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CE for
Leisure-time Ensembles
& Orchestras

Whether you’re a community orchestra, young person’s ensemble or other leisure-time instrumental group we’re proud to provide you with the sheet music of a fantastic range of works suited to relaxed community musical settings.

Whatever your needs you’ll get a personal service from the Composers Edition team. Performing Artist Services Manager Isa Gibbs is standing by and would love to hear from you!

Find the perfect fit for your programme

If you head over to our catalogue search or any category you’ll be able to search and filter according to composer(s), duration and year(s) of composition. You can also select particular composer(s) and combine any of these with text search of anything from a particular instrument to a theme or type of work. Here are some examples:

A cappella choral music composed since 2000

Brass + ‘fanfare’

Chamber Orchestra works up to 10 minutes duration

.

Great repertoire ideas

If you’ve already got an idea of what you’re looking for – perhaps something to fit the theme of your concert – go ahead and send us a call for works and we’ll gather a hand-picked collection of great repertoire suggestions for you. 

Undiscovered works

Living composers continue to produce new works so there may be works by our composers which aren’t yet published but could be perfect for your performance. Plus, often our composers will be happy to make adjustments to existing pieces so they work just as well for your choir. Find out more with a call for works.

Affordable parts

To ensure tight budgets don’t get in the way of music-making we offer larger choirs special deals on individual scores – talk to us to benefit from our flexible pricing.

Celebratory publicity for your event

As a community getting together to perform you’ve got an inspirational story to share. Be featured in our news on the CE website, mailing list and through our social media accounts, with special features and profiles for your important events. Take a look at what’s new to see how we celebrate performances of new music!

Commission a new work!

As well as having the privilege of bringing a new work to life, including a premiere in your programme is a great way to build a sense of anticipation and intrigue to draw your audiences in. Here at Composers Edition we want you to know that, whoever you are, you can be a part of musical history by commissioning new work – specially composed for your ensemble.

Composers love to get to know those performing their works for the first time and can take an active part in your special event, attending rehearsals, performances and giving talks. 

Since the process of commissioning can be somewhat of an enigma, we’ve made it our mission to help demystify it for you, guiding you through what is a truly exciting process. And as ever, we’re here to advise and support you throughout your project.

“ensemble” by May Kindred-Boothby
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CE for Choirs

Whether you’re a community choir, children’s chorus, a cappella group or professional choir we’re proud to provide you with the sheet music of a fantastic range of works suited to your musical settings. 

Whatever your needs you’ll get a personal service from the Composers Edition team. Performing Artist Services Manager Isa Gibbs is standing by and would love to hear from you!

Find the perfect fit for your programme

If you head over to our catalogue search or any category you’ll be able to search and filter according to composer(s), duration and year(s) of composition. You can also select particular composer(s) and combine any of these with text search of anything from a particular instrument to a theme or type of work. Here are some examples:

Chamber Music + ‘violin’ and ‘flute’ composed since 2000

Brass + ‘fanfare’

Chamber or Ensemble + ‘electronics’

.

Great repertoire ideas

If you’ve already got an idea of what you’re looking for – perhaps something to fit the theme of your concert – go ahead and send us a call for works and we’ll gather a hand-picked collection of great repertoire suggestions for you. 

Undiscovered works

Living composers continue to produce new works so there may be works by our composers which aren’t yet published but could be perfect for your performance. Plus, often our composers will be happy to make adjustments to existing pieces so they work just as well for your choir. Find out more with a call for works.

Affordable parts

To ensure tight budgets don’t get in the way of the music, we offer larger choirs special deals on individual scores – talk to us to benefit from our flexible pricing.

Additional services for leisure-time choirs

At Composers Edition we’ll always do our best to accommodate your needs and help you realise your artistic vision;

Celebratory publicity for your event

As a community getting together to perform you’ve got an inspirational story to share. Be featured in our news on the CE website, mailing list and through our social media accounts, with special features and profiles for your important events. Take a look at what’s new to see how we celebrate performances of new music!

Order individual songs from larger vocal works

We don’t want you to miss out on some brilliant songs because they’re part of a song cycle, an opera, or a musical that doesn’t fit within your time constraints or your budget. So, we’re more than happy to tailor larger works to your wishes. If you’ve something particular theme in mind, send in a call for works and we’ll fetch you some song suggestions!

Get a reduced accompaniment

Found something you love but just don’t have the forces or the budget to make it work? We can solve that! We now offer an accompaniment reduction service so that you don’t have to rule out a large-scale work because of the forces required. Whether you’d like a piano reduction, an organ arrangement or something different, let us know and we’ll assess the possibilities with your composer. 

Commission a new work!

As well as having the privilege of bringing a new work to life, including a premiere in your programme is a great way to build a sense of anticipation and intrigue to draw your audiences in. Here at Composers Edition we want you to know that, whoever you are, you can be a part of musical history by commissioning new work – specially composed for your choir. 

Since the process of commissioning can be somewhat of an enigma, we’ve made it our mission to help demystify it for you, guiding you through what is a truly exciting process. And as ever, we’re here to advise and support you throughout your project.

"Community" Illustration by May Kindred-Boothby
“Community” Illustration by May Kindred-Boothby
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CE for
Ensembles
& Orchestras

Conductors, artistic directors and musical curators – we’re here for you! We understand that programming and performing new contemporary repertoire can bring particular challenges. Selecting new orchestral and ensemble works is rarely a case of simply browsing and choosing. Whatever your needs you’ll get a personal service from the Composers Edition team. Performing Artist Services Manager Isa Gibbs is standing by and would love to hear from you!

Find the perfect fit for your programme

If you head over to our catalogue search or any category you’ll be able to search and filter according to composer(s), duration and year(s) of composition. You can also select particular composer(s) and combine any of these with text search of anything from a particular instrument to a theme or type of work. Here are some examples:

Ensemble, including piano up to 15 minutes duration

Ensemble works composed since 2020

Chamber or Ensemble + ‘electronics’

.

Great repertoire ideas

If you’ve already got an idea of what you’re looking for – perhaps something to fit the theme of your concert, or partner a repertoire classic – go ahead and send us a call for works and we’ll gather a hand-picked collection of great suggestions for you. 

Undiscovered works

Living composers continue to produce new works so there may be works by our composers which aren’t yet published but could be perfect for your performance. Plus, often our composers will be happy to make adjustments to existing pieces so they work just as well for you. Find out more with a call for works

Digital perusal scores

All of our works pages on this website provide previews, but we understand that for bigger programming decisions you might need to peruse whole scores. No problem! simply let us know which works you’re interested in and we’ll provide free digital perusal copies.

Affordable hire & sale

To ensure tight budgets don’t get in the way of music-making we tailor our prices according to who you are and the specifics of your performance – get in touch to benefit from our flexible pricing.

Premiere a new work

Composers sometimes compose orchestral and ensemble works not to commission but because the works simply demand to be composed. Join the CE Club to receive email updates on pieces awaiting their first performance and grab the chance to make history!

As well as having the privilege of bringing a new work to life, including a premiere in your programme is a great way to build a sense of anticipation and intrigue to draw your audiences in. Here at Composers Edition we want you to know that, whoever you are, you can be a part of musical history by commissioning new work – specially composed for you. 

Since the process of commissioning can be somewhat of an enigma, we’ve made it our mission to help demystify it for you, guiding you through what is a truly exciting process. And as ever, we’re here to advise and support you throughout your project.

“Baton spirit” by May Kindred-Boothby
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CE for
Soloists & Chamber Groups

Whether you’re looking for the perfect fit for your recital, on a mission to expand the repertoire for your unique ensemble or looking for the ideal collaborators, we’re here to speed up your repertoire search and illuminate new possibilities!

Whatever your needs you’ll get a personal service from the Composers Edition team. Performing Artist Services Manager Isa Gibbs is standing by and would love to hear from you!

Find the perfect fit for your programme

If you head over to our catalogue search or any category you’ll be able to search and filter according to composer(s), duration and year(s) of composition. You can also select particular composer(s) and combine any of these with text search of anything from a particular instrument to a theme or type of work. Here are some examples:

String quartets of 10 to 20 minutes duration

Solo piano works + ‘sonata’

Chamber works + ‘electronics’

.

Great repertoire ideas

If you’ve already got an idea of what you’re looking for – perhaps something to fit the theme of your concert – go ahead and send us a call for works and we’ll gather a hand-picked collection of great repertoire suggestions for you. 

Undiscovered works

Living composers continue to produce new works so there may be works by our composers which aren’t yet published but could be perfect for your performance. Plus, often our composers will be happy to make adjustments to existing pieces so they work just as well for your choir. Find out more with a call for works.

Collaborate with our composers

Perhaps you’re looking to record a set of new works but you’re not sure where to begin, or sketching plans for a multi-media project you’ve been dreaming of for years. Here’s your chance to make it happen! Let us in on your plans by emailing Isa Gibbs at [email protected] and we’ll help you find the perfect composer-partner.

Premiere a new work!

Join the CE Club to receive email updates on pieces awaiting their first performance or email Isa Gibbs at [email protected] and grab the chance to make history! Find premiering opportunities here, and keep your eyes peeled for updates!

Electronics

Our composers’ work isn’t solely acoustic. Amplification, pre-recorded tape parts and interactive set-ups broaden sonic possibilities. Take a look at the CE repertoire employing electronics here or drop us a line to plan a collaborative project.

Instruments from the past

New music’s not just for modern-day instruments. Lutes, cornetts, viols, and the like – we’d love to see lots more new works calling on the lesser-heard sounds and techniques of earlier eras! [Take a look at our existing catalogue for early instruments here] or drop us a line to explore the possibilities for commissioning.

Cross-cultural and cross-genre

If your background isn’t in western classical music you’re very welcome here too. Whether you’re a jazz musician, a folk musician or trained in another classical tradition we’d love to help you combine soundworlds with our composers!

Celebratory publicity for your event

As a community getting together to perform you’ve got an inspirational story to share. Be featured in our news on the CE website, mailing list and through our social media accounts, with special features and profiles for your important events. Take a look at what’s new to see how we celebrate performances of new music!

Commission a new work!

As well as having the privilege of bringing a new work to life, including a premiere in your programme is a great way to build a sense of anticipation and intrigue to draw your audiences in. Here at Composers Edition we want you to know that, whoever you are, you can be a part of musical history by commissioning new work – specially composed for your ensemble.

Composers love to get to know those performing their works for the first time and can take an active part in your special event, attending rehearsals, performances and giving talks. 

Since the process of commissioning can be somewhat of an enigma, we’ve made it our mission to help demystify it for you, guiding you through what is a truly exciting process. And as ever, we’re here to advise and support you throughout your project.

“spotlight” by May Kindred-Boothby
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CE for
Community
& Leisure-time Groups

You might have thought of contemporary music as a little too serious, unusual or technically demanding for your leisure-time or community group – at Composers Edition we’re here to show you that’s very often not the case!

Our catalogue will likely reassure you that music being written today is for you too. Follow the links below to find repertoire suited to leisure-time musicians, get inspired and see how the Composers Edition team will personally go the extra mile to support your creative endeavours:

Whether you’re an old hand or if contemporary music is entirely new to you, don’t hesitate to drop the CE team a line – we’ll give you whatever guidance you need as you explore new musical ground.

"Community" Illustration by May Kindred-Boothby
“Community” Illustration by May Kindred-Boothby
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CE for
Students, Teachers,
Institutions

Music departments, conservatoires, teachers, summer schools, youth music organisations – we’re here for you! Let us give you a hand with finding the repertoire that will meet your technical and artistic criteria and help you inspire the next generation of musicians.

Whatever your needs you’ll get a personal service from the Composers Edition team. Performing Artist Services Manager Isa Gibbs is standing by and would love to hear from you!

Student-ready pieces

Assessing the difficulty of contemporary music isn’t always straightforward. Some works which may at first appear technically undemanding can throw up some unexpected challenges. 

That’s why we’ve worked closely with our composers to select and grade works for a wide range of instruments, chamber, ensemble and orchestral groups. Take a look at our student selection and if you can’t quite find what you’re looking for, talk to us!

Great repertoire ideas

With such a broad range of musical styles and approaches our composers will no doubt have something suitable for you whether for your termly concert programme, a conducting exam or your student’s final recital.

So if you’ve got an idea of what you’re looking for – perhaps something to fit a theme or a specific instrumentation – go ahead and send in a call for works and we’ll gather a collection of great repertoire suggestions from our composers.

Undiscovered works

Living composers continue to produce new works so there may be works by our composers which aren’t yet published but could be perfect for your performance. Plus, often our composers will be happy to make adjustments to existing pieces so they work just as well for you. Find out more with a call for works

Order individual songs from larger works

We don’t want you to miss out on some brilliant songs because they’re part of an opera or a musical that doesn’t fit within your time constraints or budget. So, we’re more than happy to tailor larger works to your wishes. If you’ve got a particular theme in mind, send in a call for works and we’ll fetch you some song suggestions!

Commission a reduced accompaniment

Found something you love but just don’t have the forces or the budget to make it work? We can solve that! We now offer an accompaniment reduction service so that you don’t have to rule out a large-scale work because of the forces required. Whether you’d like a piano reduction, an organ arrangement or something different, let us know and we’ll assess the possibilities with your composer. 

Electronics

Our composers’ work isn’t solely acoustic. Amplification, pre-recorded tape parts and interactive set-ups broaden sonic possibilities. Take a look at the CE repertoire employing electronics here or drop us a line to plan a collaborative project.

Instruments from the past

New music’s not just for modern-day instruments. Lutes, cornetts, viols, and the like – we’d love to see lots more new works calling on the lesser-heard sounds and techniques of earlier eras! [Take a look at our existing catalogue for early instruments here] or drop us a line to explore the possibilities for commissioning.

Cross-cultural and cross-genre

If your background isn’t in western classical music you’re very welcome here too. Whether you’re a jazz or folk musician or trained in another classical tradition we’d love to help you combine soundworlds with our composers!

Tight Budget?


We know that music education often doesn’t get the financial support it deserves, so we’re on your side when it comes to the costs. To make sure money doesn’t get in the way of brilliant musical opportunities, we offer educational discounts on hire and sale of works for larger forces – talk to us to benefit from our flexible pricing.

Commission a new work!

As well as having the privilege of bringing a new work to life, including a premiere in your programme is a great way to build a sense of anticipation and intrigue to draw your audiences in. Here at Composers Edition we want you to know that, whoever you are, you can be a part of musical history by commissioning new work – specially composed for your choir. 

Since the process of commissioning can be somewhat of an enigma, we’ve made it our mission to help demystify it for you, guiding you through what is a truly exciting process. And as ever, we’re here to advise and support you throughout your project.

“Passing on” by May Kindred-Boothby
Posted on

CE for
Festivals, Concert
& Event Planners

Festival directors and curators – we’re here for you! Whether you’re new music old-hands or looking to bring your audiences fresh experiences, we and our cohort of professional composers can deliver for you with works, programming suggestions and extras such as festival talks, not to mention your very own commissions.

Find the ideal music for your festival 

If you head over to our catalogue search or any category you’ll be able to search and filter according to composer(s), duration and year(s) of composition. You can also select particular composer(s) and combine any of these with text search of anything from a particular instrument to a theme or type of work. Here are some examples:

Orchestra with soprano soloist composed since 2010

All works with some reference to Shakespeare

Chamber or Ensemble + ‘electronics’

.

Great repertoire ideas

If you’ve already got an idea of what you’re looking for – perhaps something to fit the theme of your concert, or partner a repertoire classic – go ahead and send us a call for works and we’ll gather a hand-picked collection of great suggestions for you.

Undiscovered works

Living composers continue to produce new works so there may be works by our composers which aren’t yet published but could be perfect for your performance. Plus, often our composers will be happy to make adjustments to existing pieces so they work just as well for you. Find out more with a call for works

Looking for something a bit different?

As contemporary artists many of our composers have created works for a range of digital, electronic, multimedia setups. Some are also experienced in creating theatrical and installation works. If this is something that could fit your festival we can help you find the right existing works or composer to work with. Get in touch!

Celebratory publicity for your event

By bringing people together for unique experiences you and your festival have an inspirational story to share. Be featured in our news on the CE website, mailing list and through our social media accounts, with special features and profiles for your events. Take a look at what’s new to see how we celebrate performances of new music!

Commission a new work!

As well as having the privilege of bringing a new work to life, including a premiere in your programme is a great way to build a sense of anticipation and intrigue to draw your audiences in. Here at Composers Edition we want you to know that, whoever you are, you can be a part of musical history by commissioning new work – specially composed for your choir. 

Since the process of commissioning can be somewhat of an enigma, we’ve made it our mission to help demystify it for you, guiding you through what is a truly exciting process. And as ever, we’re here to advise and support you throughout your project.


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CE for
Commissioning

Here at Composers Edition we think about commissioning differently. Not as the preserve of new music specialists or big orchestras, but as an exciting and energising activity which everyone can take part in whether you’re a community choir, string quartet or festival organiser.

We know it can seem a daunting prospect not least given the variety of music being composed today but we’re here to help match you and the right composer with our

Where to start?

New to commissioning? No problem! Read our jargon-free short guide to commissioning

Ready to start your commissioning journey?

or

“Commissioning Spirit” Illustration by May Kindred-Boothby
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Commissioning New Music – A Short Guide

Illustration : May Kindred-Boothby

Bringing a brand new piece of music into the world for the first time is an incredibly exciting and rewarding experience. Always a collaboration, it brings performer(s), composer, audience and commissioner(s) together for a unique occasion. There’s always a sense of anticipation at a premiere performance as all the weeks, months, sometimes years of creative work of preparing, composing and rehearsing comes to a head in one special moment. No-one knows how it will sound, what the impact will be, until that moment.

While a few musicians get hooked on commissioning (watch out, it can be addictive!) many, both professional and leisure-time musicians, have misgivings about taking the plunge, and just as with anything you don’t practice regularly, it can seem a difficult or worrisome to approach. There may be many questions begging answers. What will the composer create? Will we enjoy rehearsing it? Will we be able to do perform it right? Will the composer approve? What will our audience make of it?

Our mission at Composers Edition is simple – we want many more performers and audiences to experience the wonder of playing, listening to and commissioning new music. As with everything we do, we take a fresh, friendly and inclusive approach to commissioning. Here’s our short guide to commissioning and below it what we can do to help you on your creative journey.

Preparing to commission

‘This is my first time performing Jack Van Zandt’s music and I’m delighted to be able to include it on my series. Painted Night is a very beautiful and evocative work that fits in very well with the series. I love how he invokes the painterly styles of each artist that he is referencing.’
more…

Eleonor Sandresk, pianist

For any new creative venture it gets much easier once you have a good sense of what you want to achieve. This will depend on a number of factors. What’s the occasion? When and where will it take place? Who’s involved in making it happen? What other works (musical or otherwise) will a commission be paired with? Which values do you wish to reflect or promote? How will the composer be recompensed? You may not have all the answers at the start. That’s ok, sometimes the greatest creations start with just one simple idea. Just keep these in mind as you proceed.

Already have a composer in mind? Great! As long as you have at least half of the above questions answered go right ahead at get talking. At this stage there’s no commitment, you’re just exploring whether in principal a collaboration will be possible. If you’re clear and upfront about what you’re after you’ll soon get a sense of whether you’ve got a good match. Many composers have their own websites and here at Composers Edition we’ll be happy to connect you with any of ours.

Not sure who to commission, or want to find someone new to you? Think of music you love to listen to or enjoy playing. If you’re thinking of commissioning then you probably want something special or unique in someway, so when thinking about existing music, try to distill what it is that attracts you to it. Is it a certain sound world, a particular form or addressing a particular subject? Combine this with the answers to the key questions above and go exploring. Go though your record collection, scan your memory for performances you’ve enjoyed, check out the websites of record labels, publishers, festivals. Talk to your associates and friends, get recommendations. If a similar performer or commissioner has worked with a composer, ask them about their experience.

TOP TIP – Make a shortlist. It’s all too easy to get fixed early on to a particular composer, precipitating some tunnelled thinking which can sometimes lead to unmet expectations, uncomfortable compromises and misunderstandings. Exploring ideas and options with a number of composers can help you better understand what it is you really want achieve.

Getting the ball rolling

‘This 2018 work by Ryan Latimer, taking text from Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick, is one of our most successful and enjoyable commissions. The words and music convey a wit rarely heard in choral music, allowing a performance that is fun for singers and audience alike.’
more…

David Temple, Crouch End Festival Chorus

Equipped with your short list and answers to some of your key questions, you’re now ready to make your approaches. Sometimes this will be via an agent or publisher, or direct with the composer. Be clear about what you’re about and any parameters you already have, but remember that this is just the start of a conversation. It might be that this isn’t the right time for a particular composer, or not quite the right sort of project for them. The story doesn’t have to end there and you might be able to develop a collaboration at another time. And remember, just talking through ideas can be illuminating for you.

Give the process time. Correspond, share your ideas and don’t be shy to ask for theirs. You might have questions you feel awkward asking, that’s ok. Just take your time and all will become clear! Throughout this whole process, you can always press the pause button, or for the composer, agent or publisher to do so.

Discuss practicalities. Not only the when and where, but about your resources such as instruments and available rehearsal time. What time-frame works in terms of rehearsals or preparation of scores and parts? How many performances will there be? Will you want printed or digital scores and parts? Is it important that you have exclusive performance rights for a given period? Will it get published? Do you want to record or livestream the performance? Are you just expecting a set of parts to arrive or might the composer be involved in rehearsals? Might they take on other roles as a guest of your organisation or festival? Will they need to travel or require accommodation at any point? You don’t have to get all the answers before proceeding, but asking the right questions will help you develop the best possible experience for all involved.

Think you’ve found the one?

‘My wish was to choose works of composers that were able to capture the soul of the instrument and in this regard I am extremely happy with Charlotte’s piece, which certainly does!’
more…

Cristina Gómez Godoy, oboist

Well it’s usually one. Composers rarely work together on pieces, but there may be a librettist, poet or visual artist involved, or maybe you’re after more than one piece. It’s now time to make an agreement. There are various sources for contracts depending on where in the world you are, but whatever you use make sure it covers the following:

  • A project summary covering the commission circumstances, aims and key deliverables
  • The Composition : duration & forces (including any specifics for the performers involved and anything that might need bringing in such (electronics & multimedia)
  • The Performance(s) : when and where
  • The Schedule : set out agreed deadlines for performance materials and rehearsal schedules
  • The Legacy : Will the work be published? Will the performance be recorded? How will you be credited? Generally composers or their publishers will assume the copyright, but what about performance rights
  • Payment schedule
  • Clear indications of how and under what circumstances may any changes be made to the work, performance or schedule

The money

‘It was really exciting playing in the Concert. I’ve never been on an aeroplane before, and to see a real Concorde was breathtaking. Performing underneath it felt very special. The main piece, Innovation 216, was incredible to play and powerful. It was very clever to hear how all the different sounds were for all the different aircraft. I will remember it forever!’
more…

Bertie Barzillia, age 7, Lydbrook Training Band

Talking money right at the beginning of the process isn’t always the best for creative endeavours, but unlike Chris de Burgh once sang you should certainly fix the price before the ferryman ‘gets you to the other side’. You will probably need at least a ballpark figure by the time you round off the discussion of practicalities and it’s a great idea to ask for a quote at that stage. All parties should always be as clear as possible by the time a contract is signed.

If you want or need to raise funds, that will need factoring into your schedule and may also involve the composer to some extent. If you want a period of exclusivity or any ‘extras’ then be prepared for these to have cost implications. You may also tie commissions in with other activities such as recordings, which can all be factored in. You certainly want to be making the very most of the opportunity afforded by your investment in a new work.

Do be aware of the possibility of ‘mission creep’; discuss changes which might affect the costs before they happen and allow for some flexibility if possible. Be prepared to negotiate and if necessary adjust your plans accordingly.

For all but the smallest of commissions a downpayment is normal. Depending on its size and nature the payment may be spread, tied to certain stages of the project. If you’ve got this point, having prepared and discussed the project well, there should be enough commitment and goodwill flowing to deal with all but the greatest of obstacles!

Good luck and enjoy!

We’d love to help

and here’s how…

Finding a composer

‘I started by drawing up a list of composers I personally know, then included composers that I didn’t know personally but whose work I admire very much and who also may be a good fit in composing a new piece inspired by J.S. Bach. I also consulted and received great advice from my good friends… I have launched a commissioning campaign as a way to support the project. Opening this up to co-commissioners gives a way for audiences to participate in the creative process’
more…

Lorenzo Marasso, pianist

Finding the right composer for you can seem daunting. These days, the contemporary cultural landscape can be hard to navigate with so many different styles, trends and approaches. And then, how do you go about approaching a composer?

Composers Edition offers you our tendering service

We work with around 80 composers based in UK, across Europe, North America and New Zealand. Each has their own style and ways of working and all have proven track records in creating engaging, original compositions for a wide range of musicians.

Expressions of interest: If you’re exploring a commissioning idea we can help you collect your thoughts and then present them to our composers on your behalf. We’ll collect expressions of interest and get back to you with them. You can then choose which composers you wish to explore further with.

Getting into the detail: Once you’ve chosen which composers to talk further with it’s time to get in touch to explore both the ideas and the practicalities in greater detail.

Proposals: The composers will now be in a position to provide you with a full proposal for your consideration.

Review & sealing the deal: We can supply pro-forma contracts, help you source one for your jurisdiction, or you or the composer may come equipped with one. We’ll review your contract and advise on anything we think may need reviewing.

Advice & Support

On Commissioning

Serial commissioner Kate Romano makes the case for helping bringing new musical works into the world

read…

All of our composers are independent artists, and our relationships with them built on trust and equality. It is not our role to select composers for you. Our aim is to help you and the composers get the best possible outcome. However, we are very happy help you develop your commissioning idea and answer questions about the commissioning process. We can also help you go about getting answers you need from the composers themselves.

Supporting the Process. Composition and performance are exciting creative processes. Exciting in part because of the unknowns. Occasionally, something with crop up which feels problematic. If you need advice, then we’ll only be too happy to help, as we do for our composers.

Funding. We know that funding commissions can involve a good deal of work. Our tendering process and the extra benefits set out below can help make a better case for funders. We’re happy to offer advice on funding and to support funding applications in writing.

Extra Benefits from Composers Edition

‘I am so excited to be sharing Susie’s Quiltscape III – the piece reminds me of a bespoke tapestry, multi-layered and full of verve and surprises!’
more…

Maria Marchant, pianist

By commissioning a Composers Edition composer you will automatically be in line to receive extra benefits and support from us.

Publishing: Working with a Composers Edition composer ensures a greater legacy for your inspiration and hard work. Once works are ready for publication (which may be before or after the premiere) we make score and parts available to our customers around the world for purchase or hire, carrying with it the story of your commission.

Special livery: Scores and parts are working documents designed to help performers deliver the best possible interpretation of the music. They are also cultural markers which can be used to celebrate the music and the occasions for which it has been created. We offer special liveries for commissioned works celebrating the occasion and all involved. Our streamlined rights-free publishing facilities enables us to produce high quality scores and performance sets, even on projects with tight schedules.

Promoting you and your commission: We love celebrating performers and commissioners as well as composers. You are the true ambassadors of the music. As a commissioner of one of our composers we will offer you and your project promotion through our website, mailing list and social media accounts. Typically this will comprise of three news features. The first, on completion of the contract, announcing the commission. The second can be a full feature article which can take the form of a Q&A or profile, usually in the month preceding the premiere. The third feature can be around the publication of the score and parts, further promoting your inspirational role in bringing the work into the world.

Getting the price right: Too often, commissions fall into one of just two camps – the high profile, highly paid and the low profile, under-paid. This doesn’t need to be the case. By supporting the commissioning process and adding value through promotion and publication Composers Edition helps ensure that all parties get a great deal and a great experience, helping us all celebrate through new music together.

Start your commissioning journey today

If you’re thinking about commissioning or would simply like to find out more about how to go about it, then we’d love to hear from you

Find out more about recent and upcoming commissions by Composers Edition composers

Historic 2020 Performance of Liz Lane’s ‘Innovation 216’ Under the Wings of Concorde

Commissioned by Bristol Cultural Development Partnership and performed by Lydbrook Band, Lydney Training Band, City of Bristol Choir, Bristol Man Chorus, Airbus Filton Workplace Choir under the baton of Ian Holmes

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Trio Contraste Commission John Palmer Word Based on J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variations

In conjunction with the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg the 2021 Zwischen Zeiten Symposium will focus on J.S. Bach’s majestic Goldberg Variations and will offer a series of lectures and concerts including commissions of new works inspired by this masterpiece.

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Pianist Nic Gerpe on Anne LeBaron’s ‘Unearthly Delights’

Find out about how pianist Nic Gerpe came to commission LA-based Anne LeBaron, leading to a CD release.

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Thierry Pécou & Ensemble Variances Jeffrey Holmes ‘Kaun (Kenaz)’ Première

Composer Jeffrey Holmes on the special connections between composer and performers behind this commission.

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Sunny Cho performing Colin Riley ‘Eawl-leet’ in RAM 200 Pieces Project

One of several works commissioned by the Royal Academy of Music from Composers Edition composers. Read a conversation between Sunny Cho and Colin Riley and the composers’ thoughts on this new work for cello.

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German Choir London’s Barbara Höfling On Corona Commissions (feat. Ian Stephens and Michael Cryne)

“The Corona Commissions started with a tweet”. Find out just how these commissions came about.

more

Composers Edition

Open . New . Music

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What We Do

For Composers and Other Rights-holders

Composers Edition is a unique publishing enterprise for aimed exclusively at professionally operating composers and rights-holders. At the heart of the Composers Edition business is a straightforward publishing service by which members may

  • Make scores and parts available for sale and hire world-wide
  • Have scores, parts and other publications printed-on-demand in high quality bound editions produced by leading specialist music printers, or made available digitally
  • Retain complete control over works including 100% copyright and 100% royalties
  • Receive remittances from sales of all publications

Since commencing trade on 1 February 2013 Composers Edition has gained a world-wide reputation with musicians, retailers and international distributors both for the quality of its catalogue of more than 1800 works by award-winning composers, and its friendly, speedy, personal service.

Always forward-looking Composers Edition continues to develop its range of services for composers and other rights holders, which now includes:

  • News & Social Media Publishing
  • Professional Representation
  • Performance & commissioning opportunities
  • Typesetting
  • Book Publication
  • Nkoda Publishing
  • ISMN & Legal Deposit Registration
  • Professional Website Design, Development, Maintenance and Hosting

Composers Edition is aimed exclusively at professionally operating composers and rights-holders able to demonstrate an active professional practice through current and/or projected demand for their work. 

Composers Edition offers professional music publishing the twenty-first century way. It allows composers to take control of the distribution and promotion of their works and benefit from services developed with and for a group of internationally recognised creative artists. On top of all this it generates income from both sales and hire and saves on production and administration costs and time allowing composers to focus on what matters – their practice.

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Composers Edition Membership Application Form

Before applying for Composers Edition membership please read What We Do and How it Works.

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How it Works

Presentation of works

Each work is presented on its own search-engine indexed page, including a preview viewer, details of the works including forces, duration, date and short programme notes, plus any video or audio media available.

 Works are organised by both composer and forces and searchable by title, composer, date forces, duration and programme note.

 Composers may include as many works as they wish, both as scores and parts.

Profile

Each member benefits from a dedicated profile on the Composers Edition web site.  The contents of this page will be developed with you and may include links to website and social media profiles

Marketing

Composers Edition and its members are activity marketed to musicians, ensembles, orchestras, retailers and international distributors through its newsite, email-marketing (CE Club), social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and all major search engines. Our strategy focusses on ongoing awareness-raising, providing publicity and support to musicians and organisations who work with our composers. This is then backed-up by our friendly, speedy personal service.

Promotion

In 2021 the Composers Edition team was joined by Isa Gibbs as Performing Artist Services Manager, a role focussed on developing our relationships with all kinds of performers from leisure-time choirs to orchestral conductors. Through this we are opening up performance opportunities for our composers. In addition we are developing a commissioning tendering service to make the process, clearer, easier and more attractive for prospective commissioners .

Further Services

Composers Edition is always working with its members, developing the services that they require. Included as part of membership are:

  • Professional Representation – Making your voice heard when it counts
  • Book Publishing – We don’t just produce and sell sheet music, we also produce books and teaching aids – see CE Books
  • Nkoda Publishing – Get your works on to the worlds biggest digital platform for sheet music

In addition you can make use of our extended professional services:

  • Professional Website Design, Development, Maintenance and Hosting
  • Typesetting
  • Digitisation of scores and parts
  • ISMN & Legal Deposit Registration

Score and Parts Preparation

Scores and parts are published as received from the composers (hence the name Composers Edition).  Each document is prepared for print, online preview and digital download with branding and blank pages necessary for correct pagination.  No editing of the music is undertaken, the responsibility for which remains with the composer or rights-holder.  Documents should be provided by the composer in print-quality PDF format.  We also offer a digitisation service where required.

Product Specification

Printed scores and parts are produced in A4, B4 and A3 portrait and landscape formats as standard, but other formats are also available.  Documents are spiral or saddlestitch (staple) bound according to format and number of pages.  Should you have any specific requirements for alternatives (e.g. fold-outs), these will be catered for wherever possible.

Digital scores and parts match printed counterparts in format. We also publish other digital files (such as audio files or software patches) as required.

Pricing

Pricing for the sale of scores and parts is generally set by Composers Edition and designed to offer excellent value to our customers whilst asserting value and generating income for our members.

For larger works, Composers Edition negotiates hire-fees, striking a balance between value for customers and returns to members

Member Remittances

Members receive the following remittances from Composers Edition trade:

Printed Works Sale : 20% of sale price
Printed Works Hire : 20% of standard sale price + 50% of remainder should a greater hire fee be negotiated

Digital Works Sale : 30% of sale price
Digital Works Hire : 30% of standard sale price + 50% of remainder should a greater hire fee be negotiated

Remittances are paid to composers quarterly, at the end of the subsequent quarter via bank or online service transfer.  The first remittance being due at the end of the second quarter.

Subscription

Subscription operates on a quarterly basis for a fee of GBP100 +VAT.

The first two quarterly subscription fees, totalling GBP200 +VAT, are due at registration.  The official subscription start date is either a) the first day on which an initial set of works (as agreed with the composer) are made available for sale via the Composers Edition web site or b) the first date on which an order or service is processed.   From the third quarter onwards the subscription fee is collected quarterly in advance via Direct Debit.

Looking for advice on your composing career? Find out about how we encourage the professional composers of the future.