No the performers aren't earning poverty wages. They get paid quite well. They've also endured pay cuts while operating under an overpaid and obviously incompetent management team. My experience is not universal, but I used to be a subscriber. You know, 6 concerts a year or whatever. I'm not one anymore. There are good reasons for that. Attendance is declining under the very expensive management that was hired to improve the financial position of the orchestra. Well, a few more performances of movie scores* at double the prices (I made "double" up, but prices have gone up) should turn things around. At least she has the lingo down:
Looking ahead to the current year, the orchestra has cut $1.8 million to make its $44 million budget. Staff hires have been deferred, theatrical elements have been eliminated from a production of Messiah, and a L'Histoire du soldat joint project with the Mural Arts Program and director James Alexander that was to have been part of the Kimmel's Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts next spring has been shelved.
"It was incredibly painful," president and CEO Allison B. Vulgamore said of the cuts, "because it involved well-thought-out concepts in marketing and development and in global [initiatives] to be delayed."
Even relatively highly paid (and highly skilled) labor shouldn't be the ones to suffer for the obvious sins of management.
*Nothing against movie scores - some of them are quite good! - but they really aren't a way to cultivate a long term interest in their core product.
...adding, looking through various press releases, nonprofit PR is funny. Constant tension between the need to make management look good and to make the situation sound dire. "We've had our best year ever thanks to the management team, and we desperately need your money to stop us from becoming a giant crater!"