Meaningful Discussions About Compensation Aren’t As Difficult As You Might Think

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I was listening to a classical music podcast over the weekend and the host, a professional musician, was interviewing an orchestra CEO. At one point in the conversation, they started talking about manager vs. musician compensation. What ensued was the normal gnashing of teeth over it being difficult conversation (spoiler: it isn’t) and all the talking point unfolded along the same well-worn discussions on this topic. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the CEO felt …

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A Quick Follow-Up On The Chicago Symphony Settlement And Substitute Parity

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One item that remains unclear in the new Chicago Symphony Orchestra agreement is whether the new fiver-year contract modified any of the terms related to substitute musician compensation. I’ve been communicating with both the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) and the musicians and so far, have received mildly differing accounts. According to CSOA Communications and Public Relations Officer, Eileen Chambers “per the terms of the new agreement, temporary or substitute musicians will …

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Substitute Parity At ICSOM Orchestras 2019

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In 2014, we took a deep dive into which International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) symphonic orchestras paid substitute musicians the same rate as core musicians and in the wake of a recent conversation with ICSOM chairperson Meredith Snow and ICSOM President Paul Austin, it’s time to update that list. My thanks to Paul Austin for spearheading this effort and providing ICSOM’s list of changes. As with most comparative …

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Shop Talk: S01E01 Poke It With A Stick

Surprise! Today marks the inaugural episode of a new video podcast series where I sit down with movers and shakers in the field and talk shop. Today’s episode focuses on a topic near and dear to my own arts admin heart: substitute musician equal pay for equal work. I’m joined by a pair of leaders from the musician side of the equation, International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) chairperson …

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Elizabeth Rowe Lawsuit Settles And We’re No Closer To Change Than When Everything Started

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Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) Principal Flute, Elizabeth Rowe, has settled her case alleging sex-based pay discrimination. Both parties entered mediation in December 2018 and at the time, the concern was any settlement may have a nondisclosure agreement attached. It turns out, that concern was justified. News of a settlement was released last week and a joint statement indicates both parties are satisfied with the outcome and all details will remain confidential. …

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