Case Study: Professional Orchestra Player


Posted on March 15th, 2012 by Kristin Thomson in Financial Case Studies, Participant Data. 3 Comments

The ARS project includes a series of anonymous financial case studies, being released throughout Spring 2012. These case studies are based on the real finances from real artists, anonymized to protect their privacy.

PRIMARY GENRE
Classical

ROLES
Performer
Freelance player: live
Freelance player: studio
Teacher

YEARS ACTIVE
2000 – present

TIME SPENT ON MUSIC
100%

INCOME DERIVED FROM MUSIC
100%

Key Findings

This case study looks at the world of symphony players through the finances of one Professional Orchestra Player. After years of training and competing, the Artist has won a coveted seat as a salaried player in a major symphony orchestra – a position that includes health insurance and a pension. His income fluctuates until he wins the seat in the symphony. At that point, his income will be stable as long as he is with the orchestra.

Classically-trained professional musicians have only a few expenses – education and instruments being one of the top ones – but these expenses can be significant and usually cannot be avoided. They function in an unusual economy where musical instruments can sometimes be a significant investment and are often loaned or bequeathed because of their extreme cost.

Professional Orchestra Players are often not composers, and do not participate in a significant way in many copyright-related income streams. They rely on the unions to help them collect the few and various “background musician” royalties they are entitled to.

We also reflect on the extremely competitive nature of this line of work. Mentorship can sometimes play a large role in helping a young player navigate this competitive terrain.

The PDF/printable version of the Professional Orchestra Player case study is downloadable below.

Next: Introducing Professional Orchestra Player + Table of Contents


About the Case Studies

Graphs do not have a Y-axis dollar value in order to observe the conditions of our privacy policy. In addition, graphs and visuals in case studies are not comparable within or between case studies. For more details about this, read about our financial case study protocol.

Information detailed in case studies is based on data received directly from the artist or their authorized representative. The data analysis and lessons learned here are based on individual experience, and do not necessarily reflect the experiences of all musicians in genre or roles.

Case studies are one of three ways this project is looking at music creator income.




3 Responses to “Case Study: Professional Orchestra Player”

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