Composer Commission Survey

Dear colleague,

Our names are David Farrell and Loretta Notareschi. We are both composers, and we want to share a survey that we believe will interest you.

We created this survey, called the Composer Commission Pay Survey, because we have questions about commissions: How much should a commission pay? How does duration factor into the cost? What about the size of the ensemble? Should a professional orchestra pay more than a community orchestra? We were also curious about equity. Across demographic groups, are composers paid the same on average?

Without this information, composers are left with only anecdotal evidence and instinct, hoping that they are asking for and receiving reasonable compensation, and wondering whether their pay is fair.

We believe that the first step to empowering composers is simple: gathering information. That is why we are conducting an anonymous survey on commissions of American composers. To ensure confidentiality, we are not asking for names of composers or ensembles. By gathering and sharing this data (in the aggregate) from as many composers as possible, we can build a picture of today’s commissioning landscape.

How can you help? By taking the survey before October 15, 2019, and by sharing it with others. Take it at this anonymous link:

Please share this survey widely, using email lists, websites, social media, newsletters, and word of mouth.

For your information, this survey has been ruled “Exempt” by the Institutional Research Board of Regis University, which governs human subject research.

If you have questions, please let us know at Thank you very much.

David E. Farrell, DM, Metropolitan State University of Denver
Loretta K. Notareschi, PhD, Regis University, Denver

P.S. After the survey results are collected and analyzed, we expect to publish a report. We will reach out again to share it with you.

15 Oct 2019
U.S. Dollar (USD)