Timothy Lee Miller | composer

Commissioning the Composer

Following are some questions and answers, along with some guidelines to help you decide whether commissioning a new work is for you. If you have any questions regarding the process that are not outlined below, please do not hesitate to contact me. Commissioning a new piece of music is a collaborative process between the commissioning party (you) and the composer (me), and it need not be a scary process. Having a new work written for you is fun and highly rewarding.

Why commission a new work?

• To celebrate a historic event, a milestone anniversary, an inauguration, or a building dedication

• To honor a retiring conductor, mentor, community leader, or friend

• To have an original composition written especially for you or your ensemble/organization

• To make your special event unforgettable with the excitement of a world premiere

• To create the opportunity for your musicians to work with a living composer

• To create a new repertoire for a particular instrument or genre

• To enrich the world of concert music with a new work that will always carry your name as the commissioning party

How does the commissioning process begin?

Commissioning a new work begins with you and me discussing your ideas.

I will need to know:

• the purpose or occasion

• your ideas concerning theme, style, or possible narrative text

• the performing forces (soloist, trio, chorus, full orchestra, symphonic band?)

• What are the musical abilities of the performers (professionals, students, amateurs)?

• the approximate duration desired

• the spacial/antiphonal possibilities of the space in which the work will be premiere

• Will you want me to be present at the final rehearsals to work with your musicians and/or at the premiere for an audience “meet the composer" activity such as pre-concert talks or audience Q&A?

How much does it cost to commission a new work?

The commissioning fee depends primarily on the following:

• the duration of the proposed work 

• the number of performers involved

• the deadline

• Click this link for a guideline to suggested commissioning amounts >> All About Commissions

How can a commission be funded?

• An ensemble or organization's budget may well have sufficient funds.

• Patrons who would happily support a commission may be found.

• Businesses may support the commission as a form of public relations and community enrichment. The business would be recognized in the printed program, and its representatives appear on stage at the premiere.

• Consortiums may be formed with similar ensembles in other towns or states. Several ensembles agree to share the commission fee, and each gives a premiere in their hometown (perhaps even simultaneous premieres on the same date).

• Several private foundations will support commissions aligning with the foundation's guidelines.

• Several crowdfunding programs may be used to help raise funds, and many are tax deductible. For more information, follow this link >> Crowdfunding

How can we get started?

• Send an email to tlmillmus@gmail.com, and let's begin discussing your ideas.

• Further information and resources about commissioning a new work can be found on the Meet The Composer website by clicking this link >> All About Commissions