Case Study: Contemporary Chamber Ensemble

Posted on March 15th, 2012 by Jean Cook in Financial Case Studies, Participant Data. 2 Comments

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New Music
Contemporary Jazz

Sideman/Session Work

1997 – present



The following is the breakdown of 2002–2010 revenue for a Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, which performs classical, contemporary and crossover jazz works, and records and tours internationally. The ensemble primarily performs and records works that were written by other composers. Sometimes they commission composers to write specific pieces for the ensemble, while other times ensemble members will arrange works for the group to play. When the ensemble tours they typically play concert halls, museums, churches, music festivals and universities in the US and around the world. They often add a special educational performance for young audiences or schools or special coaching for student ensembles to a concert date, and have developed an educational curriculum. The ensemble has released six records, and the members have also recorded occasionally as guest artists on other artists’ records. All of the members have formal conservatory training. Their team includes a manager who also books their tours for them and a freelance publicist, and they have a multi-year relationship with an independent record label. The ensemble is an LLC business partnership.

This case study focuses on the income and the expenses of the ensemble, as opposed to the financial picture of its individual members. While each member benefits equally from the ensemble’s work via profit sharing, individuals may be supplementing their ensemble income with teaching or session work.

This case study includes:

Next: Gross Revenue Time Series

About the Case Studies

Graphs do not have a Y-axis dollar value in order to observe the conditions of our privacy policy. In addition, graphs and visuals in case studies are not comparable within or between case studies. For more details about this, read about our financial case study protocol.

Information detailed in case studies is based on data received directly from the artist or their authorized representative. The data analysis and lessons learned here are based on individual experience, and do not necessarily reflect the experiences of all musicians in genre or roles.

Case studies are one of three ways this project is looking at music creator income.

2 responses to “Case Study: Contemporary Chamber Ensemble”

  1. […] the case study of a Contemporary Chamber Ensemble: “We learn that though their gross income fluctuates from year to year, their net profit is […]