Recommended Artists information page for applicants

If you’re a professional soloist or chamber ensemble, apply to be on our database and receive free promotion to our members.

Applications are now open

We will be launching our new Recommended Artists Guide this summer. Designed to replace the Selected Artists Guide, this will be a searchable database of professional soloists, ensembles, music creators and workshop leaders. We will promote you to our 3,800+ member groups across the UK. 

Our new, online only guide will make it easier for our member groups to find and book you. 

What’s new? 

  • Applications will be open all year round, so you will be able to apply at any time during the year. 
  • We will be able to include a greater number of artists than before. 
  • If your application is successful, you will be listed in the guide for two years, and can reapply to be included in consecutive years. 

However, some things have not changed. 

  • You will still be assessed on a range of specific criteria and will only be accepted for the guide if they reach a certain standard. 
  • In order to keep fees affordable for our members, there will be a maximum fee that artists can quote. 

Complete application form

Find out more about the application and assessment process below. 

  1. How to apply 
  2. Fees information 
  3. How applications are assessed 
  4. What happens after the assessment is complete? 

How to apply 

You can apply to appear in our directory using am online application form. Applications are assessed by a team of staff and volunteer listeners. You can apply at any time, and if you are accepted, you will appear in the guide for two years, after which time you will need to re-apply. 

What will I be asked in the application form?
  • The contact details of the person completing the form 
  • Description and photograph of yourself / your group 
  • Your location (nearest town/city and postcode) 
  • Your online profile (website and social media links) 
  • Your fees 
  • Booking contact details 
  • Most recent concerts in the UK 
FAQs: How to apply

I’m applying as a solo musician. Can I include chamber ensembles I play with on my application? 
Unfortunately not. If you are applying as a soloist, then we can only assess performances where you are performing as a soloist (with or without accompaniment). If you would like one of your ensembles to be featured in the guide, please make a separate application for them. 

I’ve performed a concerto with an orchestra or other ensemble. Can I include it in my list of performances? 
If you are applying as a soloist, then yes. If you are part of a chamber group, we can only consider performances by the group as a whole, and not separate individual performances by members of the group. 

I’m applying as part of a flexible ensemble. How many different line-ups will you need to assess? 
At least one performance must be for the full-size group, the others can be of varying sizes. 

I’ve taken part in an opera, musical or other staged ensemble performance. Can I include this on my list of performances? 
Not at the moment. These performances are harder for us to assess under the current criteria, but we aim to include these in the future. 

Can I include children or family concerts in my application? 
Yes. It is important to our members that you can demonstrate that you have undertaken educational work and so we will assess these performances. However, we will need to assess at least one recital performance, as these are our primary focus. If you are not able to include one at this stage, we will send an assessor to a future performance. 

I’ve submitted my application. What happens next? 
We will send an acknowledgement of your application, and shortly afterwards we will contact you to let you know the status of your application and how and when your application will be assessed. 

Fees information 

As part of our commitment to ensuring that artists in the guide are affordable to our members, we will ask you to quote the fees you are prepared to offer to our members. Please note these can be different to your standard fees, or can be the same as them – your choice – but we can only consider applications from artists who quote fees that are no higher than: 

  • £600 for a solo artist (no accompaniment) 
  • £750 for a solo artist with an accompanist (the accompanist does not need to be named) 
  • £850 for a duo (must be an established duo who work together on a regular basis, and both people must be named in the application) 
  • £1200 for a trio 
  • £1400 for a quartet 
  • £300 per person for larger ensembles 

Fees quoted do not include travel expenses, but must include VAT. 

FAQs: Fees information

If my application is successful, can I change the fees that I have quoted in my application form? 
All information that you give us at the point of applying will form your final entry in the guide, if you are accepted. Please make sure that you have considered your fees carefully before submitting the form, bearing in mind the limits mentioned above and the fact that these fees will be valid for two years. You can change your listed fees once your two-year period is up, as part of the re-application process. 

If a Making Music member offers to pay me a higher fee, can I accept it? 
Yes, if it is the member that offers the higher fee in the first place. We encourage our members to pay more if they can – however, please don’t expect this. If someone asks you to quote a fee and they say that they got your details from the Recommended Artists guide, please quote the fee that you have submitted to us. 

How applications are assessed 

We ask that you provide a list of your recent performances in the UK. We will first ask our pool of volunteer listeners if any of them attended these performances and are able to assess them. If not, we will ask you for a list of your forthcoming concert dates so that we can send listeners to them to make an assessment. 

We require three assessments that verify you have met our criteria before you can be listed in the guide. More details about assessment criteria below. 

You will need to arrange complimentary tickets for our listeners to attend and assess any relevant performances if required. We will contact you to confirm these arrangements. 

Your application will be kept open until we have received three reports, after which time we will decide whether you can be accepted into the guide. 

Assessment criteria 

Our listeners complete a form which asks about various aspects of your performance as follows: 

  • Technical ability 
  • Balance and cohesion of ensemble 
  • Musical engagement 
  • Stage presence 
  • Programming 
  • Interaction with the audience 

Listeners give feedback in the form of comments rather than marks. We are looking for performances where the listener is enthusiastic about the performance they have seen, and where it is clear that performers rate highly in all of these categories. 

FAQs: Assessment

How many of my performances will be attended by listeners? 
We would like to receive three reports for each artist before accepting them into the guide. This helps us to ensure that we have a balanced and wide-ranging assessment for all applicants. In some cases, our listeners will have heard you perform recently, and so we will not need to send listeners to any further performances as they can complete reports straight away. If we do need to send listeners to hear you perform, it will be for up to three separate performances. 

Who organises the complimentary tickets for the listeners to attend my performances? 
We ask that you arrange this. All tickets will be held under the name ‘Making Music’ to preserve the anonymity of our listeners. 

How many tickets will you require for each performance? 
Either one or two. Some of our listeners attend alone, but others bring their partner with them (often because their partner is driving them there and back!). Please assume that we will require two tickets for each performance until we are able to confirm. 

How will I know which performances the listeners will attend? 
We will contact you to let you know which performances will be attended and to ask you for the complimentary tickets. If tickets are required, we will endeavour to give you as much notice as possible. 

What criteria do the listeners use to make an assessment? 
When writing their report, listeners are asked to consider musicianship and technical ability, interaction and engagement with the audience, programming and repertoire, and the audience’s response, as well as their own personal enjoyment of the performance. 

Will the listeners make themselves known to me/us? 
Listeners are under no obligation to introduce themselves to the performers: some will choose to do so because they want to find out more about you, but some prefer to remain anonymous during the process. In all cases, listeners are unable to give feedback to you about the performance. 

Will we still be considered if we need to use a substitute musician for one of our performances? 
Yes, but we would ask you to let us know if this is the case so that we can pass the information to the listener and take this into account when considering your application and the listener’s assessments. 

Can I still be considered if a listener is unable to attend my performance at the last minute? 
We will ask you to provide details of another performance we can send a listener to. Your application will be held open until three assessments have been received, at which point we will make a decision and communicate this to you. There is no time limit on this process. 

How long can applications be in progress for – is there a cut off point? 
Applications are kept in progress until three assessment reports have been received. We will then make a decision about whether to approve the application or not. 

Complete application form

What happens after the assessment is complete? 

The assessment team will evaluate the reports received from listeners, and decide whether you have met the criteria for inclusion in the guide. 

Making Music will contact you to let you know the outcome. If we have received three reports that demonstrate that you meet the assessment criteria, we will publish your entry in the guide using the information you supplied on the application form. 

If your application is approved prior to the launch of the new guide, your two-year period will commence from the date the guide goes live. If your application is approved after the launch date, the two-year period will start from the date your entry is added to the guide. 

Your entry will remain live for two years, and towards the end of that time we will contact you to invite you to re-apply in order to remain in the guide. 

If your application is unsuccessful, unfortunately you will need to wait for two years before you can apply again. 

FAQs: After the assessment

When will I find out if my application has been successful? 
We can only let you know if your application has been successful once three listener reports have been received, so it depends on how soon listeners are able to report on and/or attend your performances. We will endeavour to keep you informed of the status of your application on a regular basis. 

My application was not successful – can I apply again? 
We ask that you wait for two years before applying again. 

How do I get feedback on my application? 
Please contact the panel administrator if you require feedback. 

How long will my entry be in the guide for? 
If your application is successful, your entry will be listed in our online guide for two years. After this time, you will need to reapply. We will contact you to let you know when your entry is about to expire. 

When will I receive bookings? 
Being listed in the guide does not guarantee that you will receive any bookings. If our members do want to book you, they could contact you at any time during the two-year period. 

What promotion will I receive through being in the guide? 
We regularly remind our members about the existence of the guide and how it can be used. We do not promote individual artists within the guide, but rather the guide as a whole. 

Further questions?  

If your question is not answered above, please contact us with your query.