The Charleston Symphony Orchestra is in danger of collapsing, but according to an article in The New York Times this past weekend, some American orchestras are having the opposite experience. The article by Daniel J. Wakin reports that major orchestras like the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have a number of job openings. He says that the economy is a factor; it’s cheaper to leave jobs unfilled and pay substitutes, who earn less than full-time members. “Starting salaries at the 10 top-paying orchestras next season range from $101,600 (Minnesota) to $136,500 (Los Angeles), but principal players can earn two or three times that,” Wakin reports. That’s a far cry from the CSO’s proposed $3,600 salary. Sadly, if the CSO doesn’t figure out a plan for the future — and fast — we will lose our musicians to larger cities. And who could blame them?

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