Why Are Conductors Exempt From Wearing Masks Onstage?

If you’ve been watching any of the early efforts from orchestras experimenting with socially distanced concerts, you’ve probably noticed that on-stage musicians are wearing masks, even wind players when they aren’t actively playing. In the handful of indoor events, audience members are wearing masks as well. So why are some conductors going without masks or walking out wearing a mask, but removing it while conducting? Holly Mulcahy was wondering the same …

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Why Non-Artistic Duties And Responsibilities Are More Important Now Than Ever

Even before coronavirus shutdowns, music director compensation was a hot topic, but the current environment introduces a new layer when the issue of shared sacrifice enters the picture. And while there’s plenty of good material to examine regarding releasing enough details for patrons to decide just how evenly sacrifices are shared, that’s not what this post is about. Instead, it’s about a music director’s ability to earn their keep, so to …

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Alsop Departs BSO At The End Of 20/21

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Official news dropped yesterday that embattled Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) music director, Marin Alsop, will be stepping out of that position at the end of the 2020/21 season. She’ll move into the position of music director laureate and retain title as OrchKids founder. The 2/26/2020 edition of The Baltimore Sun published an article by Mary Carole McCauley that provides more details but by and large, there are no surprises. The timing …

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Conductor Expiration Dates

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Music Directors are like milk in that they both have expiration dates; or, at least, so goes the old joke. Fortunately for conductors, they have a much longer shelf life and statistically speaking, that runs anywhere from 10 to 12 years. That amount of time usually consists of 2-3 contract cycles and provides most music directors an opportunity to get through the bulk of desired repertoire. If the group was amid …

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What Role Do Music Directors Play In Determining Overscale?

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Who determines how much a musician earns in overscale, the part of a musician’s individual agreement that deals with extra wages paid over and above the minimums guaranteed by the collective bargaining agreement? Is it the CEO, music director, the board, a combination, or none of the above? If nothing else, Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) principal flute Elizabeth Rowe’s lawsuit alleging sex-based pay discrimination is providing ample pretext for learning more …

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