Menu Close

Commission New Music

A terrific, talented composer… thank you for our original composition!

Nathan Shirley may be hired to write music for a variety of purposes, from a large scale symphonic score to a single page piece for solo instrument. Music may be written for the most virtuosic performer or for the young beginner requiring a very simple, yet highly musical and engaging composition. A work may be commissioned to create new repertoire for an instrument or ensemble, as a piece to be performed in a concert or ceremony, for a specific symphony, chamber group, or soloist… or just for the experience of participating in the creation of a new work of art. Scores will be customized to your needs. Commission fees.

Classical composer and pianist Nathan Shirley
Creating melodic and accessible, yet complex and subtle music, in the great classical tradition.

How to Commission Classical Music

To receive a quote, simply fill out this form, or contact the composer directly to discuss your proposal. Details to consider are what instrument or group of instruments might be involved, a general time frame, difficulty level, special issues, questions, etc. Mr Shirley is happy to talk about any proposition, so if you have never commissioned a work before don’t feel hesitant. He can also assemble musicians and organize a recording/performance of the new music as needed. If an agreement is reached and you wish to proceed with the commission, a contract will be prepared and signed by both parties. Half of the commissioning fee will be due upfront.

Once the music is complete the composer will prepare the sheet music (with a special inscription), any parts, and a high quality synthesized recording of the music which will all be delivered to you. As with standard practice, the composer will retain all rights to the music, however the printed score will forever bear the name(s) of the commissioner and anyone the music might be dedicated to. In most cases the music will also be made available online.

The fee to commission original music from Nathan Shirley is determined by a number of factors such as length, instrumentation, difficulty, etc. This basically boils down to how much time will be needed to compose the music. It is possible to commission music of any magnitude, from the smallest miniature to the mammoth symphony. Mr Shirley’s fees are very competitive which makes his small scale compositions quite affordable. In fact, he has a unique gift for writing music to be performed by children.

A very small commission might be completed in one week. A very ambitious, large scale commission might take up to six months or more to complete. If a work is needed in a shorter time frame, it may be possible to speed up the process in certain circumstances.

Mr Shirley is very open to unusual or challenging musical concepts and can give informative suggestions if you are unsure about a specific musical need. Contact Nathan Shirley with any ideas or questions or fill out the music commission form.

“As late as it is, my children have asked me to write to you immediately. They absolutely loved the piece. So did I. It is just perfect… haunting and beautiful. And, within their range. Really, just perfect. We are all extremely pleased.”

Know a talented young musician who has a flair for their instrument? A custom composition dedicated to them can be an overwhelming surprise.

Nathan Shirley has given private lessons to nearly 70 students and group lessons to over 500. With this experience he has gained a deep insight into the musical wants and needs of children. He has composed much for children, from the youngest beginner to the very experienced, and can tailor a composition to suit any music student (young or old).


“Hallelujah! At last a ‘symphonist’… this is a fifteen minute demonstration of strong, vital musical ideas, interesting and characterful rhythms, intelligent and competent harmony…” & “This third in a series of 10 short character pieces is typical of all ten; the well-written, pianistic product of someone who really understands how to play, and write for, the instrument. Each number has a very distinctive atmosphere, and though there are perhaps echoes of influences like Bach or gamelan, it is clear that here we have a young composer who has something to say and knows technically how to say it.”

Laurence Hughes (reviewer for the British press, composer)

“I’ve listened to the compositions here and am very impressed; your playing is also very powerful, spirited, effective.”

-Dr. John Rinehart (composer, pianist)

“Excellent work of intelligence and sensitivity – thanks Nathan!”

-Commissioning individual

“Molto bella la tua musica e piena di sogni e dolcezze”

-Tony Schito (songwriter)

“Your music is very beautiful, direct and expressive yet complex. I imagine the years of hard work that go into developing talent to such a level, and in your music I can hear the love and passion that made such an investment possible.”

-Hermione Swinford (harpist, vocalist)

“We received the sheet music for the Duet. Incidentally, we’ve shown it to _____ & _____‘s orchestra conductor, their performance coach (who is a professional viola player), their primary violin teacher (Juilliard Grad and former Philly Orchestra violinist), and the former concertmaster for the National Youth Orchestra… They all thought it was a terrific piece…refreshing for the age of my kids.  We’re all looking forward to the solos.”

-Commissioning individual

“Nathan, your piece for Flute and Strings is exceptional. Reminds me a little of Prokofiev. I’m truly moved.”

-Lisa Toth (violinist, Toth & Nitsch Duo)

“Pure genius!”

-Roy Garrou (electronic music composer)

“Oh My God!  Your music is a revelation! I am amazed Nathan.”

-Darren Polite (songwriter, producer)

“A privilege to have been associated with the creation of a lovely piece of music”

-Commissioning individual

“Lovely, love-ly music man! Great stuff!”

-Daniel Weltlinger (violinist)

“Skupienie I podskorne napiecie ustapilo miejsca niepohamowanemu wybuchowi soczystej, zywej I radosnej niemal symfonicznej w rozmachu Music for Strings and Marimba Nathana Wrighta Shirleya.”

-Ewa Cichon (writer, music critic)

“Shirley is the real deal, completely contemporary music that rewards the listener fully.”

-Dr. David Hopes (Emeritus Professor of English at UNCA)