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Musician - Classical

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Classical musicians play a musical instrument as a soloist or as part of a musical ensemble or orchestra. They perform live to an audience or record music.

The Work

You could be:

Pay

The figures below are only a guide. Actual pay rates may vary depending on:

Pay rates vary, depending on the orchestra or the venue (club, London theatre, regional theatre, pub, TV or recording studio, for example).

There are agreed freelance rates between the Musicians’ Union and organisations such as the BBC and the British Recorded Music Industry (BPI). These cover live performances and recorded sessions. Information is available on the Equity website.

For example, as a salaried orchestra musician with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, you could earn around £29,000 a year, rising to £40,500 a year and above at principal level. You would earn extra for overtime, for overnight trips and concert tours, or for playing more than one instrument.

In other orchestras and those based in London, you might earn £29,000 to £52,500 a year, and at least twice as much in a major American orchestra.

Freelance rates can vary depending on skills and experience. The latest research findings (2012) by the Incorporated Society of Music (ISM) were that average fees per engagement (a rehearsal or performance) ranged from £90-£150 for an orchestra player, and £100-£250 for a solo instrumentalist.

Recording artists can earn much more. For the very few soloists that make it to the top, earnings can be very high.

Salary as a full time musician in the armed services varies depending on the individual service. In 2016 the RAF advertised musician pay at £24,913 plus benefits, after basic training.

Conditions

Employment Status UK %

Past Unemployment
Scotland


Year Unemployed

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Getting In

Predicted Employment in Scotland

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What Does it Take?

You need to be:

Training

Classical musicians usually continue to take private classes throughout their careers to maintain and improve their performance.

Getting On

More Information

The Creative and Cultural Skills website has a careers section called Creative Choices which has information about working in the music industry.

Contacts

The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM)
Tel: 020 7636 5400
Website: http://www.abrsm.org/
Twitter: @ABRSM
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abrsm

Association of British Orchestras
Tel: 020 7557 6770
Website: http://www.abo.org.uk
Twitter: @aborchestras
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Association-of-British-Orchestras-70336543432/

Creative and Cultural Skills
E-mail: edinburgh@ccskills.org.uk
Website: http://www.ccskills.org.uk/
Website (2): https://ccskills.org.uk/careers
Twitter: @CCskills
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ccskills

Creative and Cultural Skills is the Sector Skills Council for advertising, crafts, cultural heritage, design, music, performing, literary and visual arts. Creative Choices is their career information website.

Equity
Tel: 020 7379 6000
E-mail: info@equity.org.uk
Website: http://www.equity.org.uk/
Twitter: @EquityUK
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EquityUK

Membership of Equity is open not just those in the acting profession but to anyone working professionally in the field of entertainment.

Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM)
Tel: 020 7221 3499
E-mail: membership@ism.org
Website: http://www.ism.org/
Twitter: @ISM_music
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ISMusicians

Musicians' Union (MU)
Tel: 0141 341 2960
E-mail: glasgow@theMU.org
Website: http://www.musiciansunion.org.uk/
Twitter: @WeAreTheMU
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Musicians.Union

Scottish Drama Training Network
Tel: 0141 270 8349
Website: http://sdtn.org/
Twitter: @SDTNtweets
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sdtnofficial/

Scottish Music Centre
Tel: 0141 552 5222
E-mail: info@scottishmusiccentre.com
Website: http://www.scottishmusiccentre.com
Twitter: @scottishmusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/scottishmusiccentre

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Performing Arts

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