Tag Archives | Detroit Symphony Orchestra

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How To Look Like The Smartest Person In The Room When Talking About This Season’s Labor Disputes

The weekend saw some extraordinary events as the musicians from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (PSO) and Philadelphia Orchestra Association (POA) went on strike. Since that news broke on Friday, 9/30/2016 there are no shortages of presumptions floating around so in order to provide a clear frame of reference, let’s examine some of the key points and misnomers. IMPORTANT UPDATE: As of Sunday, 10/2/2016, the Philadelphia Orchestra is no longer on strike. According to a musician press statement, the new three year agreement “[does] not achieve our goal of being compensated on a […]

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2015 Orchestra Compensation Reports: Music Directors

For the average music director, the 2012/13 season was a good year financially; although a few high profile positions remained vacant that season, such as Boston and Philadelphia, brought the average increase lower than it would have been otherwise, most music directors saw their earnings increase by 3.43 percent. The Information In order to provide information that is as accurate as possible, info from the 2012/13 season is gathered from the following sources: Music Director compensation figures were obtained from their respective orchestra’s IRS Form 990 for the 2012/13 concert season. Total Expenditures were […]

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Likelihood To Donate Poll

Yesterday’s post examining the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s (DSO) policy to obfuscate their music director compensation generated a great deal of intriguing discussion throughout social media. It was fascinating to wade through the different discussions, several of which focused on the impact something like this might have on a donor’s decision to support an organization. To that end, I’m curious to know what you think. Take a moment and approach the following questions from the perspective of a patron considering a donation to an orchestra…

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The Death Of Ethics

Last week’s orchestra compensation reports produced one of the most troubling instances in its nearly decade long history by way of discovering the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) implemented a policy designed to obfuscate their music director compensation. Moreover, when asked about the compensation data, the DSO refused to release the information, even though their music director provided his employer with permission to do exactly that. For the sake of perspective, the lion’s share of professional orchestras have no problems releasing music director compensation figures, regardless if the conductor is paid as an […]

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A Tale Of Two Disasters

Arguably, the orchestra field’s two nastiest labor disputes at larger budget orchestras since the economic downturn have been the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra; and now that the latter has seemingly tied up the last of the most prominent loose ends, it will be interesting to juxtapose how each organization manages to cope with post dispute activity. Although these organizations represent some of the worst in labor disputes, it is worth noting some key variations. Given the three year gap separating each group’s respective dispute, there’s no way to avoid looking […]

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