I agree, it is optimistic. There are a few orchestras that are receptive to my project (namely, the ones that are into playing new pieces) but I think I will have to wait to have a major orchestra play my work. I talked to the local orchestra and was told that scheduling was made up two years in advance... I hate to think that orchestras would not touch new pieces without receiving a guarantee of payment. If it's for experience, as a player myself I would be interested purely on gaining experience alone.
Two years in advance seems perfectly credible to me. Even for solo recital work at local universities here, you need to be thinking nearly a year ahead.
That orchestras are in the biz of music performance doesn't change that they are a business like any other that delivers a product.
(Going to play devil's advocate here, so please excuse me.) Exactly, and that raises the unfortunate question of why should they play your music? Not unfortunate because it's bad, but unfortunate because there isn't actually a tangible business reason why, unless you can create one for them. Your name isn't going to be known to the audience, hence it's not going to impact on ticket sales and might even be detrimental. You need to find a way of getting your name known as a composer, and I know this is Catch-22. Sadly, a large cash payment does provide them with a tangible business reason, hence (I imagine) the response.