Philadelphia Orchestra musicians take voluntary 20% salary reduction


Staff salaries reduced by net 20% based on salary level beginning April 1

Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin voluntarily reduces compensation

Donations of cancelled concert tickets and additional gifts contribute to plan for financial recovery

Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra maintains audience connection and promotes the power of music in the face of adversity

(Philadelphia, March 31, 2020)—The Philadelphia Orchestra Association and the musicians of the Orchestra today jointly announced that musicians have volunteered to take a temporary salary reduction of 20%, beginning April 1, to help counter the significant financial impact of the COVID-19 crisis. This cooperative step to preserve institutional financial progress of recent years is complemented by a 20% net reduction in staff salaries, based on salary level, also beginning April 1. Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin is forgoing 20% of his March and April compensation. These steps are among a series of measures the organization has been taking since the last concert performed on March 12, 2020.

A call to donate tickets to cancelled concerts has been met generously by dedicated Philadelphia Orchestra audience members, and additional financial gifts made in the context of the crisis have contributed to the initial phase of a plan for long-term financial recovery.

To enable ongoing connection to the Orchestra during a time when music is vitally important, audiences can engage with the Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra. Through three specific endeavors—WATCH, LISTEN, LEARN—the Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra offers access to past and previously unreleased performance videos, specially-created content from musicians of the orchestra, online learning, new Listen On Demand audio, and more at The Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra is generously funded, in part, by the William Penn Foundation. LEARN initiatives of the Virtual Philadelphia Orchestra are supported by Wells Fargo.

“In the challenging new reality of the COVID-19 crisis, the priorities of The Philadelphia Orchestra are to maintain the integrity of the ensemble, to take care of our people, and to preserve a position of financial strength built by our dedicated Board, generous donors and audiences in the recent past,” said President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. “We have a plan, and we have taken important initial steps. We will continue to work together to inspire support so that when we come back to the concert hall and to our communities in person we are as vibrant and vital as ever.”

“The musicians of the Orchestra are dedicated to helping ensure a bright future for The Philadelphia Orchestra,” said David Fay, chair of the Members’ Committee of the Orchestra. “This salary reduction is an expression of our commitment to work to maintain the progress we have made together. We look forward to being with our audience again and to thanking them in person for their support during this time.”

“We remain focused on the future.” said Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. “We are in this together, and know that our collective strength and resolve will bring us together again. We look forward to when we can reunite to thank our beloved audiences for the outpouring of support that we have felt so deeply.”


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