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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There’s A Reason Why You Pay Musicians

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The 6/27/2018 edition of the Boston Globe published an article by Malcom Gay that reports on what appears to be a sizeable purge of the all-volunteer Tanglewood Festival Chorus. Orchestra chorus’ have always occupied a peculiar stakeholder position inside the larger orchestra field. In many orchestras, chorus musicians are unpaid volunteers, which stands in stark contrast to their instrumental peers. That’s how the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Festival Chorus is structured so …

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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


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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