I am a young but successful composer. I’ve had many commissions from professional ensembles and my works have been performed nationally and internationally. One of my works was recently premiered at a choral festival, and I was in the audience for the performance. After the concert, many conductors came up to me asking if their ensembles could perform the piece as well. I gave them my contact information, and that was that. When I checked my email later that day, I had a new message from one of the directors.
Client: Hello! We met earlier. I’m contacting you to ask about getting copies of the music for your piece.
Me: Absolutely! How many copies do you need?
Client: I’ll need 50 copies of the music.
Me: Okay. That will be $3.50 a copy, for a total of $175.
It was a few days before I heard back from him.
Client: We’ll be performing your work. I figured the publicity would be payment enough for a young composer. It’s really a good opportunity for you.
Me: I’m sorry, but I simply cannot give you the music without payment.
Client: That’s unfortunate. I really want my choir to perform your composition!
Me: I’d be happy to sell you 50 copies of it for $175!
He never responded. However, four other directors contacted me and purchased the music for their ensembles, and I received commissions from a few more for new pieces. I suppose I didn’t need his “opportunity” after all.