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  #1  
Old 07-26-2011, 11:59 AM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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How much does a position in an orchestra pay?

Obviously it depends on the orchestra as well as the position so let’s go with the example that prompted the question.

A woman from the university I attended is up for second flute position in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. What sort of salary would a position like that have?

What about 1st violin? (My understanding is that 1st violin is a bit like the 2IC under the conductor - this may be totally incorrect).

Other positions?

Last edited by alice_in_wonderland; 07-26-2011 at 12:02 PM.. Reason: Weird capitalization and extra commas.
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  #2  
Old 07-26-2011, 12:10 PM
mack mack is offline
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Quote:
In the orchestra pit on Broadway, musicians take home $1,220 a week for eight shows -- that's $63,440 if the show lasts a year. A regular gig at the New York Philharmonic pays $91,260.
From here.

I don't know what the scale is for 2nd flute or 1st viloin ("Concertmaster")

Good luck to your friend.
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  #3  
Old 07-26-2011, 12:12 PM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is online now
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Pay at a top orchestra like that is very good, especially for a musician. I don't know about that orchestra in particular (which is one of the best in the world), but I'd guess it would be at least high five figures starting out, and go up significantly with time, or promotion to section leader.
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  #4  
Old 07-26-2011, 12:31 PM
mack mack is offline
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Sorry, that article was from November 2000.
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  #5  
Old 07-26-2011, 12:34 PM
HeyHomie HeyHomie is offline
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On a somewhat-related note, I was watching some Japanese TV game show on Spike TV (dubbed into English, of course), wherein a panel of celebrities was asked to provide True/False answers to ridiculous questions.

One of the questions was (paraphrased): True or False - The cymbal player in the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra gets paid the same as the first violin? The panel debated amongst themselves while footage was being shown of the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra in action; the violinist furiously attacking her instrument, the cymbal player casually looking through the score, watching the other performers, and banging his cymbals a time or two.

As it turned out, the statement is - or was at one time - True: in Tokyo, at least, all performers in the orchestra make the same amount of money, regardless of their instrument or position within each section.

Last edited by HeyHomie; 07-26-2011 at 12:36 PM..
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  #6  
Old 07-26-2011, 12:45 PM
mack mack is offline
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Ok, one more try:

Here's a better source for NY Phil:

WAGES 2010-11
Annual Salary $134,940
Weekly Salary* $2,595

Below there's a table of how much more they earn per week with seniority.
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  #7  
Old 07-26-2011, 12:50 PM
DCnDC DCnDC is offline
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According to http://www.musicianwages.com/musicia...ian/#orchestra the salary for a musician in the NY Philharmonic is $112,060. There's also a link to the ICSOM site where they say they got that information, but I was unable to locate that particular info on the site in the 15 seconds I looked at it. You may have better luck with further exploration of it.
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  #8  
Old 07-26-2011, 12:50 PM
Smeghead Smeghead is offline
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I have a semi-distant relative-by-marriage who plays first chair French Horn in a major orchestra. I've heard his salary is in the six figure range.
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  #9  
Old 07-26-2011, 02:26 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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Less prestigious orchestras the pay is a good deal less.
2011 in San Diego the base salary is $55,776 for a 42 week season. It is unclear from the link how much more time you work beyond the 42 weeks.

There appears to be some extra money for seniority but I am unsure how to understand the chart in the link.

http://www.icsom.org/settlement/sandiego.html
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  #10  
Old 07-26-2011, 02:29 PM
gazpacho gazpacho is offline
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http://www.icsom.org/settlement.html is a link to a bunch of different orchestra's across the US.
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  #11  
Old 07-26-2011, 02:40 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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They better get paid well. I never heard of orchestra groupies.

They aren't in it for the sex, drugs & rock N roll.
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2011, 02:50 PM
alice_in_wonderland alice_in_wonderland is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazpacho View Post
http://www.icsom.org/settlement.html is a link to a bunch of different orchestra's across the US.
Wow - there's huge disparity there (more than I thought there would be).

It looks like salary ranges can be from the low $30K up to over $100K. I guess it's expected that people will move as their skills improve or they get more experience.
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2011, 02:52 PM
lazybratsche lazybratsche is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gazpacho View Post
Less prestigious orchestras the pay is a good deal less.
2011 in San Diego the base salary is $55,776 for a 42 week season. It is unclear from the link how much more time you work beyond the 42 weeks.

There appears to be some extra money for seniority but I am unsure how to understand the chart in the link.

http://www.icsom.org/settlement/sandiego.html
Yeah, there's a whole continuum of orchestras. At the bottom are amateur community orchestras that pay pocket change -- a few hundred a gig, a few gigs a year. Then there are small-city professional orchestras, where the pay might get up to $20k per year.

Most classical musicians have to do a lot on the side to earn a living wage. In addition to a regular orchestra job, they will probably do freelance gigs (i.e. weddings), teach private lessons, or teach in schools. And, like orchestras, that all comes with a broad range of pay. "Teaching on the side" can be as little as a few private lessons per week at $20/hour. But for the best musicians in the NY Phil, "teaching on the side" is a faculty position at Juilliard. And "gigs on the side" are solo recording projects.
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2011, 03:16 PM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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I know that most members in most orchestras are expected to supplement their incomes by teaching. Here in Montreal, a number are on the faculties of one of the four universities. But don't go into it if you want to get rich.

Another source of income for the very top orchestras is recording royalties, but a lot of that has dried up, so I hear, in recent years. I think it was the loss of recording income that was the basis for a bitter strike by the Philadelphia a few years back.
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2011, 06:06 PM
Cunctator Cunctator is offline
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Here's a list of positions currently vacant in the local orchestra, the Sydney Symphony. Salaries (in $AUD) are clearly based on seniority:

Tutti players: $84,724 - $105,905
Assistant principals: $97,433 - $114,378
Associate principals: $101,669 - $118,614
Principals: $114,378 - $131,322

The details of a concertmaster's salary package are not disclosed and are clearly negotiable.

Players get 9% superannuation (the standard legal minimum in Australia) and 6 weeks' annual leave.

Last edited by Cunctator; 07-26-2011 at 06:09 PM.. Reason: Pressed submit too soon
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  #16  
Old 07-26-2011, 06:19 PM
DooWahDiddy DooWahDiddy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mack View Post
From here.

I don't know what the scale is for 2nd flute or 1st viloin ("Concertmaster")

Good luck to your friend.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mack View Post
Sorry, that article was from November 2000.
Yeah, the current minimum for Broadway musicians is up to $1,673.24 a week, not including doubling fees (playing more than one instrument in a show, for example acoustic and electric guitar or flute and clarinet), being on stage, being in costume, or having choreography.
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  #17  
Old 07-26-2011, 09:47 PM
aruvqan aruvqan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aceplace57 View Post
They better get paid well. I never heard of orchestra groupies.

They aren't in it for the sex, drugs & rock N roll.
These guys are =)


<they opened for Rammstein for a while>
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  #18  
Old 07-27-2011, 07:10 AM
Hondo Hondo is offline
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Salaries

My brother in law, who plays for National Symphony Orchestra here in Washington, DC reports that a salaried "regular" in the NYP could probably expect to pull down between $110-$120K per year.
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