London concertmaster is driving an Uber

London concertmaster is driving an Uber


norman lebrecht

April 22, 2021

The violinist Raffaele Pagano, concertmaster of the London Arte Chamber Orchestra, is keeping up his practice in the car while driving a 70-hour week on Uber hires.

Raffaele, 34, from Naples, moved to London for its musical life, but Covid has thwarted hishopes.

He says: ‘Fortunately with my violin next to me I never felt tired and am often inspired by the wonderful people that ride in my car.

‘The different energy, lives and cultures of my passengers are a source of energy and inspiration for my playing and composition. My music is made from real life and real emotions.’

Read on here.




  • Peter Jones says:

    That’s dreadful, yet resourceful. Many London musicians are doing other jobs to survive – delivering pizzas, Waitrose, Tescos, NHS hospital cleaners, whatever. His chamber orchestra is a scratch freelance band, and this headline is rather dramatic.

  • Jan Kaznowski says:

    I met Raffaele once – great guy, good for him

  • SVM says:

    Is it safe to be doing 70 hours a week in a job that is all about driving? If he had been a HGV driver, this would never be allowed (there are strict regulations on the hours a HGV driver can spend behind the wheel, and for good reason). Does he still have those very long breaks between each fare (in his words, “there were very few people and I used to sometimes wait a couple of hours before getting a job”), or has business picked-up? I am fearful that, no matter how careful he is, he (and anybody else who spends so many hours driving week after week) is running a high risk of killing or injuring someone accidentally due to fatigue (no matter how much he claims that “I never felt tired”).

    • Maria says:

      You don’t need a doctorate in Maths to work out that 7 x 10 hours = 70 hours, which is just plain stupid and putting so many lives at risk.

  • Sir David Geffen-Hall says:

    Finally a musician who is not a cry baby. We all have to do what we have to do to get through this Pandemic and make it to the other side.

    No whining.

    “There’s a War on, you know?”

    • Paul Joschak says:

      Don’t be such a fatuous idiot. If you’d lost all your income for over a year with no government support, as several of my musician friends have, perhaps you’d be shedding a few tears.
      And remember, the politicians and advisors who have taken away our liberties and livelihoods haven’t missed a paycheck since this whole s**t-show started.

      • Sarah says:

        Musicians, if you have paid tax, are being furloughed in Britain.

      • Saxon says:

        It isn’t “a plot by politicians”, the issue is that the policy choices have been dominated by those who have been economically protected from their policy choices: older workers in full time jobs who have terrified themselves about the consequences of getting ill; and the retired. It is predominantly younger people have suffered the consequences of those choices.

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      We have international airline pilots in Australia stacking supermarket shelves and employed as Baristas. Bit of a come-down (cough). But they have mortgages to service and families to feed.

  • Sharon says:

    I don’t know if Pagano took any social science in his music program but he might consider becoming a music therapist. It’s steady work and he would be providing an incredibly valuable service in recreation and community centers and residential institutions of all types. With his personality and outlook he would be a real winner. It’s steady, he can practice while entertaining the residents, has benefits. Because its generally a nine to five he can still do concerts.

  • Maria says:

    Wish I could get an Uber job to boost my non-existant teaching salary, even in Manchester!.