Being a “successful” composer

Recently, a col­league and I were dis­cussing com­po­si­tion and the cre­ative process. I was asked, “Do you con­sider your­self a suc­cess­ful com­poser?” and with­out hes­i­ta­tion I answered, “yes!”

Since then, I have con­sid­ered this ques­tion more deeply. On what cri­te­ria can we mea­sure our suc­cess? Is it mate­r­ial things like being pub­lished by Schirmer? Prizes? Finan­cial inde­pen­dence? Or aes­thetic things, like recog­ni­tion by your col­leagues, or sim­ply being sat­is­fied with your own work?

Are you a “suc­cess­ful” com­poser? How do you come by your answer?


About Richard D. Russell

This was written by Richard D. Russell, New York City based composer of fine music.