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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000645.txt from 1998/03

From: "Kevin Fay" <>
Subj: Re: Curtis & Bill Gates (or . . . get the other degree too)
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 21:33:05 -0500

Of course, 18 full time orchestras multiplied by four clarinet positions
equals 72 jobs. If anything, 500 is a generous estimate of the
orchestal musicians in the U.S. who live by playing alone.


----Original Message Follows----
Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 20:45:04 -0500
From: bkinlein <>
Subject: Re: Curtis & Bill Gates (or . . . get the other degree too)

While I won't deny that full-time symphony jobs are scarce, recently I
heard that there are now 18 symphony orchestras with full seasons, which
would make about 1800 full-time positions. Of course, to your point,
that's still way below the number of students graduating each year, and,
the average tenure is about 15 years or so.
My information is based on the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's history
and may not reflect the rest of the orchestra's. As i commented in a
prior note, DSrucker has been with the NY Philarmonic for 50 years.

Kevin Fay wrote:
> Funny you should ask. The answer: none that I know of.
> Allow me to elaborate. Aside from being a highly mediocre clarinet
> player, I am a corporate attorney at . . . you guessed it, Microsoft.
> As far as I know, there are no Curtis grads here. You would not
> the number of musicians that are here, however. Microsoft has its own
> choir, orchestra and wind ensemble (all of which are pretty standard
> community-band quality).
> There is another subset of musicians here, though, at a high
> professional level--for example, the second and third on-call trumpet
> players w/ the Seattle Symphony both are Microsofties. (And both make
> whole pile more money than the full-time symphony gig).
> Two points in this rambling. First, you should absolutely take the
> "other" program in your double major into account. Most musicians
> play their horns for a living--they have to teach, or wait tables, or
> write contracts. Other folks I know who play entirely for their
> have anything but an affluent life style. Face it--there are only 500
> or so full-time orchestra gigs in the U.S., and many schools besides
> Eastman and Julliard are cranking out graduates trying to fill them.
> the math.
> Second, this lack of professional opportunity is no reason to quit
> playing. In the orchestra and wind ensemble I regularly play with,
> virtually every musician has a performance degree (or the equivalent
> amount of performance experience from college). Several work at
> Microsoft. Others are architects, college professors (not music),
> physicians and assorted other under-achievers. Remember high school,
> when it seemed like all the smart kids were in band? They were.
> I was an editor of the law review my last year of law school. As an
> informal poll of the law review members, I asked each of them if they
> had played an instrment. Most had--but FIFTY-EIGHT PERCENT of the law
> review editorial board had played clarinet at one time or another.
> 'Nuff said.
> kjf
> ----Original Message Follows----
> From: DGross1226 <>
> Date: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 01:10:52 EST
> To:
> Subject: Curtis & Bill Gates
> Reply-To:
> In a message dated 98-03-09 11:12:36 EST, you write:
> << Curtis is one of the ultimate schools - IF you make it. >>
> It seems we've forgotten the original question about a dual major.
> anyone know how many Curtis graduates are currently working for
> Microsoft?
> Don Gross
> La Canada, California
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