A local magnate called Michael Aquilina has stepped in to help players in the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra who are struggling on reduced furlough wages or welfare.
He has launched an online Michael Aquilina Chamber Music Festival on May 30-31, continuing with a month of Saturday Galas and weekday chamber music highlights.
‘It broke my heart to learn that some of Australia’s finest musicians were facing financial hardship,’ he said. ‘And also that they would be deprived of the opportunity to engage and play together as a result of the Coronavirus.’
The MSO has stood down 75 musicians and 13 staff whom it pays a JobKeeper allowance of (Aus) $1,500 per fortnight.
The musicians have been vocally unhappy.