A Sforzando of Interest? Analysis April 2020

SWR Symphonieorchester, Teodor Currentzis 02 (c) SWR, Alexander Kluge

The number of professional orchestral players in Germany is finally on the rise again. But does this mean classical music is becoming more popular, or is this just a flash in the pan?

The number of musicians in professional orchestras in Germany has risen for the first time since reunification. The latest survey by the German orchestra union, the Deutsche Orchestervereinigung (DOV), recorded a total of 9,766 jobs at publicly funded, regularly playing orchestras as of January 2020 – an increase of 20 since the last survey in 2018. DOV managing director Gerald Mertens says: ‘After 30 years of structural changes within the German orchestral scene, we have now crossed an important line. Up to 2018 we had shrinking figures – from 2016 to 2018 we lost another 70 jobs. A rise of 20 is not much in absolute terms, but as the first ever increase it is something to be happy about.’

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