Kliment Krylovskiy of the Zodiac Trio and Zodiac Music Academy & Festival led an evocative class on entrepreneurship. With a background in PR and marketing, his thoughts on building an artistic presence were especially compelling. “Every performance, no matter how big or small, should be seen as an opportunity to remind the musical community that you exist.” Krylovskiy personally does this with visually appealing newsletter that he sends to an extensive mailing list he’s built over the years. He also recommended maintaining a regular website, using social media, and using traditional press releases with media outlets. These forms of communication should be used to inform your audience anytime something beneficial happens for you (aside from a press release). This will keep you constantly in the mind of others, exactly where you want to be.
Another important aspect is your performance reputation. To expand a performance schedule musicians should seek out venues (churches, community centers, libraries, unique spaces, etc), apply to perform at showcases (such as CMA), contact presenters using the Musical America database, contact presenters from other artists’ schedules, and self-produce concerts. One way this can be done is through collaboration. Collaborating with composers can be an artistically fulfilling experience as well as leading to artistic residencies. Setting a long-term goal or project for yourself could also be another tactic to expand your schedule. This could include anything from having a concert series to hosting a summer festival.
As your organization grows, Krylovskiy highly encouraged developing educational programming. Many grants are offered for community programming, and in his experience, often times groups with at least some educational initiative will be chosen to perform at a festival or showcase over an ensemble who focuses solely on artistic endeavors. In a very practical sense, educational programming is a way to insure you have a future audience, add income, and make yourself more marketable to presenters.
–Notes by Melissa Morales
Melissa Morales is a master’s student at DePaul University studying with Julie DeRoche and Larry Combs. She currently teaches at The People’s Music School and performs with The Candid Concert Opera’s Orchestra Nova and the Chicago Symphonic Winds.