U.K. study draws attention to musicians’ salary struggles

Posted on: May 4, 2018

“Aspiring orchestral musicians have long known that the road to a professional career is arduous,” writes Anastasia Tsioulcas on Thursday (5/3) at radio station WEAA (Baltimore/Washington, D.C.). “New research from the U.K. shows that even … with salaried, full-time employment, many British orchestral musicians are struggling to pay their bills. On Wednesday, the Musicians’ Union (MU) in the U.K. published research showing that orchestral players—including those holding full-time jobs as ensemble musicians—on average earn under $30,000…. The survey results came [from] 285 musicians in seven orchestras from across the U.K. According to the British union, these musicians spend about £80,000 (over $108,000) for the costs of their training…. That figure does not seem to include the often-significant financial burden of buying, insuring and maintaining their instruments…. The MU has [launched] a public awareness campaign … meant to highlight ‘the true value of the U.K.’s orchestral musicians’ and, they hope, to spur larger grants … to orchestras…. The MU is emphasizing the community outreach that orchestral musicians typically take part in…. In 2016, British orchestral players reached nearly 900,000 children through performances and educational programming, and over half of U.K. orchestras work with hospitals and in healthcare and retirement facilities.”

Posted May 4, 2018