Subito Out and About

This summer, as the music world continues to get back in stride for the 2021-2022 season, Subito Music was invited to be guest participants in two professional development programs for young composers.

David Murray (far left) participates with composers in the 2021 Cone Composition Institute. Courtesy: New Jersey Symphony

David Murray, Subito’s Editor and Publishing Manager, returned to the seventh season of the New Jersey Symphony’s Edward T. Cone Composition Institute. “One of the valuable features of The Cone Institute is the annual visit from David Murray from Subito Music,” notes Steven Mackey — award-winning composer and Cone Institute Director. The Cone Institute is a multifaceted program that promotes new orchestral music and emerging composers. Four composers are chosen to participate in a week-long session of professional development seminars, compositional consultations and rehearsals of their works. Murray presented the career development seminar on music editing and professional score preparation. Mackey adds, “David Murray tells us everything we want to know but were afraid to ask about music notation in general and as related to orchestra music in particular, where the stakes for accuracy are so high.” This year’s composers included Elise Arancio (Wake), Kevin Day (Tango Oscuro), Erin Graham (Increase) and Jared Miller (Under Sea, Above Sky), who also heard their scores premiered in a live, public concert on July 24 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, led by guest conductor Ludovic Morlot.

Cellist Jameson Platte, fellow and guest artist at this year’s Atlantic Music Festival (AMF) in Maine, invited Stephen Culbertson, Subito’s Founder and President, to interact with this year’s participants in the AMF Composition Program. Artistic Director, Solbong Kim comments. “AMF Composition Seminars provide a forum where leading composers of our generation and experts such as Stephen Culbertson can present groundbreaking ideas for our resident composers. It was a pleasure having Stephen as part of our seminar. Our students benefitted from his insight into the publishing industry and his expert knowledge of music publication best practices.” Culbertson shares his observations about the seminars which highlighted copyright law, editing scores and materials for performance, and general discussions about the music business. “Not many composers at conservatories participate in programs that focus on these basic but important topics. I get quite a lot of questions — some about getting commissions and performances, as well as inquires about fees. Often, younger composers have their first experience with these topics at a festival like the Atlantic Music Festival or through an established program like the Minnesota Orchestra Composer Institute. They’re surprised to learn how complex copyright law is and what rights they — as composers — have and don’t have about their own music. Regarding editing and score preparation, many composers know one of the available programs well, but they don’t know how to change various defaults to make their materials look professionally prepared as well as how to increase ease of readability of their parts. Unless they’ve played in a band or orchestra, composers often don’t know about cueing. At first, when I started doing these types of talks, I was a little surprised to find out that composers aren’t taught some of the standard practices that apply in the real world of music creation. I quickly realized this information is mostly, completely new to them, but it is also critically important for them to understand and apply as they continue on in their careers.”