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Press Photos: Why and How

Headshots are used in a variety of ways to promote our composers’ works, ranging from posts on Instagram, to printed flyers or pamphlets, to large posters that make our convention booths pop. Many calls for scores or submissions ask for press quality headshots as well. With that in mind, high resolution images are key to good marketing and promotion, especially in this media-centric, digital age. In this post, we’d like to discuss some technical specs and best practices that we keep in mind when selecting and implementing press photos.

Headshots in Social Media

Headshots in Social Media

Tech Specs

Technically speaking, there are some important standards to consider when preparing a headshot. As a general rule of thumb, image dimensions can very easily be decreased, but any time an image is enlarged beyond its original dimensions, pixels become visible and the image is not usable in a professional setting. Large, high-resolution images offer the most flexibility and for that reason, our production department prefers photos that are at least 8” x 10” at 300 dpi (2400 pixels x 3000 pixels). Photos at this resolution allow us to create crystal clear images for web and can also be resized effectively for most poster sizes. Any image that is smaller than that simply cannot be resized for use on a poster and will likely limit how large the photo can be on most print flyers.

Getting Files Ready

When editing, exporting, or sharing photos, it is very important to be aware of the dimensions and resolution of the image in question. Most photo editors make this information readily available, but in a pinch, image properties can be checked by right-clicking the image file on most computers. When saving or exporting images, it is best to go with the highest resolution possible for the intended application.
As for image file format, JPEG tends to be the most common, especially for use on the web, however lossless, or uncompressed, formats like TIF/PDF are preferable for print and archival purposes. If you are curious about the nitty-gritty details of image resolution, you can read more HERE. You can also learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of the most common image file formats HERE.

Making Them Available

On a daily basis, we receive requests for promotional material for our composers from many different sources. The key to responding quickly and keeping control of narrative is having up-to-date archives and easy to access assets.
Having photos, biographical information, testimonial quotes, and even multimedia in an easy to find place gives you control over what content is used to engage your audience by third parties. Without this, journalists, promotions professionals, and event organizers are forced to either ask you directly for content or dig through the internet, often opting not to use anything at all to avoid the risk of inaccuracy or permissions issues.
One of the best things you can do to control your public image is to display your highest resolution headshot(s) prominently and make it easily available to those who will make use of it. If you have a portfolio website, it is best to have a clear “Press” or “Press Kit” section devoted to this very purpose. From a Promotions point of view, this is a wonderful resource both for marketing professionals and for press organizations that have come to expect this kind of availability. Through the use of your composer pages on our website, we are able to point to a regularly updated source of information for each composer accessible from anywhere that has access to the internet.
Social Media is another web based source offering you direct control of your narrative. If you maintain any professional accounts on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or others, be sure to update your bio and photos regularly and post as actively as you are comfortable. As social media marketing continues to grow and develop, more and more companies are using these tools to engage their audiences. Press companies and event organizers are likely to tag artists in posts about related upcoming performances. We do our best to tag our composers in relevant posts on our channels to expand both your audience and ours.
It is also a good idea to keep a digital press kit handy on your personal computer. Like the web based solution mentioned above, this should include your most up-to-date bio, headshot(s), reviews, and any other media that you feel could be of use promotionally. Saved in a “zipped” folder on your computer, this file should be easily shareable via email, DropBox, Google Drive, or by whatever means you prefer to share digital files. Should a request come in, you’ll be ready to send it along in seconds. When high resolution photos are requested of us, it is easy for us to grab them from our archive and send them along with other promotional materials that we have created.
As always, we welcome your submissions, updates, and questions. Anytime that your bio or headshot changes, let us know. We’ll be happy to update our archive and website and can always talk to you more about promotional ideas and projects!


Headshots in Email Newsletters

Headshots in Email Newsletters


Composer Spotlight: Peter Schickele

The music of Peter Schickele – whether penned under his autograph or his satirical doppelganger‘s – strikes a perfect balance between lighthearted, optimism and the often weighty pretenses of classical music. In his compositions, both parody and pensiveness seem to thrive in such a way that the audience cannot help but sense sincerity behind every musical gesture. Schickele’s “music has wit and charm and above all a generosity of spirit that is rare these days” (Michael Anthony, Minneapolis Star Tribune).

Over 100 works for symphony orchestras, choral groups, chamber ensembles, voice, movies, and television have found their way into the hearts of many over the years; we encourage you to explore some of these pieces below.

  • A Year In The Catskills (2008)
    for Woodwind Quintet

    …expertly written…
    Too little music of this type is written:
    beautifully crafted, and witty
    without being superficial.

    –BBC Music Magazine

    The Emperor’s New Clothes (2002)
    for Narrator, Oboe, Violin, Viola, Cello, and Piano

    The work that brought down the
    house was Schickele’s sly, wry
    “Emperor’s New Clothes”…

    –The Seattle Times

    Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra (1999)
    Solo Bsn.; 2(Picc.) 2 2 1 – 2 2 0 0; Perc. Pno. Str.

    [The bassoon] here becomes the
    lead singer, with a surprisingly
    smooth and melodic, and
    perhaps even more surprisingly
    high-register, voice.
    …supported [by] animated,
    cheerful orchestration…

    –Letter V, Classical Music Blog

    Audio begins on page 12 of score
    Percussion Sonata No. 2, “Woodstock” (1997)
    for Five Percussionists

    …successfully melded together a
    variety of genres. At times,
    the piece rallied momentum
    with building tones, not unlike
    a Beethoven sonata, while at other
    times the piece made use of
    a strong, pop-funk-influenced motif.

    –The Oberlin Review

    Songs From Shakespeare (1978)
    for Two Singers and Piano
    Peter Schickele: Songs from Shakespeare

    … a hilarious selection of
    famous Shakespeare soliloquies
    set to pop refrains, turning
    those profound words upside down.

    –Cleveland Plain Dealer

    All content is for promotional purposes only.
    For Peter Schickele’s full biography and list of works, visit his composer page.

  • Top O' The Millennium

    A Year In The Catskills
    For Woodwind Quintet
    Peter Schickele
    164-00279 – Score & Parts – $45.00

    Top O' The Millennium

    Top O’ The Millennium
    For Two Violas
    Peter Schickele
    164-00287 – Performances Score – $12.99

    The Magic Bassoon

    The Magic Bassoon
    Tragicommodity in One Act (S. 7)
    Mystifyingly edited by Professor Peter Schickele
    for three, or, actually, two, unless… uh… oh, never mind
    411-41138 – Piano/Vocal Score – $45.00

    The Magic Bassoon

    The Monk’s Aria
    (“Et Exspecto” from Hansel and Gretel and Ted and Alice)
    Opera Funnia in, at the very most, One Act (S.2n-1)
    Painstakingly Excavated by Professor Peter Schickele
    111-40245 – Basso Blotto and Piano – $7.50

    All content is for promotional purposes only.
    For Peter Schickele’s full biography and list of works, visit his composer page.

  • Concerto for Bassoon and Orchestra
    Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra

    Five Songs for Horn and Orchestra
    Monochrome III
    for 9 Clarinets

    Unbegun Symphony
    A Quodlibet for Chamber Orchestra
    Eine Kleine Nichtmusik
    for Chamber Orchestra

    for String Orchestra
    My Soul Doth Magnify the Lord
    for Mixed Chorus, Piano and Strings

  • First appearance of P.D.Q. Bach – August 30, 1953
    Sanka Cantata performed in someone’s living room in Fargo, North Dakota.

    First CommissionMovement for Small Orchestra (1954)
    Commissioned by the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony

    Graduated from Swarthmore College – 1957

    First Commission (that’s still available)After Spring Sunset (completed June 29, 1961)
    Commissioned by the Smith College Glee Club
    Premiered by the Smith College Glee Club and Amherst College Chorus
    Conducted by Iva Dee Hyatt, March 16, 1962

    Taught at Juilliard – 1961 to 1965

    Hosted “Schickele Mix”
    Radio program that ran from January 3, 1992 to June 23, 1999

    Won a Grammy
    1990 – Best Comedy Recording: Oedipus Tex and Other Choral Calamities
    1991 – Best Comedy Recording: WTWP Classical Talkity-Talk Radio
    1992 – Best Comedy Recording: Music for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion
    2004 – Best Spoken Word Album for Children: The Emperor’s New Clothes

    Most Recent CommissionQuintet for Clarinet and String Quartet
    Commissioned by Chamber Music Northwest and the La Jolla Music Festival
    Premiered July 18, 2015 at Chamber Music Northwest and August 25, 2015 at La Jolla;
    Miró Quartet, David Shifrin, clarinet

    Listen to Peter Schickele reflect on the “life” of P.D.Q. Bach


Composer Spotlight: William Mayer

William Mayer’s work sings out with real beauty. –The New York Times

This November the Center for Contemporary Opera will honor composer William Mayer by presenting a night of his works at Opera America’s Scorca Hall. The Theodore Presser Company would also like to join in celebrating Mr. Mayer’s upcoming 90th birthday (November 18) by inviting you to explore some of his most well-known compositions. Highlights from his catalog include the evocative ballet suite Scenes from “The Snow Queen” – which has been performed worldwide, including repeat performances by the Philadelphia Orchestra – and the hauntingly beautiful, dramatic oratorio, The Eve of St. Agnes.


Visit William Mayer’s composer page to read his biography and view a complete list of works.

  • Dream’s End
    For Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Piano, Violin and Cello

    William Mayer’s work sings out
    with real beauty.

    –The New York Times

    The Eve of St. Agnes
    Sop., Mezzo-sop., Bar. Soli; SATB Chorus;
    2 2 2 2 – 2 2 2 0; Timp. Perc. Hp. Pno. Str.

    ”The Eve of St. Agnes” gives us
    several levels of experience,
    each one balanced against the other…
    The blend of the effects…is what one
    remembers after the amusing virtuosity
    of the different elements has receded.

    –American Record Guide

    Scenes from “The Snow Queen”
    3 2 2 2 – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Pno. Hp. Str.

    …proved a jolly, often exciting
    and brilliant exposition of a
    Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale…
    …it is a work one would like to hear again.

    –Democrat and Chronicle

    William Mayer: Subway in the Sunlight

    …Mayer’s work is spunky,
    unself-conscious, and as
    rich in humor as it
    is in substance.

    –New York Post

    Enter Ariel
    For Solo Voice, Clarinet, and Piano

    …his settings of poems by
    Hart Crane, e.e. cummings, Sara Teasdale
    and Langston Hughes were sensitive,
    actually augmenting the power of the texts,
    something not always true today.

    –The Star-Ledger

    All content is for promotional purposes only.
    For William Mayer’s full biography and list of works, visit his composer page.

  • Back Talk
    for Chamber Orchestra
    Brief Candle
    A Music Drama
    in Three Acts and in Six Minutes

    Good King Wenceslas
    for Narrator and Orchestra
    for Flute, Percussion,
    Violin, Viola and Cello

    Scenes from “The Snow Queen”
    for Orchestra
    The Eve of St. Agnes
    A Dramatic Fantasy Based
    on the Poem by John Keats

  • William Mayer WILLIAM MAYER
    CRI/New World Records (NWCR767); February 1, 2007
    Performer(s): Iowa Brass Quintet; Members of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; William McGlaughlin, conductor; New York Brass and Woodwind Ensemble; Emanuel Balaban, conductor; Robert Nagel Brass Trio; The Peabody Co…
    Work(s): Brass Quintet
    Country Fair
    Dream’s End
    The Eve of St. Agnes
    Two News Items
    Traveling West TRAVELING WEST
    North/South Consonance (); March 29, 2005
    Performer(s): Lisa Hansen, flute, The North/South Consonance Ensemble, Max Lifchitz, condutor
    Work(s): Messages
    Childhood Memories: Music for Younger Pianists CHILDHOOD MEMORIES: MUSIC FOR YOUNGER PIANISTS
    CRI/New World Records (80590); November 24, 2002
    Performer(s): Sahan Arzruni, piano
    Work(s): Subway in the Sunshine and Other Memories
    DreamScape: Lullabies from Around the World DREAMSCAPE: LULLABIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
    Koch International Classics (7433); August 17, 1999
    Performer(s): Heidi Grant Murphy, soprano, Auréole
    Work(s): Zoom-bah
    Distant Playing Fields: 20th Century Vocal Chamber Works by Amy Beach & William Mayer DISTANT PLAYING FIELDS: 20TH CENTURY VOCAL CHAMBER WORKS BY AMY BEACH & WILLIAM MAYER
    Newport Classic (); March 17, 1998
    Performer(s): Mary Callahan, Angelina Reaux, sopranos; Robert Guarino, Christopher Pfund, tenor; Charles Neidich, clarinet, Christopher Oldfather, piano; Gregg Smith Singers; St. Luke’s Chamber Players
    Work(s): Enter Ariel
    Voices From Lost Realms VOICES FROM LOST REALMS
    Albany Records (TROY068); April 16, 1995
    Performer(s): Mary Feinsinger, Judith Christin, mezzos, Gregory Mercer, tenor, James McKeel, baritone, Marshall Coid, violin, Richard Goldsmith, clarinet, Steven Mayer, piano, New Calliope Singers, Peter Schubert, …
    Work(s): Abandoned Bells
    Fern Hill
    Flotsam from “Enter Ariel”
    Hist Wist from “Enter Ariel”
    Limited from “Passage”
    To Electra
    What Lips My Lips Have Kissed from “Passage”

  • October 18, 2015 at 4:00 p.m – Abondoned Bells
    Judith Olson, piano; Tenri Cultural Institute, New York, NY

    November 9, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. – A Death in the Family
    Center for Contemporary Opera; Marc A. Scorca Hall, New York, NY

    November 18, 2015 – Subway in the Sunlight
    Broadcast on WWFM’s “The Piano Matters” with David Dubal

    December 5, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. – Good King Wenceslas
    Toledo Symphony; Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH


Introducing Leshnoff Publishing

Theodore Presser is pleased to announce that it has recently joined forces with Leshnoff Publishing: sole representative of prominent composer, Jonathan Leshnoff.

Mr. Leshnoff has an exciting 2015-2016 season ahead of him, with four significant world premieres already on the calendar. In April, the Philadelphia Orchestra will premiere his Clarinet Concerto (Ricardo Morales, clarinet) and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will premiere Zohar, an oratorio co-commissioned by the ASO and Carnegie Hall. Later that Spring Leshnoff’s new Violin Concerto will be ushered in by legendary violinist Gil Shaham and The Knights, while his Symphony No. 3 will be premiered by the Kansas City Symphony.

Explore the newest publications from Leshnoff Publishing below and be sure to visit Theodore Presser for more exciting news about this composer’s work.


Liebermann: Solitutde

Delos Music (DE3447); August 1, 2015
Performer(s): Stefán Ragnar Höskuldsson, flute, Michael McHale, piano
Work(s): Sonata for Flute and Piano, Op. 23