Getting a concerto gig as a soloist?
So the past few years of my life have been a mess. I have burned a lot of bridges in my career and have seen stupid mistakes that I have made in my past as a musician. Over these few years I have not been gigging (since no one wanted to hire me due to unprofessional reasons), but I have fixed almost every single technical issue. I would not say that I'm "amazing," but my technique/musically has grown on a tremendous scale. I want to get back into gigging now that I know how to be professional. There is a nearby community orchestra which I have never worked with; I would like to Solo with a simple concerto with them to help get my name back into society. Should I email this orchestra up and ask to schedule an audition? What would you all recommend I do? Or don't do?
I would schedule some solo recitals that show off your abilities. Make sure you publicize them so the right people attend, especially the conductor of said group. You'll need some solid connections. If you really are a brilliant player with orchestral solo potential you'll get noticed. And get professional quality recordings of your live performances made - they'll come in very handy at some point.
Perhaps you could arrange to give a free recital ag a local church or library to ease back into the swing of things. Put a hat at the door asking for a donation to a good cause you want to receive this money and see how it goes. Pay out of your pocket for some advertising two weeks prior. That is my 2 centimos.
Please don't contact a local community orchestra that you have no prior connection with, asking to play a solo with them. That's presumptuous. It's fine to schedule an audition to join the orchestra as a section player, if they have openings.
OP, your post raises some interesting questions about just what you mean by a number of your phrases.
I think the people above are very well informed, how it is in music classical world etc. But just to intertain you a bit, I can share, experience of my friend to came back on the stage as a danser.
I also want to add that if a community orchestra wants a soloist, they tend to go in one of two directions: Hire a name soloist if they have the money (not likely at the Joshua Bell level but there are plenty to choose from who do not charge as much), or engage someone who is locally well-known: a local university violin professor, member of the closest major professional orchestra, or perhaps the community orchestra's own concertmaster. There is virtually no chance of engaging a newcomer with no professional history to be soloist.
I agree with Mary Ellen Goree.
And if you want to approach an orchestra, I wouldn't do it by email. I'd go to one of their concerts, find the concertmaster after the performance, introduce myself, offer my congratulations on the wonderful job they did and how great the orchestra sounded,
Adding to Mary Ellen's list, there are two more types that get invited. One are youngsters who look like they're going to be headed for major careers in the future -- usually local teenagers who have won a major international competition. The others are college students or young professionals who are starting to make a name for themselves, may have won local competitions, and attend schools / have teachers that have a relationship with the conductor and/or orchestra's board.
There's one more, but it's rare: occasionally a community orchestra may engage a soloist on the recommendation of a member of the orchestra. But that tends to be either a soloist who may not be known locally but has a good reputation elsewhere and some kind of connection to an orchestra member, or a soloist recommended by a person whose judgment the conductor trusts.
a lot of the above advice is about soloing with an orchestra. Fundraising opportunities are great ways to play for a good cause.
And it's reasonable, in my opinion, to skim an appropriate accompanist's fee from the proceeds when doing a pro bono charity recital.
The OP was asking specifically about getting a gig as soloist with an orchestra.
Or you could hire the orchestra... :-)
"Or you could hire the orchestra... :-)"
"burned your bridges"(?) It can take a very long time to repair a damaged reputation. It might take less time if you move to another major city : LA, NY, Nashville, Texas, etc, then do auditions for lower budget orchestras, volunteer, sponsor your own demo recital. It will take about one year to make yourself known.
"It will take about one year to make yourself known...."
I don't know about burning bridges. Seems like it would make the strings too low to make a decent sound.
Are there reputable competitions he could enter as an adult?
There are, but they're intended for players who are at the level of an internationally-competitive soloist. That doesn't sound like the OP.