Monday, July 02, 2007

Reality Check: Orchestral Salaries

Click on this picture to the left and take a look at this list from Drew McManus' Adaptistration, and notice the base salary figure for many of these orchestras. The concertmaster salaries are competitive (it's a hard job--really--to be a concertmaster), but some of the base salaries are really low, and the differences between some of the high concertmaster salaries and the low base salaries are sometimes terribly out of proportion. Base salary is what the newly hired members of the string sections make in a concert season. In some cases it is better than what you can make as a freelancer, and the work is steady, but I can't imagine how someone could pay rent and utilities, own a car, pay for a good instrument, and feed and clothe a family on some of these salaries. And these are the jobs that people who have spent huge amounts of money paying tuition at conservatories are happy to compete for, when there are openings.

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