The Cost Of Ownership Is On The Rise

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Over the past year, I’ve noticed a larger than usual increase in the cost of strings every time my wife orders new sets. Price increases certainly aren’t unusual and the rate of increase has been steady over the past decade, but 2019 year-to-date increases are around twice the usual rate. This has an obvious impact on the overall cost of ownership for orchestra string musicians, where anywhere from 11-19 percent of …

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Musician Dress Codes: The Topic With Staying Power

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Overcoming tradition combined with the challenge of practicality conspire to produce increasingly elusive solutions when it comes to updating musician dress codes. Having said that, it’s always a bit irksome is when groups attempt to address the issue by throwing money at it in the form of custom designs. Yes, it’s fun to play what-if dress up with foundation dollars and quite a few of those projects over the years have …

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#TBT When Exposure = Exploitation

Adaptistration Guy Chasing The Money

There’s a fascinating article written by Josh Constine in the 5/21/2019 in TechCrunch (h/t Jon Silpayamanant) that examines the business practices of Sofar Sounds, a presenter of non-classical music events in small venues. According to Constine’s article, Sofar has generated millions in funding from venture capitalists and while they net anywhere from $1,100 to $1,600 per event where fans pay $15 to $30 to attend, the actual artists only earn $100 …

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#TBT Beware of the “Music Police”

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As a follow-up to the 5/20/19 article about whether orchestra music librarians should be in the collective bargaining agreement, I want to reach way back to something written by the late Leonard Leibowitz in 2002. If you aren’t already familiar with Len’s work, he was a fundamental force inside the world of nonprofit performing arts labor law specializing on the employee side of the equation. You’ll find him referenced and quoted …

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Top-Tier Musician Compensation 2019

It’s time to revisit base musician compensation levels at the top eight highest paying orchestras. For a number of these orchestras, the 2018/19 season marks the end of their existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA). In each of those instances, the outcomes will have a large impact on what many orchestra musicians consider their organization’s ability to compete for the best on-stage talent. We’ve been tracking these values since the 2009/10 season …

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