Things That Keep Me Up At Night

Last week, the news about a certain west coast orchestra with plans on performing one of the most demanding Mahler symphonies as their post-pandemic season opener arrived in my inbox. Earlier this month I launched a mini-series examining the dangers of musician injuries if an orchestra attempts this type of programming without first allocating time to allow musicians to reacclimate to those types of demands. Think of it as a type …

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The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same

There’s a superb video from violinists Brett Yang and Eddy Chen of TwoSet Violin where the duo takes the bold step of calling out a pair of dubious practices inside the world of string instrument dealers. Yang and Chen deserve a great deal of credit for speaking out on this topic and while issues run far deeper than their video examines, the topics they focus on are certainly of paramount importance. …

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The Risk Of Physical Injury Is Only Half Of The Equation

Everyone is in for such a treat with tomorrow’s Shop Talk episode on the topic of what orchestras of all budget size should be considering when planning for post-COVID concert activity. This installment features a panel of musician stakeholders and one of them, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Principal Bassoon Catherine Chen, proposed one of the most thought-provoking considerations. Specifically, she was concerned not only about the very real physical risks but the …

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Are You Planning A Big Blowout For Your Inaugural Post-COVID Concerts?

Not long after the onset of pandemic shutdowns, a living wage orchestra decided to cancel the entire season and a comment from their board chair caught my eye. The chair mentioned that even though they were shuttering for an extended period of time, he was sure the musicians would be able to come back at a moment’s notice to resume the same performances audiences were used to. On one hand, that …

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AFM-EPF Tries Again

The American Federation of Musicians and Employers’ Pension Fund (AFM-PEF) continues to scrape along. Back in March 2020 they managed to settle a suit filed against Trustees that alleged poor management and unnecessarily risky investment strategies. Both sides have claimed victory in the suit, and the reality is the AFM-EPF agreed to a $26.85 million settlement. According to Deadline.com, $17 million of that will be paid by the Plan’s fiduciary insurers. …

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The Performing Arts Org Vax Policy Database

Find vaccination requirements by organization and sector along with policy links and a form to add your organization to the database.

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