Yannick offers to match cash gifts to Met musicians

Yannick offers to match cash gifts to Met musicians


norman lebrecht

January 05, 2021

The music director, shamed in his complicity with Peter Gelb’s wageless siege, has now offered to match individual gifts up to $50,000 to the musicians of the orchestra and chorus. It’s not clear if there’s a ceiling to his generosity.

The musicians are expressing gratitude.

As the MET Orchestra Musicians & the Met Opera Chorus Artists turn the page to 2021, we are pleased to begin with a special fundraising matching campaign, to support our community of artists in these unprecedented times.
Thanks to a generous contribution from Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin and his life partner Pierre Tourville, any donations from January 4-27, 2021 will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $50,000 — $25,000 each to the #orchestra and the #chorus. Yannick and Pierre are keen to support the unique artists of the Met orchestra and chorus at this difficult time, and hope this matching challenge will inspire others to do the same.
Supporters can donate via metorchestramusicians.org/#donate and Charity.gofundme.com/o/en/campaign/mcafacethemusic – websites will be updated regularly to show the progress.
The Met Chorus Artists ‘Face the Music’ Fundraising campaign supports #choristers, #soloists, #dancers, #stage managers, stage #directors and #choreographers. The MET Orchestra Musicians Fund supports orchestra members, associates, librarians and affiliated music staff.  



  • Fernandel says:

    Will he go so far as to donate his bathrobe ?

  • Henry Rosen says:

    Is he lining himself up for life at the Met post P Gelb. Surely his time is up?! Yannick and MD Renée Fleming as AD and a CEO is the only way forward. Gelb has shown all his cards, and the only one has successfully deployed is the Met in HD series (well he is from a film background). But at everything else he has failed. He needs to go. He shows no respect for Opera, or for people whom make opera. The Met is too great to continue with him in charge. It needs people who believe and Yannick and Renée would be a great tone to make that happen, with someone pulling the financial strings behind (Deborah Borda please?)

  • cara257 says:

    Bravo Yannick!
    took you just 6 months to find out that you are nothing without your orchestra.
    Your shameful silence over the last month we never forgive and forget.
    You discredited yourself as a very selfish, narcissistic instagram “wantstobeimportant” artist.
    you are not!!

  • Peter says:

    Too little too late! And under the pressure of the present scandal, no other reason.
    $50,000 is what he makes in 2 weeks, even in the past 10 months when all Met orchestra and chorus members were not paid a penny and he was paid in full… Talk about hypocrisy!

  • Paul says:

    If they make you do it, is it really generous?

  • Ginny says:

    50k is a low enough amount to dole out in order to show fake support while still being employed and paid handsomely by the Met (albeit at reduced salary) . A token gesture by someone who should be fired.

  • MET FAN says:

    standing up against Gelb’s tyranny would be worth a lot more….

  • John Borstlap says:

    This means the man is a millionair, acquiring a fortune by conducting.

  • caranome says:

    Good gesture, better than nothing. But $100,000 (max raise) to 130 (est.) musicians & choristers = $769 per head. Maybe he should donate his entire salary to the match.

  • Guest says:

    How does one donate directly to the orchestra players?
    Don’t moneys received go to the Met, who distributes funds as they see fit?

    • Sasha says:


      • Guest says:

        Ah, missed the link.
        It will be interesting what the support will be.
        A lot of people only give because they can get a tax receipt, and I don’t think that applies herr

      • Guest says:

        Well then – I didn’t realise you could donate right to the musicians and get a charitable receipt.

    • Working Class says:

      You mean funds to keep the place open versus funds for entitled musicians.

      Those still employed at Lincoln Center have taken pay cuts on already depressed wages, cut hours, and loss of benefits. Everyone working to keep the places alive with bare income.

      The only group whining is the Met Prchestra.

    • John says:

      You can donate directly to the Met Orchestra Musicians who have their own fund which is completely separate from the Met Opera. The orchestra has set all of their funding yo own their own without help from the Met. Go to METOrchestraMusicians.org and donate today if you can

  • LOL says:

    Oh, how cute. He’s agreeing to donate two weeks’ salary to the chorus and orchestra in exchange for less chatter about how he’s snuggling up to Peter Gelb and not speaking out on behalf of the Met’s starving company. Way to go, Little Guy!

    • PFmus says:

      Patronizing as usual – Trump-level bullying. Yeah it sure was stupid and a mark of bad character and musicianship for Nezt-Seguin to be short. How foolish of him to be short!

      You think we can’t smell what your real objection to him is?

      But I suppose we should forgive you, because you were just born an asshat…

  • RM says:

    ’bout time.

  • Kathleen King says:

    FINALLY! Yannick emerges from seclusion and obliviousness to act as if he really CARES for the MET which is its people. Now, will he? Everybody, send a contribution and see what he really does.

  • Herbie v.k says:

    Two questions. Jaap gave how much to NY Phil?
    Secondly, if the fans will donate 500,000$ will Yannick match that? If the fans donate less than 50,000$ will Yanick give less?

    • EU person says:

      1. No
      2. Yes

    • John Borstlap says:

      JvZw contributed considerably to the NY Phil and already a long time ago, immediately when the financial troubles became apparent.

    • John Borstlap says:


      Jaap did not advertise his support and nobody felt the need to sneer at it or to denigrate it or to put him against the wall. For a busy conductor to suddenly see the entire season going up in smoke is a shock to the system as it was for everybody concerned.

      • dumbbbbb says:

        Jaap did not actually donate. He “gave up” the performance fees for his canceled concerts and the NY Phil spun it beautifully.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Come on, he was not ‘shamed in his complicity’. He didn’t have to do this at all. And from a purely political standpoint, it would be best if he stayed out of it.

  • J Barcelo says:

    $50,000?? Kinda cheap, don’t ya’ think?

  • JussiB says:

    What’s the liberal term “life partner” mean ?

  • Peter San Diego says:

    Better late than never, though $100K is just a drop in the bucket. Now, if all the board members and Mr. Gelb joined in each offering to match $50K, the orchestra might be able to get some meaningful relief.

    • Working Class says:

      You realize those working at the LC venues are working with substantial pay cuts and work hour cuts.

      Most of these salaries were low to begin.

      Without these workers, the Met Orchestra ceases to exist

  • Brad M says:


  • Bratsche brat says:

    Guilt-tripped into it. Oy vay.

  • Philly Filly says:

    And to add insult to injury… the photograph of the absentee lightweight is one taken of him on the carpeted steps of the academy of music in Philadelphia… where he is MD of that orchestra. Oy veh indeed

  • EU person says:

    Too late, Yannick… it is your time to retire from Met. People don’t want to see such a hypocrite as a music director.


  • Cynical Bystander says:

    I read the anti Gelb/Nezet-Sequin-Tourville diatribes here and it makes we wonder how the ridding of the MET of either or both actually helps, particularly now, unless there is also a root and branch restructuring on Lincoln Square.

    It is a number of years since I attended the MET under the previous regime and I have to say that none of the occasions I attended were particularly memorable other than for a sense of routine. Even first runs of new productions at the time compared unfavourably with work in other houses. Under the Gelb regime I have restricted by viewing to HD relays and have to admit that many of these have been more enjoyable than the immediate pre Gelb era.

    The current Covid situation and how both the GM and MD have behaved might be deplorable but the animus here towards both, less so to N-S, predates the crisis and using this as a convenient bucket into which to spew more bile might help to clean out their spleens but it does not really change the basic complaint they have.

    If the MET is a floundering then it will take more than a couple of scapegoats, although I suspect for many here 1 would be sufficient, to get it back on its feet and back to the glory days which were long past even before Gelb arrived.

    • Yes Addison says:

      Good comment, CB. The Volpe/Levine years of the ’90s and early ’00s weren’t my idea of a glorious artistic era either. A lot of what I heard and saw in that period struck me as stodgy and, as you put it, routine. I think people tend to remember the best of yesteryear and put that up against the worst things they see today.

    • NotToneDeaf says:

      Excellent comments, CB. The majority of people on this site don’t understand how non-profits are governed and seem to think that Gelb (and now, Yannick) make decisions in a vacuum and that they somehow 1) get rich off these decisions, and/or 2) shouldn’t get paid for their hard work and expertise. They don’t seem to understand that a Board of Directors runs the organization and makes the major decisions. Gelb is the messenger. Yannick isn’t even that – he doesn’t have financial responsibilities. I understand it’s human nature to want to assign a specific name to an unfair situation, but the witch-hunt against General Managers that goes on in these instances is a waste of time, not helpful and, quite honestly, idiotic. But I guess it’s more fun to sit in your basement and bitch about somebody rather than accepting that there are real and huge problems confronting the arts and addressing those difficult issues.

      • cara257 says:

        but you can still show some solidarity to your colleagues.
        or not?
        yannick is just thinking about himself like as always when he is doing music .
        romantically, indifferent bla bla bla , but good lookinng at the same time.
        he is the biggest disappointment since years in the international business.
        no class, kitschy taste, not enough education… and i have to play with him for soooo many years…still.

  • MacroV says:

    The ceiling seems quite clearly to be $50,000 total, not per gift.

    And what complicity? Just what do you expect him to do? He’s still getting paid for his role as music director; even with the shutdown and no conducting, there’s probably a lot of artistic planning going on. Give the guy a break.

  • Working Class says:

    I will donate to the local food bank.

    The $350K a year Met Orchestra members should be ashamed of themselves.

    • Tiredofitall says:

      I’ve said this before to irresponsible posters. Do your homework before you spew misinformation.

      One–exactly one–member of the Met orchestra earns in excess of $350,000, David Chan, the concertmaster. This information can EASILY be round in the IRS 990 for 2019. If you are savvy enough to post on here your have the ability to do due diligence.

      For comparison, in 2019, Mr. Chan’s counterpart at the NY Philharmonic earned $577,000. Unlike the Met Opera, five principal players at the Phil earned in excess of $350,000.

      I’m not a fan of Peter Gelb nor of excessive salaries, but I am a fan of correct information.

    • John says:

      Get your facts straight. That is a very inaccurate statement.

  • Working Class says:

    Sorry for a double post: The $350K-a-year Met Orchestra Members wish us to donate to them rather than Met Opera as a whole?

    • John says:

      Currently, the orchestra are each making a big fat $0. The figure of $350K is nowhere accurate. The average Met musician makes far less than half of that, for which they work 30% longer hours than their symphonic counterparts who receive more salary than they do. Please consider donating to metorchestramusicians.org if you wish for the Met to exist.

    • Dingdongspatula says:

      WC, often people with money like to give to a cause they can actually identify, rather than to throw money into the administrative void that has become the Met. To them, the Met might seem to have turned down a road they don’t like, but they’re conflicted because they still hope to support the immense talent that supports the brand… get it?

      Make the Met Great Again! Get rid of Gelb and shake up the too-wealthy, too-old board. See magic happen!
      Please, stop attacking hard working musicians. They deserve better than the $0 they’ve had coming for almost a year.

  • CA says:

    How many months did it take for him to help? Not until lots of folks were complaining that he hadn’t yet. Leadership means being out in front. Or, it used to.

  • Barbarian at the Gates says:

    Classic example of “damned if you do and damned if you don’t”. The difference in tone between the editorial introduction and the musicians’ statement is quite striking. It’s almost as if somebody wants to ‘doctor’ the news. As usual, the smug sanctimoniousness of the virtue-signallers is puke-inducing.

  • Fred says:

    Seriously? Too little too late, just wants to save the face after the scandal bathrobe. He does it by opportunism, we all know that he does not care about MET musicians.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    You people are pathetic. The overblown mediocrity of an institution that’s known as the Met – after being complicit and harboring Levine’s antics for decades – are lucky to even have a half-way decent music director. If I were Nezet-Seguin, I would just walk away and leave it. Who needs it.

  • James B says:

    Gosh, the amount of homophobia amongst these comments is shocking.

  • JussiB says:

    I think a lot of hatred is because Yannick is a homosexual.

  • Michael says:

    Please! The first thing that should be done is to lose Peter Gelb. He has confused Show Biz and Broadway with opera. He has undermined and cheapened the Metropolitan Opera. Secondly, find a smaller theater. URGENTLY. 4000 capacity is a nightmare from the 60s!