Reflections on a Website

by Edna Landau

Dear Edna,

I know this is a very basic question but what should be included on an artist’s website? For an ensemble website, how much information should be included about the individual artists?—Wanting to Get it Right

Dear Wanting to Get it Right:

In 1975, shortly after the foundations of the Internet were first developed, Elliott Carter wrote a chamber work entitled “A Mirror on Which to Dwell.” Taken out of context, that title defines for me what a perfect artist website should be: a true reflection of yourself and your accomplishments which others will find compelling.

When I was a young artist manager, the typical marketing tool was a color flyer that had an artist’s name and photo, a brief bio, some review quotes, and maybe one or two record covers. It cost abut $3000 and was out of date within a few months after it was printed. Today a website offers an artist the opportunity to present themselves exactly as they wish to be seen at any given time and to keep the public current with up to the minute developments in their career.

The essential elements of an artist website are pretty standard and straightforward:

  1. An attractive home page that is not cluttered and draws the viewer in
  2. An electronic press kit (downloadable PDF) consisting of your bio, any feature articles, reviews, review quotes, or other quotes from notable individuals familiar with your work. If you are creating an ensemble website, it is perfectly appropriate to include short bios of the individual members, along with links to their websites.
  3. Photographs (JPEGS) suitable both for print and web use. (Don’t forget to credit the photographer.)
  4. A calendar of your performances (if there is sufficient activity to merit such a listing)
  5. Audio and/or video samples of your work, or links to other sites containing such samples or other information about you (e.g. YouTube, Facebook, Myspace,,
  6. Information about buying your recordings or compositions (if applicable) and joining your mailing list
  7. Contact information for you and others representing you (such as a manager or publicist


  1. A list of repertoire you are ready to perform
  2. Sample programs
  3. Outreach experience
  4. A page about your teaching activities
  5. A blog

Think of all the above as the nuts and bolts of presenting yourself to the world. The ultimate challenge, however, is to create an Internet presence that is professional and attractive and that captures the essence of who you are and how you wish to be seen. Take proper care to ensure the accuracy of everything on your website (have someone else proofread the content) and to update it regularly.

Ultimately, originality and creativity may add a final touch that will personalize your website and make it memorable. Composer Alex Shapiro’s beautiful photographs add an extra dimension to her website that highlight her versatility and individuality ( Tubist Aubrey Foard’s “Study with Aubrey” page sends a reassuring message to a parent that he would be a very caring and nurturing teacher for their child ( Brooklyn Rider’s whimsical home page compels you to open the doors and peek inside (

Have fun with your website but also make sure it is interesting, genuine and thoroughly professional. Then it will truly be a mirror of yourself on which others will wish to dwell.

© Edna Landau 2011

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