My name is Sabina and I'm a professional musician with a B.A. in Performance.
I'm trying to have a career as a soloist, but I simply cannot get anything done. Here are the problems I've been facing while trying to survive as a performer (and no, I am not interested in teaching no matter how great it is, it's just not what I want) and this is what I found out:
- Orchestras only want to play with well-known soloists, anyone else will never be considered.
- Booking agents are only interested in people with established careers and a busy concert schedule. You'd expect them to actually do the bookings for you, since that's what they get paid for, but they want the job done for free.
- I contacted Artist Management companies, 99% never answer back and the remaining 1% send a list of requirements that nearly say "only if you won a Grammy Award or the Nobel Prize".
- When asking recording studios about recording a CD, they come up with high figures between $12.000-$20.000 for the recording alone, without rental fees for the hall, other musicians, etc.
- Record labels: same as Artist Management, but wont finance any of the recording costs, expect to own your master tape, you wont earn ANY royalties of the CD sales (eg. NAXOS). They also expect a busy concert schedule and in many cases expect the artists to pay for the first batch of CDs in order to minimize their risk. (Hey, free master tape, free CDs, 0% risk? Sounds great).
It really feels like everyone in the industry just want established artists in their roster. So they only want you, when you don't actually need them at all... does that make sense to you?
I know my post sounds very negative, but I'm frustrated with several failed attempts to live of what I love the most, performing on stage.