Edna Landau IWCMF

Guest panelist during my Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival experience, August 2012

Musical America: Ask Edna

One of our first guest lectures was with Edna Landau, celebrated artist manager and now blogger, who shared her personal story about arts management and savvy career advice for emerging musicians.  What follows are the notes I took which spoke to me in my career:

No doesn't always mean no in the musical profession
  • Have a personal vision and a business plan with projections
  • "If you aren't going to invest in yourself, you can't expect someone else to."
    • do whatever it takes; regardless of your financial situation
  • don't approach management until you have income potential
    • why am I interesting?
    • why am I worth someone's time?
    • what is my hook?
  • How to attract attention:
    • credentials
    • nice person, gracious demeanor
    • niche material
    • convey excitement and humility
    • incentivize (contests)
    • show an active schedule
    • innovative engagement
    • commission new works with audience appeal
    • create a sign-in book, email lists, cultivate your audience
    • use all social media, discriminating, presenting only what makes you look good
  • Funding
    • kickstarter
    • indiegogo
    • fiscal sponsor - 501(c) that accepts funds on your behalf, keeps a small percentage, disburses remaining to you while allowing tax exemption for your donors
      • take funding VERY SERIOUSLY, do not be casual
  • Find management/presenter that is passionate about you and your work
    • better to work with a presenter who is happy to make time for you than to work with a big name that is too busy to invest
  • Accessible programming'
    • know your audience
    • engage with your audience, tell them things they don't already know
    • don't ever program ALL new music, include works that are "familiar"
  • Attract an audience
    • celebrity
    • food
    • special surprise
  • Get your career going!
    • why am I special?
    • learn every facet of your industry!
    • go to lots of concerts; especially genres you don't perform
    • chamber music America
    • chopsbeyondthepracticeroom.com
    • mailing lists
    • keep press kit/bio current
    • go to programs that will get you noticed
    • take the management competitions/auditions
    • rachelbarton.com
    • commissions/premier new works
    • explore new venues
    • create new worlds
    • take every opportunity to play - even for free!
    • have a demo you can hand someone not just an .mp3 you can email
    • business cards
    • present/partner with a cause you care about


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