An emerging composer is seeking to have some of their work performed by a smallish professional orchestra (i.e. not something like the Boston Symphony, but a fairly well-known regional symphony). The composer was introduced to the conductor through a well-respected mutual acquaintance. The conductor has most likely not heard of the composer before the introduction. Following the introduction, the conductor responded to the composer and asked for a sample of work. Assuming that the composer dutifully provided the requested materials in a prompt and professional manner, how long is it appropriate for the composer to wait before following up?

Obviously, they could wait forever and still never get a response, forgotten along with all the other composers who solicited that conductor that month, where a quick follow-up might have helped. But also obvious is the fact that the composer could nag the conductor and spoil the nice introduction. This would earn them a quick "no thanks" just for being a pain.

So, what is the appropriate interval to wait?

EDIT: By emerging composer, let's assume that the composer has been commissioned for several pieces and won a handful of minor contests. Their work has been performed by a few professional ensembles, but mostly by local, amateur groups.

  • 3
    You might consider also posting this question — or one substantially similar — to The Workplace. They field questions of this type ("how long to wait to contact the hiring manager" sorts of questions), and a cursory search suggests they haven't had one that deals with this sort of approach to "getting hired".
    – Aaron
    Jul 21, 2021 at 0:43
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    Thanks @Aaron here is the alternate question on Workplace. workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/174814/…
    – nuggethead
    Jul 21, 2021 at 0:52
  • It will mostly depend on when said conductor has the opportunity to find time and an orchestra to actually perform said piece.
    – Tim
    Jul 21, 2021 at 6:56
  • 1
    As much as I like this question, I’m voting to close it, because it's off-topic per the What topics can I ask about here? help page "...and it is not about business or legal issues ".
    – Aaron
    Jul 21, 2021 at 18:23
  • @Aaron closing makes sense especially since it seems to fit so much better on workplace. Should I delete this?
    – nuggethead
    Jul 21, 2021 at 20:45

1 Answer 1


I was a professional orchestral musician and am a composer, so I can identify with your question. If say two weeks have passed and still no reaction, then it would be perfectly reasonable to send a short message asking for any critical response or suggestions regarding the piece that the conductor might have. Just get the ball rolling again. Other than that, could the 'well-respected mutual acquaintance' maybe casually ask the conductor about it?

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