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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When Sanctity Risks Becoming Sanctimonious

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The 5/19/18 edition of the Philadelphia Inquirer published an article by David Patrick Stearns that reports on a Philadelphia Orchestra concert being disrupted by protesters demonstrating against the orchestra’s decision to carry out their upcoming tour of Israel in the wake of deadly violence along the Gaza border. What caught my eye was Steans’ account about how the orchestra’s music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, handled having the concert disrupted when protesters interrupted …

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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 The Game Of Executive Musical Chairs, Philly Can’t Find Someone To Sit Down

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At a time when both the LA Philharmonic and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced new CEOs within the span of one day, the Philadelphia Orchestra continues to be vexed by finding someone to fill their top executive gig. On the other side of that coin, Philly may have pulled out the chair for one or more candidates only to see them walk away. In another context, the timeline for all three …

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Peter Dobrin Couldn’t Be More Right

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The Philadelphia Inquirer published a commentary article by Peter Dobrin on 10/7/2016 that asks a number of difficult questions related to executive accountability during periods of labor unrest. He examines the issues via his home ensemble, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and he provides a decidedly clear perspective. The article begins with his observations vis-à-vis the orchestra rising to artistic challenges not only via traditional benchmarks of excellence but for recent efforts related …

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