Hello harp friends,
I have been asked to play a solo harp recital in a rural community and also to include some duo stuff with violin or flute. I know what to charge for a wedding or private event, but I am at a loss as to what to charge for something like this. Usually a contractor proposes a fee but she has left that up to me and I find it hard to put a price on the time it would take to prepare a chamber/solo recital. Just curious for you input!
Hello harp friends,
Check your local musicians’ association and see what the going rates are for something like this in your area. Rates can vary enormously, depending on star power, how many seats can be sold and for how much, etc. Do you have CD’s or other products that you can bring and sell afterwards? You have to consider what you would pay your flautist or violinist as well; they may have a bottom line which could be higher than the local association’s minimum. Do you have to split the profits with the person or group who hired you? Do they have grants that give them the money to pay you, or does it all come from ticket sales? These are all things to consider. Don’t forget to charge for cartage as well.
I think that it is part of their art season and they sell season tickets for it, so I don’t know if there is an option of not charging for tickets. When I have played recitals in the past it has always been for free–you can’t really put a price on the countless hours spent practicing. It is very different than just playing background music at a dinner. That is a good idea to check with the union.
In my experience, unions don’t really cover recitals, except to have a scale for pay that is minimal, perhaps $150. You have to ask them what their budget range is for all recitals, and figure out a reasonable amount to ask for based on how much they want you, and how wide the range is. They may pay a well-known pianist $10,000, but only $200 to a harpist. If there are two of you, you should have at least equal pay, but it sometimes means dividing the fee. Also, consider your preparation. Would you provide a program you are already performing, or is it a new program? Is this a rural community among wealthy farmers and factories, or a desolate area? You can find out more about the organization by looking up their tax statements, form 990, which would give
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