Thursday, August 6, 2009

Will play Schoenberg for food

In today's Exhibitionist, Geoff Edgers reminds us how lucky we are that the BSO is so expensive, and will remain so, thanks to its recent salary negotiations. Thank heaven we're not like Houston or Minneapolis, in which salaries were reduced! Only actually, in Minneapolis salaries weren't really 'cut,' as Geoff says - instead, wages will be frozen this year, and then rise at a slower rate over the next few years. Man, that's rough. Meanwhile, in Houston, musicians will have to take two weeks' unpaid furlough but a (small) pay increase will go through. Man, this recession's a bitch!

Only I wonder - the argument of many who supported the BSO's extravagant salaries was that orchestral salaries in distant cities were equally high. This was repeatedly described to me as "just economics." But if symphony salaries have slid in other cities . . . doesn't that same argument require that they should have slid here, too? (Well, maybe we'll have to wait until New York and L.A. begin to feel the pressure!)

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