The Visiting Composer Check-list

Is your organization hosting a visiting composer?

Most musical organizations regularly host composers to add excitement and prestige to their event and to attend rehearsals, helping to create the truest possible performance of a new or recently composed work. The following check-list is provided by the Canadian League of Composers (CLC) as a guide to bringing a composer to your community:

1. Travel and Accommodation. It is the position of the CLC that the presence of the composer, especially at a world premiere, is integral to an accurate and successful performance. It should not be assumed that the composer will be able to travel to the rehearsals and concert at their own expense and all efforts should be made to pay expenses and include the composer as a guest artist. If this is not financially possible, programs exist through the Canada Council for the Arts (generally for world premieres) and the SOCAN Foundation Concert-Music Composer Outreach Residencies ( to aid in bringing a composer to your community. Please initiate a conversation with your visiting composer at least 3 months prior to the performance in order to discuss travel and accommodation and to meet funding deadlines in a timely manner.

2. Rehearsal schedule. Please provide to the composer a schedule of the rehearsals you would like him or her to attend, including allotted time for feedback to the musicians. Many organizations arrange for individual meetings with the conductor outside of rehearsals. If the composer is coming from out of town, please consider providing clear directions to the entrances of rehearsal and performance venues, as well as clearance with security staff monitoring stage door entrances.

3. Please provide up-to-date biographical information about the composer in the concert program. Bios can often be found on the composer’s website, from the Canadian Music Centre, or directly from the composer.

4. If the composer is expected to speak from the stage prior to their piece, or during a pre-concert talk, please communicate this to them well in advance.

5. Please provide a complimentary ticket to the composer to attend the concert. Most organizations provide additional tickets for composers’ guests.

6. Please provide the composer with a recording of the work in a timely manner. This is necessary for both archival purposes and for artistic assessment. If there are restrictions on the use of the recording, please communicate this in writing. This archival recording should be free of charge.

Further and more detailed information can be found on the CLC’s model contract.