The Philadelphia Inquirer's Peter Dobrin suggests that, faced with an economic crisis of unprecedented proportions, US orchestras should switch to a different business model:
"Is it really a good thing that Deborah Borda, president of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, made well over $1 million for the year that ended in September 2007? Or that a hornist in the New York Philharmonic made $300,000, an oboe player in the Philadelphia Orchestra $249,000?
How about a stagehand at Carnegie Hall who makes $425,911 - plus $107,041 in contributions to benefits plans and deferred compensation?
These are the kind of salaries you'd expect in a sector with more money than it knows what to do with, not one fretting about the future.
One of the most startling costs of running an orchestra is the guest roster, with pianists, violinists, cellists, and others making $30,000 to $70,000 for a single performance. Are they worth it?"
It does sound bad.