Re: deux questions - two questions

Subject: Re: deux questions - two questions
From: Dennis Bathory-Kitsz (
Date: Mon Oct 11 1999 - 21:06:45 EDT

At 05:24 PM 10/11/99 -0700, Andrew Czink <> wrote:
>Those seem to be the real-world minimums with the funding agancies I've
>dealt with. $2,000 for a 25 minute large orchestra piece?! Hmmm! Yikes.

Only the marketable composers seem to collect larger sums. The rest of us
get an honorarium or nothing at all. Half of my commissions (about 60) have
only been in exchange for performance, where the performers themselves
split the gate. The only stuff funding agencies covered were publicity,
programs, hall rental, and transportation -- rarely even performer fees.

Even when I was in NYC during the halcyon days (mid 70s), it was hard to
get eatin' money from commissions, and most of us had to "re-contribute"
our commissions to the performing ensembles to keep them solvent.
Re-contribution was a required but marginally ethical practice. I don't
know if it's still done, but since my first commission in 1970, I've only
received two where the money was totally free and clear (even though it
only represented pennies per hour of work).

Among those on this list, how have other composers from the States fared
compared to the better-funded countries?


The Transitive Empire
Kalvos & Damian's New Music Bazaar
Erzsebet The Vampire Opera
The Middle-Aged Hiker

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