DONATION STATUS
Needed before 2016-12-31
$ 2,500
So far donated
$ 860

what do you ask for a concert?

Discussion in 'General' started by rachmaninoff, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. rachmaninoff

    rachmaninoff New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    305
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    damwoude
    Last Name:
    Poortinga
    First Name:
    Robert
    hej people...

    I had an concert today and they asked me what I wanted for it. I really didn't know so what do you ask and how do you count it? in hour or per song or....
     
  2. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Fournet
    First Name:
    Pierre
    I've never been paid for a recital, but I do know that our local performing arts center pays non-famous but accomplished pianists 2,500 dollars American for four performances of a program. More famous pianists get paid more, of course! About 8 years ago (I forget the exact date), Lang Lang performed at the aforementioned center and received a rumored 6,500 dollars American for one recital (my information is not rock-solid, but is from a reliable source that shall remain unnamed).

    I play at local social functions (weddings, black-tie parties and other formal gatherings) and get paid 225 dollars American per event. I have been offered 500 dollars for such an event (an unexpected treat). I have also played in some upscale New Orleans restaurants; I was paid 50 doallars an hour for four hours, plus tips. I could leave with about 400 on a good night.

    I can't say how much you should charge. I can say that you need to establish a certain range for yourself when it comes for specific types of events.

    Does anyone know of 'scale' for classical pianists? Is there a resource we can consult? I suppose ticket sales (or lack thereof) strongly determine your payment. Most of us (including myself) are not well known enough to even consider paid concert engagements. Hopefully I'll get there.

    This is an issue I need to resolve, too. (I'll ask my prof, she'll know, I bet.)

    Pete
     
  3. pianolady

    pianolady Monica Hart, Administrator Staff Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
    8,716
    Likes Received:
    1
    Last Name:
    Hart
    First Name:
    Monica
    Nothing much to add here, but this is an interesting thread. I've always wondered what pianist get paid for playing in upscale department stores.
     
  4. toki

    toki New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    Electrical Engineer
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    FWIW, the only time I've ever been paid to play was for a wedding about six months ago or so, and I was payed $250 for a two-hour ceremony. Then I improvised during the reception, which was about a half hour.
     
  5. avguste

    avguste Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    283
    Likes Received:
    0
    Occupation:
    concert pianist,piano teacher
    Location:
    Texas,USA
    Home Page:
    Last Name:
    Antanov
    First Name:
    Avguste
    Merry Christmas to all

    I think all pianist should have an idea of how much they are worth and how much they can reasonably ask for before even accepting an engagement.I also think that every pianist should be paid,otherwise,people start to think that we are "The Salvation Army" ;)
    As far as fees,I would personally charge anywhere between $100 and $1000 per concert.
    That is of course bound to change based on the amount of repertoire,the amount of concerts,the amount of time given to prepare.Of course,if someone calls me today and asks me to peform tomorrow,I would be charging $1000 and up.
    At the same time,there can also be negotiations.If the person that is asking for you is willing to provide accomodations,travel expenses,food and such,the final price would be low.
    And if in addition to that they accept for you to sell your CDs,the price would go down a little more.
    The other advice is always ask how much they offer and then keep in mind,that whatever they offer is the lowest start with.
    Always have a reason to ask for more,like,for example if you are playing pieces no one never played before.
    The bottom line is,all performers need to get paid.Performance is our bread and butter
     
  6. PJF

    PJF New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2006
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    0
    Last Name:
    Fournet
    First Name:
    Pierre
    I agree, Avguste, we pianists MUST set a high standard for ourselves. It's habit for the public and (ironically) other business owners to see us as good-deed-doers and not the entre-pre-neurs we actually are.

    Here's a personal story.

    My first 'gig' was every Friday and Saturday night at a nice Italian restaurant (I got free food, too; definitely a plus!) playing mostly classical, traditional Italian songs, a bit of Jazz/improv. I was paid whatever tips I got plus a predetermined amount for a predetermined time and that was that, so I thought. A couple of months in, the owner (badabing! :lol:) called me into his office. He wanted to bring in a violinist to play along with me. It sounded like a good idea, it was a good idea at the time. So the violinist and I meet; she's an attractive, talented violin instructor. After playing that Friday, we walk into the restauranteur's office, expecting the predetermined rate. Instead, I'm treated to this explanation of why my payment is being cut almost in half. Blah, blah, badabing. Blah, blah, opportunity; I did not want to hear it. I was in a very tough spot; this gig was paying very well and it would still pay well, even if I accepted the pay cut. I told the owner and the clueless violinist I would sleep on it. The next day I tried to reason with the man, that splitting tips that were not increased by the violinist was not fair to me, that splitting our payment was not fair to either of us. He had made up his mind. Unfortunately, I had made up mine, too. I bid him farewell and left him my card, in case he would have a change of heart. He never called me. Lowering my charge on such a whim, would have damaged my current reputation as a first-class hardass.

    A month later, I got a new gig at a different restaurant. At age 21, I made a strong effort to appear as professional as possible in my dress-code and demeanor. My suggested rates were clearly stated and I left the owner of the new restaurant with a video of me playing elsewhere. He liked what he saw because I succeded in getting him to agree to a one year, 100 night contract. A few months later, he asked me to play Sundays at brunch, at 2/3 regular pay. After some discussion, I agreed. Behave as a professional and you will likely be treated as one.

    Whatever you end up charging, PUT IT IN WRITING!!! A simple form will do for one time events, like weddings. A formal contract is best for regular gigs and concert engagements. Business owners usually won't agree to a long-term contract, that's OK. Try to agree on a short-term contract. Just make sure you come to a meeting of the minds (and put that mind-meeting on paper) before you provide any services. If you fail to do that, you will have to endure the odd surprise. I don't like surprises, do you?

    The same goes for giving lessons, although you are far less likely to get an argument from a parent than from Vito Corleone, you must put the agreement on paper. (In Louisiana, the cost of living is very low, I charge thirty dollars an hour for lessons. In San Francisco, I imagine the amount would be higher.)

    ...and to all a good night!

    Pete
     
  7. Jennifer

    Jennifer New Member Piano Society Artist

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2006
    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    New York, U.S.A
    Last Name:
    Castanello
    First Name:
    Jennifer
    I don't get paid to perform because I am priceless :D :D :D :D :D
     

Share This Page