2 answers

What "unknown" jobs are there in the classical music industry?

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I'm a classical pianist, and I want to be a concert pianist. However, I know competition is tough, so I wanted to know what other options I have in the classical music industry besides the usual suspects (teaching and accompanying).
#music #musician #music-industry #classical-music

2 answers

Elizabeth’s Answer


Hi Abbey! Depending on where you live and how far you are willing to drive, there are upscale restaurants that would appreciate some light classics being played. Do a Google search for upscale restaurants in your area. If it is a weekly gig, you could even travel a distance, if necessary. Then there are retirement communities. We have one near us that hires professional pianists of the highest caliber only. Maybe there are some in your area. Some couples want classical music for their wedding and/or reception. I'm not sure if this is the "industry" you were hoping for. But it gets you out there, playing, honing your artistry, and earning income, too! You could always start a music club. We used to have one in our area, too. They could be monthly or weekly, or every season - you are in charge, so you pick the frequency! This is an ideal venue because you bring other artists in your area who are looking for a place to perform just like you, and you are giving them a place. You could search out an appropriate venue - be it a church, music school, or wherever. The audience would be music lovers willing to pay the artists to perform. Or the audience could be other musicians! Ours included lunch, as the audience sat at round tables. Or it could be set up like a concert hall and no food. You would see how it all comes together. But food is always a draw! A meal, and then your performance.

So it will take effort on your part to do any of what I mention. But if you really want to perform the classical repertoire, then you can do it! Plus, I find it always helps to have a deadline - a date when you have to perform and be ready with your sonata, or some other work.

All the best to you!

Elizabeth recommends the following next steps:

  • Research upscale restaurants with pianos in your area and within a 60-mile radius.
  • Start a music club.
  • Set dates/deadlines when you want to perform next.
  • Research venues for your music club.
  • Research retirement communities in your area.

Rachel’s Answer


Classical vocalist here, and I have built a career in classical music that does not involved performance. There are so many jobs you’d be shocked exist. You could work in a variety of positions in publishing, tech, PR, artist management, recording, retail & institutional sales, or concert production. For example, within classical publishing, there exist departments such as: marketing, web development, sales, A&R, concert promotion, graphic design, engraving, editorial, operations, accounting & royalties, production, human resources, promotions, and licensing. My recommendation is to relocate to a city with a large number of arts organizations, as you’ll have the greatest chance of finding a job there. Research companies you admire and then look at their job openings. If you can, try an internship at one of these organizations to see how you like it.

Rachel recommends the following next steps:

  • Explore the career web pages of classical music brands that you admire.
  • Find individuals on LinkedIn with careers you admire and reach out to them for an informational interview.
  • Pursue an internship with a classical music company.
  • Build your skills outside of performance, including: writing, coding, graphic design, engraving, etc.