Frankfurt boss: We pay our musicians far too little

Frankfurt boss: We pay our musicians far too little


norman lebrecht

May 09, 2019

At yesterday’s season launch, Frankfurt Oper’s director Bernd Loebe said his musicians were seriously underpaid, ranking 27th in Germany’s orchestral pay scale.

Some, he said, were having to apply for social benefits to sustain their families. Others were contemplating emigration.

Germany’s financial centre should surely do more for its artists if it wants to challenge London as a business hub.

Frankfurt Oper will have 12 new productions next season, including 3 Rossinis, a rarae outing for Fauré’s Penelope and Asmik Grigorian starring in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut.

UPDATE: What they really earn in German orchestras




  • fflambeau says:

    It would be interesting to see the financial data behind those rankings. Most orchestras/opera companies are anything but transparent.

    Does anyone know where that data can be seen?

  • Leon Bonnke says:

    They are not alone. Ask any German worker or middle class employee whether their net salary has kept place with inflation over the last 10 years and whether they can afford to raise a family in a 600 square foot apartment. No tax cuts worth the name, permanently rising health insurance and social security costs, rising rents due to overcrowding and absurdly stringent energy regulations for new apartment buildings. And zero interest rates–to delay the total bankruptcy of the club med countries–that destroy savings and pensions.

    • Nick says:

      You are absolutely right! Having lived and worked in Germany for years, I 100% second your statement. But please, do not forget, Germany IS mostly a socialist economy and has socialist mentality with CDU+SPD coalition ruling for years. The rents are unaffordable as well as real estate cost, medical costs and medical insurance are through the roof – and it is a “single payer system”, something that uneducated dumb bartenders like AOC and old morons like Sanders among Democrats in America strive for. Government regulations prohibit energy sources like nuclear and coal. Expensive, impractical and unproductive wind and sun devices are all over the place and the electricity and water costs are simply STAGGERING! in one word: SOCIALISM!

      • Alan says:

        And the climate extremists want the same in the UK. Not to save the planet you understand but the creation of a socialist nirvana.
        I have news for them, they never work!
        I now wait patiently for the liberal left readership of SD to tell me how wrong I am.

  • V.Lind says:

    Interesting story the day after the music rich list was published, discussing how many more millions Ed Sheeran made than Adele last year and citing overall net worth of musicians in the hundreds of millions.

    The money is out there.

  • Anna says:

    Bet they earn more thanWNO

  • Niels Muus says:

    Bernd Loebe – a professional with 100% integrety

  • Edgar says:

    Capitalism regards performing artists as those who are kept to deliver the music as ordered and paid, just as in the old days of feudal rule. Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos would be the perfect stuff for a town like Bank(ster)furt (and many other such places, too).