How is an orchestra budgeted?

DV with panel discussion "Newcomers and Zaster" in Zurich

Florian Sorg talks to guests about fees, wages and compensation for “newcomers” in amateur orchestras. Actually, everyone agrees that the tariff recommendations of the SMV make sense. But what are the specific effects on the amateur orchestras and their concerts and membership fees?

What about the title of the discussion? In any case, he gave something to talk about, at lunchtime before the panel discussion. "Zaster" comes from the Rotwelschen "saster" (iron) and actually does not simply mean money, but rather stands for means of payment that were not acquired legally. But that's definitely not what this conversation is about.

Professional musician Martin Albrecht and music student Felix Haller are opposed to the fact that fees for musicians are "gmärtet" - with craftsmen, after all, the bill is simply paid. Therefore, both are happy about the tariff recommendations of the SMV. Beat Santschi, President of the SMV, justifies this with the fact that the free market does not function in cultural areas “in any country in the world” and that certain reference points are therefore necessary. In the past, the church or the king took care of culture, today the state and the offices have to take care of culture. Because music is still seen only as a nice to have, a luxury facility and not as an absolutely necessary branch of work, neither a symphony orchestra nor an opera house can survive without public support. When negotiating wages with newcomers, the minimum tariff recommendations of the SMV should be observed. These can be viewed at www.; If you have any questions, the offices will also help.

Yvonne Mauz, treasurer of the Winterthur Orchestra, also shows the other side: If several newcomers have to be engaged for a concert, the orchestra usually has only limited money available for the fee.
Various voices recommend hiring amateurs instead of professional musicians. These often play under the SMV tariffs or can become new orchestra members in the long term. The professional musicians present support this tendency, after all, it is the idea of ​​the amateur orchestras that amateurs make music. However, when small pieces of information from these orchestras are obliged and paid for by choirs to accompany them, the question suddenly arises whether amateurs do not “take the work away from professional musicians”.

One thing is clear: if professional musicians are hired, they should be fairly remunerated (not “compensated”!). Fair wages, however, mean that the orchestras have to budget relatively high fees, which raises the question of income. A 5000-franc collection is said to have already been made, but most orchestras can only dream of it. The proposal of an annual membership fee of CHF 3,000 did not go down well with those present: an orchestra is not a golf club. So creative ideas are needed as to how money can be raised. Daniel Schranz, President of the EOV and the Uetendorf Chamber Orchestra, has one of these. He assumes that all orchestra members are consumers somewhere. So if z. For example, if a member has new windows made in his house, he or she passes the address of the construction company on to the orchestra's cashier, who sends the company a personalized donation letter. However, Daniel Schranz does not reveal whether the method is successful.

That afternoon, fair remuneration for music students will also be discussed. While some demand that they should be paid according to professional musician's tariffs, others compare the situation with internships in other professions in which the full wage is not paid. The SMV has so far held back with tariff recommendations for students.

Another big topic is the social security and AHV contributions, which have recently been paid by the employer (i.e. the orchestra involved) every time they are hired. But we'll talk about that in another conversation. Finally three thirty suddenly turned, and the delegates want to enjoy the sun a little longer. Do you want to discuss the price of the espresso or the bar with the waiter in the garden bar?

Roman Häfliger-Cánepa