DIY: freelancing as a legitimate career goal

08 November 2019 | 13:30 - 14:30Room 1

Surely you must have thought of doing it yourself. It doesn’t really matter if you are a composer, a performing musician, an ensemble or a cross-genre collective: you know the feeling of wanting to move forward with your work. Instead you find yourself waiting for the artistic powers that be to hopefully contact you, or, if you have taken the first step already, to give your composition or project proposal a thumbs up. And then there is the question of remuneration: how come there are others who make money off of your creations and ideas?

So you start time-managing, you dig into the legal stuff and then start your own festival, set up your own concert series, self-publish your compositions – in other words: get your art out there on your own account. And who knows, maybe even make a living out of it… (private teaching, anyone?) Yes, freelancing is a legitimate career goal.

This international panel will address best practices in DIY. We will hear what made our speakers set up shop and develop their careers, and how they broadened their entrepreneurial skills.

Dutch soprano Rianne Wilbers graduated cum laude from Fontys School of Fine and Performing Arts in Tilburg in 2016. As a musician who loves to take on challenges, she is widely praised for her artistic vision, her bravura and perseverance. In addition to solo repertoire from early baroque to contemporary, Rianne has a great interest in chamber music. As an ambassador and pioneer of contemporary music, she enjoys working with living composers. As the initiator of ensemble VONK, she is active in the field of cross-border new repertoire.

Aaron Cassidy is an American composer and conductor. His work has been programmed by leading international contemporary music specialists including ELISION, EXAUDI, Musikfabrik, ensemble recherche, and the JACK Quartet at major international festivals including Donaueschingen, Ultraschall, Warsaw Autumn, Huddersfield, Darmstadt, and Gaudeamus. He currently serves as Professor of Composition and Director of the Centre for Research in New Music (CeReNeM) at the University of Huddersfield in the UK.

Merijn Bisschops is the managing director of vibrant concert series De Link from the Dutch city of Tilburg. He is also active as an audiovisual artist. Merijn initiates interdisciplinary performances and works as a composer, photographer and video maker commisioned by ensembles and festivals or in collaboration with other artists. His work has been performed and shown at November Music and in venues and museums throughout the Netherlands and Europe, Taiwan and the USA.

Gunnar Karel Másson is an Icelandic composer and the artistic director of festival Myrkir Músíkdagar, which takes place in January. Másson studied composition at the Iceland Art Academy and The Royal Conservatory of Music in Copenhagen. He is an experienced concert producer as he co-founded and runs the Sonic Festival in Copenhagen and is one of the artistic directors of the music collective Jaðarber/Peripheriberry.

Evelien van den Broek is a composer, performer and producer based in Amsterdam. She studied composition electronic music and performance at the Utrecht School of Arts (Music and Technology). Combining avant-pop with classical and lots of electronics, Evelien writes for film, modern dance, live performance, sound walks and visual art. She self-released an album, False Memories (2017), and an EP, Malerwanderweg Songs (2018), and has since worked on project Biophonica, which will premiere at November Music the day after New Music Conference.

Preston Stahly will be the moderator for this panel. As a composer in New York City he has written chamber, vocal, and symphonic works, and music for film and television as well. He is the founder and artistic director of Tribeca New Music (2001), and as such he has spearheaded the Avant Pop movement in NYC, focusing on a new classical music infused with American pop culture.