How to get a gig with Ken….

Like all conductors, I get lots of inquiries every year from soloists, agents and other conductors. I’ll only ever be able to engage the tiniest minority of them, although most people who send me stuff are extremely well-qualified. If we didn’t hire you, the most likely reason is that we couldn’t afford you, and the next most likely reason is that the slot we would have used you in was already promised to someone else.

Anyway…. Over the last few years, people have shifted more and more to email as a marketing tool instead of mailing heavy, expensive and planet-killing press kits all over the world. This is a good thing, except I’m now getting mountains of electronic press kits, bios and cvs labelled in really helpful ways, like




So, today’s request is—please put the ARTIST’S NAME, and where appropriate the MANGEMENT COMPANY’S name in the title of each document, i.e.-


See, it’s easy!

Same thing goes for applicants to the conductors workshop!

Here endeth the lesson/rant


PS- Two more things. A personal message of about 2 paragraphs is nice- it tells me you actually put as much time into contacting me as I have to put in checking out your stuff. Also, remember, everyone in the business is constantly going back and forth between being a work-giver and a work-seeker. As the work-seeker, it’s your job to respond to emails right away. It is an unequal relationship, but everyone works in both roles, so it all balances out.

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About the author

American conductor, composer and cellist Kenneth Woods is Principal Conductor of the English Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Colorado MahlerFest and cellist of the string trio Ensemble Epomeo. He records for the Avie, Somm, Nimbus, Signum, MSR and Toccata labels.

Learn about Kenneth at

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