Boston Symphony Orchestra principal flute takes orchestra to court over equal pay

Posted on: July 9, 2018

“Boston Symphony Orchestra’s top flute player is suing the group for paying her $70,000 less than her male woodwind counterpart, raising what looks like the first lawsuit filed under the Massachusetts Equal Pay Law that took effect July 1,” reports Brian Dowling in Wednesday’s (7/6) Boston Herald. “Elizabeth Rowe, who joined the BSO in 2004 after winning a blind audition for the role of principal flute, says in the lawsuit she’s asked for years to be paid the same as the principal oboe—the best comparison to her unique position—but the orchestra kept her pay well below that of her peer. Rowe, an accomplished musician who also teaches at the New England Conservatory, says she spent the past six months documenting for orchestra officials the pay disparity and putting them on notice that the Massachusetts Equal Pay Law requires them to pay her the same as the oboist—who made $280,484 in 2016. But the orchestra took no action, according to the lawsuit. So, when the 2016 equal pay law took effect this weekend after a two-year waiting period, Rowe’s lawyer filed the complaint.… BSO spokeswoman Taryn Lott said in a statement the orchestra does not have a comment on the lawsuit ‘at this time.’ ”

Posted July 9, 2018