Orchestra Musicians Want to Tie Salaries to Notes Played
BERLIN (AP) — Violinists at a German orchestra are suing for a pay raise on the grounds that they play many more notes per concert than their colleagues do — litigation that the orchestra's director on Tuesday called "absurd."
The 16 violinists at the Beethoven Orchestra (search ) in Bonn argue that they work more than their fellow musicians who play instruments like the flute, oboe and trombone, and also say a collective bargaining agreement that gives bonuses to soloists is unjust.
But Bonn orchestra director Laurentius Bonitz said it was unreasonable to compare playing a musical instrument with other jobs.
"The suit is ridiculous," Bonitz said. "It's absurd."
He also argued that soloists and musicians in other leading roles — like the orchestra's two oboe players — should make more money.
"Maybe it's an interesting legal question, but musically, it's very clear to everyone," Bonitz said.
The case is scheduled in a labor court during May.Here's an Op-Ed addressing the issue.
Here's a report that says that the musicians are suing because they play more pieces than the woodwind and brass sections, not because they play more notes per musical selection.