Here in Detroit I have almost all the ingredients necessary to put on some great string quartet concerts in the city: very skilled composers of great craftsmanship; very talented performers; beautiful venues.
The idea for this particular concert, which I hope to put on as part of the anticipatory events leading to the Detroit Design Festival 2012 in September, is "The Typography of Music," in which the Audience will get to experience my String Quartet in A-flat major both as sound coming from a live, local string quartet, and on the printed page. The concert will be preceded by a short lecture by me about some aspects of music notation and how its design impacts the performance of music. The concert will also include Beethoven or Mozart, perhaps Chevallier Saint-Georges, and a local composer besides myself.
I have lots of things ready for this specific concert. A choice of venues (most likely somewhere north of Harwell Park). Experience putting on concerts (there were no public string quartet concerts at all in the city of Detroit in 2010 or 2011 because I didn't put one on). A print shop ready to run off several copies of my Quartet. Edited repertoire by Detroit composers. My own music tested and proven in prior concerts. Even a world-renowned musicologist from Europe (an expert on the music of Anton Bruckner) who already wrote the programme note about my Quartet in A-flat.
The only thing holding me back is money to pay the musicians, who are overworked and underpaid. It is otherwise difficult to convince such a musician to overwrite their busy schedule to undertake a concert of new music. I estimate that to securely pull off a string quartet concert in the current economic climate, I need $1,600. It can be done for less, but it is such a nail-biter that you spend more time worrying about what could go wrong than on telling people to come to the concert. I have about a third of the estimated amount needed, and I am looking at many different ways to obtain the rest, including Kickstarter.
With the money squared away, I can meet with the musicians, hammer out the details of repertoire, time and place, and then concentrate on publicizing the concert through the Metro Times, Detroit Free Press, Facebook, etc., and of course in person as well, and on showing my gratitude to the backers.