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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#TBT A Messy Mystique Of Our Own Design

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In the wake of the Metropolitan Opera’s PR disaster that is the James Levine disgrace, the field as a whole has a debt to pay with owning up to and dismantling the Maestro Mystique culture it worked to build and perpetuate over the last 70 years. There’s a superb article in the 3/13/18 edition of the New York Times by Zachary Woolfe that examines this very issue. For those unaware, conductors …

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