree on the composer’s involvement in rehearsals and public presentations. Performing and recording costs and personal appearance fees are separate from the commission and should be agreed on in advance.