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String Instrument Cost Of Ownership Sneak Peek

I am all kinds of excited to say that the impending String Instrument Cost of Ownership article is going to be a full blown interactive infographic! All things being equal, it should be up on Friday or Monday and to give you an idea of what’s in store, here’s a sneak peek at the violin cost of care graphic currently in development. The final version will have more than a dozen elements highlighting costs for common maintenance and repair items with both career and per instance values. You can also expect to […]

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Taking Another Look At Individual Musician Instrument Costs

Recently, my wife, Holly Mulcahy, wrote an article for violinist.com that chronicles her recent work preparing for the concertmaster solo in Mahler’s 4th Symphony. What makes the solo unusual is it requires the concertmaster to prepare an additional violin tuned higher than the instrument’s regular tuning and use that in addition to his/her regular instrument. The article contains plenty of artistic insight goodies but one item that flies under the radar is the added costs involved with preparing the second instrument. Setting aside the costs of purchasing or renting an additional instrument […]

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The Recent Round Of AFM-EPF Pension Headaches

Pensions; can’t live with them, can’t avoid a crippling social collapse without them. Recently, the American Federation of Musicians & Employers’ Pension Fund (AFM-EPF) Board of Trustees sent a letter to plan members explaining how the fund has suffered since the economic downturn and their plan for recovery. Unlike other union pension plans, the AFM-EPF is a defined benefit multiemployer pension plan. The organization describes the distinction to a single employer plan accordingly: A defined benefit plan specifies the benefits to which participants may become entitled. Defined benefit plans do not have […]

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An Updated Look At Top-Tier Musician Compensation 2016

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 “Big Eight” base musician annual salaries from the 2009/10 season through those with agreements reaching out to the 2017/18 season. Over […]

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