Philadelphia Orchestra musicians and staff take pay cuts through mid-September

Posted on: April 1, 2020

The Philadelphia Orchestra and Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin perform at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center, March 12, 2020. The concert was not open to the public but was streamed and broadcast.

“Faced with an abrupt and unprecedented loss of ticket revenue, musicians of the Philadelphia Orchestra are taking a pay cut,” writes Peter Dobrin in Tuesday’s (3/31) Philadelphia Inquirer. “Players voted last week to approve an across-the-board 20% reduction in compensation starting April 1 and lasting through the middle of September. Pay cuts have also been instituted for orchestra staff on a sliding scale up to 20% depending on salary level, and music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin will give up at least 20% of his paycheck, said orchestra president and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. Tarnopolsky himself took a voluntary 25% cut in pay effective March 13, the day after the orchestra streamed and broadcast Beethoven from a largely empty Verizon Hall…. ‘That beautiful concert garnered so much fantastic attention,’ said Tarnopolsky. ‘But of course it was also the day we stopped selling tickets for anything.’ … The orchestra is also undertaking a recovery campaign … to raise $11 million…. The cut to the musicians’ pay, however, was initiated by the players themselves.… Said Tarnopolsky, ‘We’ve been able to take some immediate measures.… We want to make sure that when we are back on the stage we can once again thrive.’ ”