I am a self-taught composer who has been writing music for many years. Many of my scores are completely finished and ready for performance. However because I never went to music school, I do not have a network of musician friends or performers willing to play my pieces. Since I don’t have live recordings of my work, I can only show people computerized versions of the music, which does not do the music justice. How do I find people willing to play newly composed solo and ensemble pieces? Are there musicians that take on projects like this, and if so how do I find them? Should I expect to pay hundreds of dollars to get someone to play something. I feel like I desperately need quality recordings so I can create a decent portfolio.
What software are you using?
one thing that seems to working for me is to latch onto a couple of amateur groups. Say that you will write something specifically for them.
There are a number of ways you could go about it. The easiest way, would be something like the $99 orchestra, or New Media Orchestra. As you rightly noted, it would cost money. But it is not a ton of money. If you pick what you deem to be your best work, and record it, you would have something tangible to play for an orchestra director or conductor. That could help.
You could also approach school and community orchestras. There are plenty of community colleges and high schools, that have decent orchestras. It would be a good way to get a reading of your pieces. You may not get into a concert, but I am sure you could work something out.
It will be much harder to get a professional orchestra to play your music, because they have a lot of people making decisions, and many of those decisions are based on money.
I like Mike’s idea about finding an ensemble and writing something for them. You could even start smaller and find a solo performer, like a pianist.