What’s going on at other orchestras

Orchestras across the country are facing or recently have undergone cuts in musician pay and benefits. Here is a look at several, with salary figures shown as average minimums.

Orchestra Average minimum salaries (2011-2012)
Chicago Symphony *
x
Two-day strike Sept. 24-25, the first in 21 years, ends with musicians paying twice as much for health care and getting 4.5 percent raises over three years.
$144,000
L.A. Philharmonic $143,260
San Francisco Symphony* $141,700
New York Philharmonic $134,940
Boston Symphony* $132,028
National Symphony* $128,956
Cleveland Orchestra* $120,120
Minnesota Orchestra
x
Minnesota Orchestra is currently the eighth highest paid, and would drop to 18th under management's proposed cuts.
$111,566
Philadelphia Orchestra
x
The first major orchestra in the nation to declare bankruptcy (in spring of 2011), it emerged from bankruptcy protection in July.
$108,750
Pittsburgh Symphony
x
In 2011, musicians agreed to a 10 percent salary cut from $110,800, frozen until 2013.
$100,110
Cincinnati Symphony* $94,900
Dallas Symphony* $90,034
Houston Symphony $82,160
Atlanta Symphony **
x
Salaries reduced from $81,460 last season to $73,876 after a two-week lockout ending Sept 24. Musicians also gave up year-round salaries, and their numbers will decrease from 93 to 88.
$81,680
St. Louis Symphony
x
Following two months of canceled concerts in 2005, the symphony lost several musicians. In June 2012, the orchestra reached a new four-year agreement ahead of schedule, with 1.25 percent salary increases over the next five years.
$80,680
Detroit Symphony
x
After a six-month strike ending April 2011, musicians took a 23 percent salary cut over three years. Number of musicians decreased from 96 to 81, with four positions reinstated over the next few years.
$80,880
Indianapolis Symphony **
x
Musicians locked out since Sept. 10. Latest contract offer is $53,000 in the first year (a 32 percent cut), increasing to $70,000 by year five. Orchestra size reduced to 74 members, season to 42 weeks.
$78,000
Baltimore Symphony
x
With bankruptcy looming in 2010, pay was frozen, then cut by 27 percent over the next two seasons.
$65,000
Utah Symphony $59,000
San Diego Symphony $57,708
Nashville Symphony $55,594
Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra
x
Currently playing and talking (no contract in place). Musicians have offered to take 3 percent cut, management is asking for 20 percent, plus a shortened season, from 37 to 33 weeks.
$40,155

* Orchestras that have had contract settlements within the last year that include small raises or freezes for 2012-13.

** Orchestras that are currently settling concessionary contracts.

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