The Musicians' Union (MU) and Association of British Orchestras (ABO) are calling for extra funding for freelance musicians as analysis suggests orchestras are losing millions of pounds of income each month.
ABO Director Mark Pemberton said the association's members reported earned income of £70m in 2019: "therefore over £6m a month is being lost in cancelled performances for a sector that was already struggling from the years of austerity."
"The many thousands of freelance musicians who have helped to make UK orchestras world-renowned are on their knees hoping that the government will finally recognise their plight and step in with much-needed funds to tide them over until the concert halls can reopen."
Horace Trubridge, MU General Secretary, said that orchestras are sinking - "and there isn't a lifeboat in sight"
"This government either doesn’t understand the damage that is being done to the orchestral sector, or it doesn’t care. We have repeatedly called upon the government to offer a lifeline to freelance orchestral musicians, but they simply choose not to listen.”