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Where classical musicians earn 50 cents a day for rehearsal

Welcome to Vietnam, where the ministry sets the rates of pay – 50 cents for a rehearsal day, $1.40 for the concert.

That was 20 years ago. Today, ‘the payment has reached VND80,000 ($3.81) per rehearsal and VND700,000 ($33.40) for a group of musicians that play a major part in a show.’

There is, however, a fast-growing consumership of western classical music in Vietnam. Read more here.



Mai Quang Vinh, a cornet player from HoChiMinh City Conservatory of Music.

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  1. Steve de Mena says:

    But they don’t make 50 cents. That was 20 years ago. Deceptive headline to make us read.

    Since this a classical music blog surprised the pay rate for classical musicians was omitted.

    “Performances outside of theatres are much higher. A classical musician is paid up to VND2.5 million (USD119.27) per show.”

    • ‘Outside theatres’ – meaning, presumably, private events.

      • Steve de Mena says:

        Wasn’t clear what they meant by “show”. Sounded like non classical orchestral performances. The article talked about “sideline players” making like 3.40 versus $35 or so with bigger roles. I guess I thought of “shows” as musicals or other entertsinment where the musicians are not the primary attraction as they would be in a classical concert in a concert hall.

  2. Ghillie Forrest says:

    Not impressed with the earnings of European classical musicians as stated in that story. But not convinced, either — and the assertion that classical and non-classical earn similarly is surely a bit broad. Not many classical musicians earning like Sting, or U-2, or Bowie, or McCartney, or even the newer crop like Adele.

  3. David Boxwell says:

    “Race to the bottom (for low wages)”: now affecting the classical music world, as well.

  4. A poor musician from Armenia! says:

    we earn almost the same amount!

  5. Nora Haidu says:

    Beeing a musician is not always a financially lucrative job. But one has always the choice to say NO if he doesn´t like the conditions. Complaining after you have accepted a contract makes no sence and it changes nothing.

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