#TBT Big Budget Base Musician Compensation

Now that the New York Philharmonic announced that they reached a new three-year agreement with musicians, it’s time to see how that impacts their standing among peer ensembles. I’m still waiting on the confirmed base salary figures but thanks to an article by Michael Cooper in the 3/2/2018 edition of the New York Times, we do know that the entire term of the agreement will deliver a 4.5 percent increase.

The last time we examined “Big Eight” base musician salary was an article from 9/15/2016, so that’s as good a place as any to refresh your memory.

An Updated Look At Top-Tier Musician Compensation 2016

At that point in time, New York was firmly entrenched in the middle of the second of three compensation tiers.

It will be interesting to see how things have changed. To that end, look for a revised version of those charts by the end of March.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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