Musicians who can sightread, improvise, or have memorised works they can readily perform don’t need a lead time to prepare for a concert performance. Yet concert engagements don’t happen overnight. There is a certain lead time to book a concert and a lead time to get the audience.
I interviewed a classical music aficionado last Friday about his house concert series as material to add to my ongoing research on house concerts and salon concerts. Towards the end of our phone conversation, I mentioned that classical guitarist Robert Bekkers was going to be in town. Would he care to organise a concert in his home?
His first reaction was very positive. Yes! He would love to. When I told him the date, he withdrew and said he could not manage to organise his schedule and home to make it happen. He would prefer a month to 6 weeks notice.
Indeed, if you have to turn your home into a concert venue, you do need time to clear up and clean up. If you have a full-time job, you do need to make space to organise a concert event in your free time.
Undeterred, I googled to find other candidates.
That Friday 11th February 2011, I e-mailed a non-profit organisation that had put on such intimate classical music concerts for raising funds for the cause they’re championing.
Before I went to bed, I noticed I had received an e-mail reply.
The very next morning, I was woken up by a call from the lady in charge. We spoke for over 40 minutes about the possibilities of collaborating. I told her that I was the gateway to some of the best musicians on the planet.
On Sunday, I sent her links and material she could use to convince the new board members about doing a concert.
On Monday, she had her board meeting.
On Tuesday, she e-mailed me to ask if the Mr Bekkers was available the following Wednesday to give a concert. She would get her real estate advisory council to find a suitable location.
On Wednesday, I replied that indeed he was available and happy to give a concert.
In less than 12 hours, she and the chairman of her real estate advisory council had not only found a venue but also managed to get half the tickets sold.
How’s that for speed to market? If everything is in place, a gig can happen overnight.
Robert Bekkers gives a solo concert in Phoenix, Arizona on Wednesday 23rd February 2011 at 7 pm.