But both musicians and management agree on one point: The life of an orchestra member involves more work than glamour.
Michael had played in lesser orchestras across the country, including Tulsa, Okla., and Colorado Springs.
Daria worked as a part-time nanny and practiced seven hours a day before landing the SPCO job.
Being a classical player employed near the pinnacle of your profession used to be a pretty stable occupation; the average Minnesota Orchestra player has been there 18 years. Paul Chamber Orchestra violinist Daria Adams, joined him in unemployment three weeks ago.
But Michael Adams, who plays viola with the orchestra, has been out of work since Oct. Both are locked out, neither playing nor earning a paycheck, a microcosm of the fallout from a nationwide wave of orchestras dealing with multimillion-dollar deficits.
The intensity is about the same as an air-traffic controller, except that if you make a mistake, no one dies." In addition to those 24 hours a week playing onstage, each practices at home an average of two hours a day, six days a week.
"We're always preparing, we always have our stock [music] on our stands," Daria said.Now, like any other out-of-work white-collar professional, they are looking for new gigs.Michael has mailed résumés to more than 25 orchestras, and got a subbing job with the Atlanta Symphony."That's how she remembers it, anyway," Michael said.Coincidentally, they moved to Minnesota the same week later that year, she for the SPCO and he for a public-radio job, as he was sidelined for five years by a nerve-compression injury in his shoulder.As section string players -- the "worker bees" of the orchestra -- he makes about 7,000 and she ,000, salaries that are 10 to 15 percent below the average for their organizations.