Medical appeal for eminent cellist, aged 98

Medical appeal for eminent cellist, aged 98


norman lebrecht

June 05, 2017

The veteran George Neikrug, former concertmaster of the Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles symphony orchestras, has been bedridden for a year with two back fractures.

He needs our help to get him up and walking again.

You can help here.


  • Vienna calling says:

    This is such a sad story but could somebody please explain what aides cost 500$ a day?

    • Mikey says:

      A person, an aide, someone hired to be there most likely for therapy and related care.
      I’m not sure why he needs two of them, but $250 per day per person doesn’t sound outlandish.

      • lori says:

        It’s quite simple- One aide cannot work for 24 hours straight, so he probably has a night person and a day person. At his age and in his condition, yes it’s necessary to have someone to jump in to help at night. About 20$/ hour is in the range of what people charge for this. (Usually between 15-25$)

        • Vienna calling says:

          Do nurses really earn 60,000 Dollars in the USA? I guess that explains the high insurance rates. My Dad has dementia and his 24h live-in carers are highly qualified with rates between 75-100 Euros a day. If they had an hourly rate, nobody in Austria could afford them, and yet they are becoming more and more popular as a humane and cost effective alternative to care homes. I think Maestro Neikrug might be getting ripped off.

          • laurie says:

            they are not nurses they are home health aids who are paid by the hour in the US and he needs 24 hour help. this is what it costs unless someone has so few assets he/she qualifies for a federal government program called Medicaid and then all the care is free.

            twenty four hour nursing care would cost even more.

          • Petros Linardos says:

            Mr. Neikrug is not getting ripped off anymore than other people in the US. Unfortunately, health care here is very expensive. This is undoubtedly a huge problem at many levels. Let’s not get started about the politics behind it.

            On the other hand, nurses deserve to get properly compensated. Many are not. If Mr. Neikrug pays $500 for round the clock nursing case, then the nurses are paid about $20.83 hourly. Even if someone worked at that rate 40 hours a week every single week of the year they would make $43,333 annual income before taxes, almost $10,000 below median US income.

          • Petros Linardos says:

            Correction: the nurses cannot be paid more than $20.43.

    • Alexander Davidson says:

      I don’t know how it works in the USA, but here in the UK this kind of care is normally provided through agencies, rather than the carers being employed directly. So if we assume that they work 12-hour shifts that is an hourly rate of $20.83. At an exchange rate of £16.13 that is rather more than carers would be paid in the UK, but I would guess that if the USA has a similar system of extensively using agencies that would give an actual hourly rate of perhaps about $14. The carers presumably work three or four shifts per week, and if we assume that, as in the UK, many will be on zero-hours contracts, so do not get paid holiday, sick leave, etc, I imagine that these carers are probably lucky if they are earning as much as $30,000 p.a.

  • phf655 says:

    if he’s a cellist, he wasn’t the concertmaster! That doesn’t alter what might be his eminence as a musician.

  • Steinway Fanatic says:

    As a studio musician in Hollywood, Neikrug played every cello solo you’ve ever heard in movies from the 1950’s & ’60’s.

    • ulysses says:

      He also recorded a gorgeous performance of Schelomo in about 1960 and it was quite clear that Feuermann was one of his teachers. This should be mandatory listening for young cellists today. Sadly this connection to the greats such as Feuermann, Alexanian, Dounis, etc. will soon be lost.

  • Dennis says:

    Um..he’s 98. Sad, but really, it’s not as if he hasn’t had a long life.

  • Nick says:

    Isn’t he the father of the pianist and composer Marc Neikrug? I met Marc during a recital tour with Pinchas Zukerman and all three had a wonderful time. I send his father all good wishes.

  • Jorgia Bordofsky says:

    My aunt, Florence Katz, who died in 1917 always remembered her days as a collaborator with him in Los Angeles. When you live a long life the body wears out. So sorry to hear of his difficulties.

  • Nancy Elser says:

    My ex-husband studied under George Neikrug at Boston University. Are there any updates/anything we can do to help?