Commissioning and Development Editor, Music

  • Employer Oxford University Press
  • Location Oxford
  • Application Deadline 03/09/2023

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford, which furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide.

OUP’s Music Department, within the Academic Division, is one of the world’s leading publishers of classical and educational sheet music. Our diverse list is of the highest quality and includes contemporary works, easy instrumental collections, and an extensive choral catalogue. OUP is also exclusive distributor for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.

We are looking for a confident, proactive, and collaborative individual to commission and acquire content for publication as part of OUP Music’s global sheet-music portfolio. Working with the Head of Publishing, you will research, identify, develop, and contract new titles, as well as evaluating submissions. This key role is ideally suited to someone with a strong understanding of music publishing and its associated markets, particularly in the field of choral music.

Duties of the role will include:

  • Commissioning new titles in order to build departmental income, profitability, and reputation, to the point of handover to colleagues for editing and production.
  • Developing titles by reviewing, consulting with advisers, testing markets, and initiating rewrites so that publications are of an appropriate standard and achieve maximum impact.
  • Planning and monitoring schedules for the delivery of frontlist manuscripts, finding solutions to problems and contributing authoritatively to the discussion of all relevant publishing details.
  • Supporting the Head of Publishing with strategic planning and budgeting of the publishing programme.
  • Working effectively with composers/editors/arrangers to ensure that the aims of their publications are fully realized and that positive working relationships are fostered.
  • Developing and nurturing connections to ensure the publishing list represents a broadening contribution from composers of different backgrounds, including sourcing new music and composers with global voices and commercial potential.
  • Advising and communicating effectively with colleagues to ensure successful publishing, contracting, production, sales, and promotion of new titles.
  • Maintaining knowledge of competition and audience needs in order to commission the most relevant and appropriate titles, including attending conferences and industry events.

We are committed to finding the right person for this job and would consider offering the role at a more junior level with the title of Assistant Commissioning Editor.

We operate a hybrid working policy that requires a minimum of 2 days per week in the Oxford office.


You will have:

  • detailed knowledge of classical (particularly choral) music and markets globally
  • editorial experience with a music publisher, including experience of commissioning and editing (music and text)
  • commercial acumen and the ability to commission, recognise, and nurture composers and music with global potential
  • a high level of practical musicianship, including good piano and aural skills, and understanding of choral practice and orchestral instruments
  • strong critical skills, including flair and confidence to initiate rewrites
  • an eye for detail
  • experience of managing projects and relationships
  • strong communication, organization, and negotiation skills
  • excellent written English

We care about work/life balance here at OUP. With this in mind we offer 25 days’ holiday that rises with service, plus bank holidays and Christmas closure (3-days) and a 35-hour working week. We are open to discussing flexibility in respect to working patterns, dependent on role. We also have a great variety of active employee networks and societies.

We help make your money go further by contributing to your pension up to 12%, offering loans and savings schemes through our partnership with Salary Finance, in addition to travel-to-work schemes and access to a wide range of local discounts.

Please see our Rewards and Recognition page for more information.


Please contact [email protected] with any queries relating to this role.

Interviews will take place during the week commencing 11 September 2023.

We are committed to supporting diversity in our workforce, and ensuring an inclusive environment where all individuals can thrive. We seek to employ a workforce representative of the markets that we serve and encourage applications from all.

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