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How to make a living?

Support for the Arts has fallen to such a low point after 13 years of Conservative rule that now a pioneering Musicians Census, researched by the Musicians Union and the charity Help Musicians, has found that half of working musicians in the UK earn less than £14,000 – despite over 70% being qualified to degree level.

Respondents reported that pay levels had failed to keep pace with inflation, and many had barely increased in real terms over 30 years. All depended on a portfolio of work and teaching to keep them solvent.

17-30% of musicians reported themselves as being in debt; and less than 3% of respondents, all of whom were white males, reported an income of more than £70,000.

It was reported that Sir Simon Rattle had proposed to conduct a farewell concert to which all the musicians he had conducted during his tenure with English orchestras were being invited. The event was cancelled when it was found that fully half of the individuals invited replied that they had been obliged to quite professional music during Covid.

Source: Guardian, 12 Septemer 2023

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