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An intriguing concept that certainly has some merit, but I think that it is far outweighed in this case by the declining popularity of live classical music in the US.
The musicians have simply priced themselves out of the market. Kind of ironic. They play instruments for a handful of performances and make an average salary of $135K. The workers at Crystal Sugar average $40K and are striking. The musicians can always do what others do: book yourself at a local bar, VFW, or community center. Charge a cover fee, and see how many people want to pay your enormous fee.
I am an orchestra patron. I find Mr. Schafer or the Orchestra board's assertions that Orchestra loosing money simply not reliable. I usually go to between to 5-10 concerts a year and in all cases the concert hall is pretty full. I also take issue with Mr. rickbmn comparing Orchestra musicians to Crystal Suger workers This assertion is simply absurd. Mn Orchestra has a set of talented musicians. One does not become a major orchestra musician overnight. It take years and years of dedication and hard work. If Orchestra is loosing money why then all the expansion and construction at the Orchestra hall? We should preserve what is great about the Mn Orchestra the musicians not the building.
If there is no demand for their work product from the general populace and their wealthy benefactors are becoming less enthusiastic about pouring money into the orchestras coffers where is the money for their top 10% salaries to come from? Simple question.
I have an idea, let's force every paying customer to prove their income at the time of ticket purchase, then force those that are in the upper 5% of income earners at the show to pay disproportionately higher ticket prices than the other 95%. And to throw a little twist, let's allow around 47% of the ticket buyers to be reimbursed their ticket cost by sending them a refund of their ticket price. In some of these cases, let's refund even more dollars than they paid for their tickets! And in the future, let the latter group also park and eat for free during the performance!!
rickbmn, is correct in that their pay is linked to what people want to pay to hear them. If they don't like that rate, they are free to find employment elsewhere. From the article, the majority of the payroll is now covered by donations, not ticket sales. So essentially the musicians are relying on charity.
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