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Scot will lead UK orchestras into Brexit

November 29, 2017 by norman lebrecht

19 comments.


 Scottish Chamber Orchestra CEO Gavin Reid has been elected Chair of the Association of British Orchestras, succeeding Kathryn McDowell of the LSO.

ABO director Mark Pemberton said: ‘It was clear to the Board that Gavin Reid can provide the experienced leadership needed to guide the ABO through the next few years, including challenges such as Brexit, public funding and diversity within orchestras.’

Gavin Reid said: ‘Our sector faces some tough challenges over the next few years. There is the potential impact that Brexit could have on our collective ability to engage with artists, promoters, venues, and funders in Europe. Pressures on public funding show no signs of easing and we cannot and must not lose sight of the need to address issues of diversity and inclusion. That said, our orchestras have never been in greater artistic health, never more innovative, never more resilient and never more needed.’

 


Comments (19)

  1. William Osborne says:

    Still so much sadness about the UK leaving the EU. And it’s so ironic, since the EU is in so many respects an emulation and appropriation of long-standing British values. In a speech at the University of Zurich in 1946, Churchill called for a “kind of United States of Europe.” In 1949, the European Council was thus formed by the Treaty of London. It’s goals were to promote human rights, the rule of law in Europe, and European culture. Today it has 47 member nations and still does excellent work in support of European culture. Both NATO and the EU were later closely modeled on the European Council. Without the UK, the EU will never fully be the EU. Such sadness. Anyway, I hope Gavin Reid will be able to successfully lead the UK orchestras through this difficult time.

    1. Una says:

      Sorry, but not everyone is so sad about leaving, and that includes people from all walks of life, not white working class but including professional musicians who knew what they were voting for. But we won’t start another Brexit war here!

    2. harold braun says:

      Its goals were to promote human rights,the rule of law in Europe,and European culture.
      True!
      Today,the EU is more about about global lobbyism,banking,and global capitalism of the worst kind.It´s kind of a corrupt,economic interest grouping of multicorporate enterprises

      1. William Osborne says:

        True. The neoliberal economic philosophy was solidified by the Masstricht Treaty, but reforms, even if slow and arduous, would be better than Brexit. For all its ills, the EU is still an essential entity. It’s as if the Brits have short memories…………..

  2. Martin says:

    Please can someone tell me what purpose the ABO serves? It certainly does not work for the wealth or welfare of the musicians in the orchestras that are members.

    1. John Borstlap says:

      It’s for the staff and the budgets for high-profile conductors and soloists, who have to attract audiences. Orchestral members don’t count, because supply is so much greater than demand.

    2. C Porumbescu says:

      Nonsense. Pretty much all current policy and practice on hearing protection in UK orchestras has come about as a result of research commissioned and promoted by the ABO. The VAT rebate for orchestras under the last government was the result of ABO lobbying. Just for starters.

    3. Anon says:

      Agree wholeheartedly. They haven’t a clue about the musicians at the coalface; it’s all corporate. Look at how the self governing orchestras have become now.

    4. Anon says:

      Without the ABO, all musicians would be classed as PAYE workers and be considerably financially worse off.

      1. Martin says:

        This is incorrect as many orchestras outside London are PAYE. This also means that they have rights such as sick pay, holiday pay and maternity pay. I’m not sure why you think they are financially worse off by being PAYE?

        1. Martin says:

          Also the ABO agreed rates for players are lower than the casual freelance rates – does this make the players better off?

          1. Anon says:

            The ABO rates are set as a minimum rate and it is widely acknowledged that most if not all orchestras within the agreement pay more than the minimum. I guess if there was no minimum rate in place then things could be decidedly worse.

        2. Anon says:

          You are right in that many musicians with permanent contracts are already PAYE. However, I was referring to the many musicians who are currently self employed (both with contracts and freelance) who yes, as you say would benefit from sick and maternity pay, but would no longer be able to claim expenses against tax eg. food, travel costs and instrument maintenance etc. which for many musicians is a major reason why they do not want to be classed as PAYE workers. We must know very different professional musicians. Those I know were appalled at the thought of being forced to become PAYE employees.

          1. Martin says:

            Many PAYE orchestras have an agreement with the IR for an extra tax free allowance to cover instrument maintenance etc. Meal allowances are generally given in cash, they choose to spend it or not. Transport is provided and you choose to take this or not. As a Tax Compliance Officer stated on Radio 4 45p a mile is not realistically enough to run a car and pay for the fuel costs.

            The biggest benefit of being PAYE though is that you get paid whether there is any work or not which puts the emphasis on the managers to find the work.

          2. Anonymousworker says:

            ….and the attitude of PAYE musicians as opposed to self employed ones, either in a self governing orchestra, or as a freelance player! A day off, still paid. No question of having to prove each time your ability, but cushioned by workers rights. The fear no longer there, which manifests itself in a stronger, more exciting performance.

  3. Martin says:

    There is so much wrong in this answer that I won’t dignify it with an answer.

  4. Martin says:

    If you think making people scared produces a better performance you are quite clearly neither a professional musician or a decent human being.

    1. Anonymousworker says:

      Professional musician and decent human being don’t correlate at the top end of the profession!

      1. Martin says:

        That’s doesn’t need to be true and is not always true in my experience.


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