Top-Tier Musician Compensation 2018

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It’s time to revisit base musician compensation levels at the top eight highest paying orchestras. For a number of these orchestras, the 2017/18 season marks the end of their existing collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and they have yet to ratify a new contract. 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. …

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Lack Of Women Composers Among Some Big Budget Orch 2018/19 Programming

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On 1/31/2018, the always sharp Alex Ross published a short but powerful tweet about something he noticed in the 2018/19 season announcements from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Number of female composers programmed by the Chicago Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra for the 2018-19 season: 0 — Alex Ross (@alexrossmusic) January 31, 2018 Not too long ago, we examined a similar lack of women composers in masterworks programming …

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In Boston, XX Marks Anything But A Spot On The Program

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There’s a fascinating article in the 12/20/2017 edition of the Boston Globe by Malcom Gay about the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) being taken to task by local musicians and academics over the institution’s lack of diversity in its 2017/18 programming. In an open letter, the group pointed out that though the symphony touts its diverse programming, the 2017-18 season “showcases neither diversity nor innovation.” Of the 73 pieces scheduled to be …

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An Updated Look At Top-Tier Musician Compensation 2016

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Currently, two of the top eight orchestras with the highest base musician annual salary are negotiating new collective bargaining agreements: National Symphony and Philadelphia Orchestra. Interestingly enough, both of these ensembles are in positions where the outcome of those negotiations will likely have a larger impact on their future competitiveness than some of the upcoming negotiations for their peers. In order to visualize these distinctions, here’s a chart illustrating the current …

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Let’s Take A Look At Big Eight Musician Compensation

Big 8 Base Musician Salary

Now that Cleveland has settled, we can begin to get a sense for how base musician compensation compares across the highest tier of big budget orchestras, which we’ll call The Big Eight (Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, LA, National, New York, Philly, and San Francisco). Granted, we’ll be updating this chart with Cleveland’s figures once that data is available and when it is, it will be interesting to see how they compare with Philly, …

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