Filmed conversations between collaborators discussing the nuances of an equitable experience

Commissioning for Young Musicians – Jeff Scott and Weston Sprott

Weston: “As someone who’s not a composer, there’s always a little element of, ‘I don’t want to step on what this person is doing because they’re the creator, AND we have to have something that’s practical…’ How do you approach that feedback?”

Jeff: “I personally love a collaboration… I knew at the end of the day, you were getting a piece that you were comfortable with sending to your students. Every bar had your stamp of approval.”

What happens when a commission invites the composer to write a piece for students – one that is for a specific level and can be added to a repertoire list? Jeff Scott and Weston Sprott sat down to share their commissioning collaboration through The Juilliard School Preparatory Division. Watch this video to learn more about how these friends approached the idea for Scott’s Xangô, God of Thunder for trombone and piano.

Commissioning for Orchestras – Allison Loggins-Hull and Greg Brown

Allison: “I thought, ‘Can we use this as an opportunity for storytelling? I don’t know anything about Cleveland, and I don’t want to go in there and pretend like I do.’ So that means I’m going to need some time to cultivate relationships, to build trust, to try to immerse myself in the community. And it takes time, and it’s definitely the opposite of a transactional type of commission.”

Greg: “It was so encouraging when we first started talking to them about the project, about all the commissions and how if you were going to write new work for the Cleveland Orchestra, you needed to understand what made Cleveland what it is.”

When composer Allison Loggins-Hull received the invitation to be in residence with The Cleveland Orchestra, she was elated — and had a lot of questions. In this video for ACF’s Anatomy of a Commission series, Allison and her manager, Greg Brown from Pink Noise Agency, discuss the invitation and how they approached her commissions and overall residency experience with an orchestra, and a community, new to her.

Facilitating Conductor-Composer Relationships – Melissa Ngan and Tito Muñoz

Melissa: “I suspect that one of the very first questions that any composer is going to have for you is, ‘How do I get my music performed or commissioned by an orchestra?’ Can you share a little bit about the music director’s role in the process?”

Tito: “Every composer needs to build a network and create relationships. A lot of the composers I commission and champion are people I have become close with because their work reflects themselves as people and their beliefs, and often that’s something I admire, am inspired by, or believe myself.”

What role does a conductor have in bringing together people from different relationships? And how can that help music creators in leveraging relationships with institutions? Melissa Ngan, President & CEO of American Composers Orchestra, and conductor Tito Muñoz sat down to share their thoughts on how to better facilitate conductor-composer relationships and advocacy.