More On The Dynamic Impact Of COIVD

Usually, these posts focus on how the pandemic generates dynamic expenses and considerations for the organization but today we’re going to focus on musicians; specifically, string musicians.

This dynamic cost consideration is really more of a double-edged sword.

On one hand, if a string musician was playing considerably less over the pandemic, the need for regular maintenance items like changing strings or getting bows rehaired has been lower. At the same time, a lot of the materials involved in those maintenance tasks require materials that are imported and/or have seen pandemic related cost increases.

That means once concert activity begins kicking in, those costs to tool back up to pre-pandemic levels are going to be higher at a time when some have been out of work and with little to no performing income for more than a year.

If you’re curious about how much these expenses run, you need to check out this information, which started life as an article for The Strad and evolved into this online resource I’ve been updating every five(ish) years.

Counting The Costs

We’re just about a year out from the next rate of inflation update and I am all kinds of curious to see how these figures will change. I’m also going to see about securing some luthiers to come on Shop Talk and chat about how the pandemic will impact instrument maintenance and care, not to mention their business.

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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