Violinists sue for more pay, arguing they play more notes

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Traditionally wind players sit through most of the concert, only playing at selected times whereas violinists play all through the concert so these violinists have a point. That being said, it looks like no one is listening to them (but who listens to violinists' issues anyway? :)

Violinists sue for more pay, arguing they play more notes

Associated Press
Mar. 23, 2004 01:45 PM


BERLIN - 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 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.