Monday, December 20, 2010

Exodus from the orchestra?

Eight of the 49 full-time musicians of the Columbus (OH) Symphony, including the concertmaster, are going on leave after the first of the year. Since 2007, the orchestra's players have absorbed a 40 percent pay cut, its full-time roster has been reduced from 60 to its current level, and the season has been pared from 48 to 25 weeks, Jeffrey Sheban reports in The Columbus Dispatch:

Orchestral musicians, especially those not working in major ensembles, leave all the time to take up better-paying or more stable jobs, often outside music and the arts. What's happening in Columbus may be unique to that city and its long-troubled orchestra, or it may be a snapshot of a growing trend. More reporting like Sheban's from more places – e.g., Fort Worth, TX, and Charleston, SC, whose orchestra players have taken big pay cuts – would help clarify the situation.