The Orchestra Musician Job Offer: “No” Is An Option

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It’s no secret that orchestra musician positions are highly competitive, even at ensembles that pay less than living wage. The statistical likelihood of becoming the finalist and receiving a job offer is, at best, dubious. Nonetheless, just because you end up with an offer doesn’t mean you should automatically accept. I’ve lost track of how many musicians I’ve worked with over the years who ended up regretting a decision to accept …

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Counting The Costs Article Has A Dedicated Home

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Ever since the updated version was published in March, 2017 Count The Costs; career cost of ownership for orchestra string musicians has been an enormously popular blog post. So much so, that I decided to convert it to a dedicated microsite at The microsite format provides a number of new user experience enhancements, not the least of which is a fixed side navigation to easily move from one section to another. If …

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Women Pioneers Among On-Stage Musicians

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Recently, I read an essay by Nancy Fako that recounted her experiences as one of the early women to win a position in the Boys Club brass sections of 1960 era large budget orchestras. It’s a great essay (something I hope will be published here soon) but it made me wonder about similar women musicians who earned positions during that era and braved the gauntlet of sexism and discrimination. I posted …

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The Cost Of Doing Business

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It’s great to see examination of compensation and work expenses within the field expanding, to that end, the 8/9/2018 edition of published an article by Anya Wassenberg that takes a deep dive into the expense end of classical musicians. Another treat is seeing the issues through a Canadian perspective; while most issues are identical for US based classical musicians, there are differences such as health care costs (especially related to …

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Breaking Down The Elizabeth Rowe Complaint

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Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) principal flute Elizabeth Rowe is suing her employer “to recover over $200,000 in unpaid wages unequal to the pay of a comparable male musician.” We’re going to examine the bulk of her complaint on a point by point basis. It would be surprising to see the suit go to trial but if it does, it would undoubtedly have profound impact on how orchestras approach individual musician agreements. …

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