In Sunday’s (5/17) Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein writes that for American symphony orchestras, this recession “will require a very different, much smarter business plan, beginning with a re-examination of the single largest line item in any orchestra’s budget: the expense side. That means looking hard at what everybody is paid, from top to bottom of the organization.” Von Rhein goes on to survey salaries of executive directors, guest artists, and finally, musicians, suggesting that all may need to take pay cuts. But, rebuts violist Sam Bergman on the Minnesota Orchestra’s blog Inside the Classics, “saying that the whole organizational model has failed (again, without evidence of a failure,) and then saying that the solution is for everyone to make less money, you’re making the embarrassing admission that you don’t know what a business model is. What you’re actually proposing is the same business model, only with everyone earning less. Which, as I mentioned, is pretty much what’s already happening, orchestra by orchestra.”

Posted May 19, 2009