Orchestral Manoeuvres leave me in the Dark
December 24, 2013 3:08 AM Subscribe
I attended a concert last night and I have a question about how the members of the orchestra are paid.
posted by essexjan to Work & Money (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Last night I attended a concert at the Royal Albert Hall - Carols by Candlelight - performed by the Mozart Festival Choir and Orchestra.
Most of the orchestra was on stage for the entire performance, but there were a few people who were able to leave the stage when they weren't required and re-join the orchestra when they were - a double-bass player, the timpani guy, a couple of the horn players.
In particular, we noticed that there was a percussion player who seemed to have only about five things to do all night - he played a snare drum once for about 10 seconds, he tinged a triangle once (just a single 'ting' in one carol) and he played the cymbals three times - in each case just two or three clashes of the cymbals in each particular piece of music.
It seemed inherently unfair to us that someone who was hardly on stage at all and appeared to work for less than five minutes in total might be paid the same as someone who's worked their arse off for nearly three hours.
My question is this: would that percussion player be paid the same as, say, a second or third violin or a clarinet player who had to work much harder over the course of the evening? Would this be affected by seniority? By this I mean would a senior percussion player be paid more than a junior violin or woodwind player, notwithstanding their contribution to the overall music performed over the course of the evening was far less?