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Why no symphony orchestra in the world makes money


Striving to play the changes in a melodic way.
Staff member
Orchestras produce a unique product and are often monopolies — usually a recipe for financial success. But no symphony orchestra in the world would be financially viable on its own. That's the startling truth uncovered by Robert Flanagan, a professor of economics at Stanford University and the author of The Perilous Life of Symphony Orchestras.

"They all run an operating deficit, in the sense that the money they earn from concerts, records and so forth does not cover their expenses," he told The Money. There are many reasons for this, but chief among them is that the expense of running an orchestra is enormous and virtually impossible to bring down.

Orchestras are really expensive to run

Each orchestra comprises between 45 and 100 musicians, and at least in Australia these are usually salaried employees with superannuation, sick leave and other rights and entitlements. And these labour costs can't really be reduced or made more efficient, as Professor Flanagan points out. "Productivity, the labour requirements, are more or less frozen for all time by the composers of classical music," he says. Then there are the fixed costs of venue hire, management staff, conductors and soloists.

Read more: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-04/why-no-symphony-orchestra-in-the-world-makes-money/8413746


Brassica Oleracea
Staff member
I was about to say that this is nothing new, then I noticed the 2017 date. Yup. This is nothing new :D.
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