Orchestra ups wages by 20% to stop talent driftmain
Musicians in the Kansas City Symphony have accepted a 19.7 percent pay rise over four years, plus health care and insurance upgrades. The new contract was amicably negotiated, no lawyers either side.
‘Something special is happening here,’ said Frank Byrne, executive director. ‘In my 15 1/2 years with the Kansas City Symphony, I have seen a transformation in the culture of the organization, and that is not by accident. I and my staff have worked very systematically to build trust and relationships with our musicians, and it has paid off wonderfully.’
‘We are on the lower end of salary compared to other orchestras,’ said Brian Rood, a trumpet player who chaired the negotiating committee. ‘We were losing too many talented musicians to other orchestras, and while we will not be able to keep them from going to Chicago and Boston and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, maybe we could do more with salary and working conditions to keep them from going to Utah, Oregon, Nashville or even Cincinnati.
The 2016 base salary in KC is $51,537.
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