Some Early Thoughts On Indianapolis

Originally, the plan for today’s post was to take a closer look at the growing labor dispute brewing at the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO). On Monday, the ISO musicians issued a press statement that asserted the employer informed them they will not only extend the existing furlough but cut off health insurance. I reached out to the musician representatives and the employer to learn as much as possible but as of …

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Examining Recession Era Compensation Trends

The 2020 Orchestra compensation reports are coming out next week so between now and then, it’s worth taking a quick look at how past recessions have impacted compensation. Simply put, there are no shortage of lessons to learn. When taking a look at the most recent long-term averages for executives, music director, and concertmaster compensation it’s not difficult to see exactly when the housing bubble downturn impacted trends. Music director and …

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Upcoming Stress Tests For Musician Governance

“Never let a good crisis go to waste” is one of those quotes that comes as a razor-sharp double-edged sword. It’s been crossing my mind as of late with regard to some of the larger challenges orchestra musicians are likely to face in Covid era negotiations. First off, there are going to be no shortage of legitimate reasons why budgets will be stressed but history is full of examples where executive …

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Embracing Innovation Over Hibernation

There’s a fabulous piece making the rounds written by Seth Pinsky that was originally published in the 6/13/2020 edition of Pinsky, the former head of New York’s Economic Development Corporation under Mayor Bloomberg and the CEO of the 92nd Street Y, provides the cultural sector with exactly the right advice at exactly the right time. Now that we’re starting to see the very beginnings of cancellations from larger budget orchestras …

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Don’t Be A Domino

In case you haven’t heard the news, the New York Philharmonic announced the cancellation of all performances through January 5, 2021. Is that discouraging news? Yes, but there’s no reason for it to be the first domino to tip. Undoubtedly, the New York Philharmonic’s leadership team spent a great deal of time analyzing options before arriving at a decision. Every other orchestra will be well-served to follow a similar process. More …

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