Jhb philharmonic owed R2.2m - report

2012-11-16 09:26
Johannesburg - The Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (JPO) staff and musicians are owed a minimum of R2.2m in salaries, The Star reported on Friday.

The orchestra held its last performance of the season in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Thursday evening.

Salaries for September and October were still outstanding, while 75% of the August salaries were paid, fans were told at the concert on Thursday evening.

"We depend on one another for survival. We sometimes don't have petrol to attend practice, but we make a plan," said one of the musicians, who did not want to be named.

Earlier this year, it was reported that the JPO had started business rescue proceedings with a business rescue practitioner helping the company with a refinancing and restructuring plan.


  • Jeremy - 2012-11-16 09:40

    I have huge sympathy for the JPO musicians. But, in this day and age, you have to market yourselves and provide a service that people want and will pay for. I appreciate that a world-class orchestra is an expensive business to keep going, but here's a suggestion.....try playing music people actually want to hear (when was the last time you did the 1812 for instance?) and when you;re not performing, give music lessons, go do session work, play in a jazz band......

      ludlowdj - 2012-11-16 09:50

      this isn't about viability, its about a corrupt government not paying salaries, and while you make valid points they do not apply to this situation and do no more than muddy the water.

      Jeremy - 2012-11-16 10:08

      ludlow, I don't know how the JPO is funded - and I agree that the government is corrupt - but, if government funding isn't forthcoming, then the JPO has to be self-sustaining. And I'm sure, if they try thinking out of the box, they might be able to come up with some ideas which will help them achieve that, both as an orchestra and individually.....

      sean.stretch.3 - 2012-11-16 14:35

      Comon Jeremy, guvenment should subsidise institutions like this, even if not well attended it forms part of our rich cultural diversity... what he have here is the Nkandla compound vs Johannesburg philharmonic orchestra

      nicholas.graan - 2012-11-16 15:08

      Does this not fall under the Department of Arts and Culture? I also thought lottery money was supposed to help keep these cultural organisations going?

      pieterjacobushugo - 2012-11-16 15:10

      I absolutely disagree. So you suggest that we cater for the common denominator? Where's the progress in that? What about new work?

      25estelle - 2012-11-17 10:52

      Jeremy Thorpe, I share your sentiment that classical musicians should continually think of innovative ways to sustain themselves and that it can be beneficial to include more popular repertoire. But, you obviously haven't thought this through. 1. Even if every concert is sold out, ticket sales could never sustain an orchestra. 2. Do you really think none of the JPO musicians have ever thought about giving music lessons? Most of them, possibly all of them, are also music teachers, but incidentally that doesn't either pay very well. 3. When orchestra musicians are not rehearsing, they are practicing. 4. Marketing "yourselves" etc is the job of the management, not orchestra members. I think your suggestions are well intended, but they aren't as original as you might have thought. Changing repertoire to include mostly works like the 1812 overture, would eventually reduce classical music to popular music - which is already in abundant existence. Yes, playing classical music is not financially sustainable and this is why governments give subsidies to orchestras and the like. Just as hospitals, fire departments and libraries are not financially sustainable, but necessary to the society. Classical music will always cost more to produce than which you can sell it for, but in spite of that, it will always exist. And just in case you thought classical music isn't as important as hospitals and fire departments - classical music too can save lives.

      frankflower - 2012-11-17 23:49

      1812? You say? You can't know much about music. That poor piece was overkilled. Just like the Messiah and the Mozart Requiem.

  • werner.dippenaar.77 - 2012-11-16 09:41

    Such a shame, but the government can piss away money on the meaningless stuff. This country is truly becoming what the liberals wished for.

      ooijalana - 2012-11-16 10:50

      You can't blame government for everything.

  • ralph.bohmer.5 - 2012-11-16 10:51


  • nicola.killops - 2012-11-16 11:03

    Funny that they didn't mention that the orchestra was yet another victim of the Lotto disaster. They were screwed over like 100's of other NGO's and non profits who depended on them for funding.

      arthur.hugh - 2012-11-16 18:08

      Yup, I wish people would boycott the lottery. Bunch of corrupt thieves.

  • michael.taylorw - 2012-11-16 12:29

    google MSO(Melbourne Symphony Orchestra) Then you will see what a proper govt funded Orchestra is meant to be. They play free concerts in the botanical gardens, for free for heavens sake.

  • J.Stephen.Whiteley - 2012-11-16 13:48

    They do receive reguarly from from Lotto, but not enough.

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