We have been shocked to find one of London’s brighter start-ups paying its musicians less than the national minimum wage.
The letter below offered, in the calculation of our correspondent, £100 for 18.5 hours work (assuming 3 hours for the concert) – or £5.41, significantly lower than the minimum wage. We (and, no doubt, you – and possibly the Musicians Union and Dame Judi Dench) would be interested to hear from the Orpheus Sinfonia, a registered charity dedicated to ‘supporting the finest musicians of tomorrow’, how they justify paying slave wages.
Dear [name redacted],
I would very much like to invite you to join the Orpheus Sinfonia, to play Principal [position redacted], for our final concert of the season on 11th July 2013, 7:30pm at Cadogan Hall. The grand finale programme is Beethoven’s 9th Symphony – concluding our Beethoven Symphony Cycle, and the world premiere of Stephen Goss’ Triple Concerto for Saxophone, Cello and Piano – a wonderfully accessible and jazz influenced work, which is attracting a good deal of press. Thomas Carroll, Artistic Director, is conducting Beethoven 9, Toby Purser the Triple Concerto, we have a stellar line up of soloists and this concert will also inaugurate the Orpheus Sinfonia Chorus. It will be a remarkable and very exciting concert, and I very much hope you will be able to join us – please could you reply to me as soon as possible.
Tuesday 9th July - St James’ Paddington10:30 – 1:30 and 2:30 – 5:30 RehearsalsWednesday 10th July - St James’ Paddington11:30-1:00 Goss
7:30-8:30 Beethoven with choir and soloistsThursday 11th July - Cadogan Hall2:30 – 5:30 TUTTI7:30pm - CONCERTRepertoire:Goss – Triple Concerto for Saxophone, Cello and PianoBeethoven 9th SymphonyOrpheus SinfoniaMax Baille (Goss) /Akiko Ono (Beethoven) – LeadersOrpheus Sinfonia ChorusPeter Whyman – SaxophoneThomas Carroll – CelloGraham Caskie – PianoToby Purser (Goss)/Thomas Carroll (Beethoven) – conductorsFee: £100I look forward to hearing from you. And please don’t hesitate to get in touch, should you have any questions.All very best wishes,
Patron — Dame Judi Dench
President of the Friends — Aled Jones
Supporting the finest musicians of tomorrowSupported by the Orpheus Foundation Trust, Registered Charity Number: 1126059