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Germans wake up to a grey market in musicians

August 31, 2016 by norman lebrecht

6 comments.


The cover story in Das Orchester this month is about new musical realities in the world’s largest market for classical music. Or as the sub-head puts it: More musicians, fewer jobs, what to do?

Germany has seen an influx of musicians from other EU countries, notably Romania and Poland. German musicians and audiences are concerned that the character of their culture is being changed by the EU’s hallowed principle of free movement of labour.

Free market, or grey market? That’s the big question.

Get your copy now.

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Comments (6)

  1. John Borstlap says:

    The question is, whether non-German musicians play the same repertoire as German musicians or not, which may include many non-German works, and whether they are meeting German standards of performance. The classical music world has always been quite international, and there has never been a concern about ‘loosing national character’. And where young musicians from non-German countries replace retiring Germans in German orchestras, there does not seem to be a danger in ‘loosing performance character’ since it is a well-known fact that an orchestra keeps its characters over time, if it has any, because any new member assimilates group identity.

  2. Hans Bender says:

    “Get your copy now” — a bit difficult when the print version of the current issue of “Das Orchester ” appears to be available only as part a year’s printed subscription costing 85 EUR in Germany and 104 EUR abroad for 11 issues (info as per website). It is stated on the website that a digital version of an individual issue can be downloaded via app for the sum of 9,99 EUR, but it is not clear whether you have to be a print subscriber to enjoy this privilege.

  3. debussyste says:

    If you take the Berlin Philarmoniker, there are musicians from all over the world really : from diverse european countries, from israel, from north and south america. Does it makes this orchester less german ? And what is a “german” sound in the first place ?

    1. Lars Rezortt says:

      To fulfuil the elites’ requirements for inclusiveness they would have to come up with a quota for blacks and LGBTs.

      1. Holly Golightly says:

        What about trans-genders and handicapped. Don’t forget them.

        1. John Borstlap says:

          And what about the incompetent players? Would be unfair to discriminate against them.


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