Classical Music

Sacked Scottish musicians: We’ve been left penniless – SlippediscSlippedisc


norman lebrecht

February 06, 2023

A painful message from the 19 members of the Nevis Ensemble, which went bankrupt without paying its players. The musicians have opened a GoFundMe site:

We, the Former Fellows of the Nevis Ensemble, are heartbroken by the very sudden insolvency of the organisation. The performances, workshops and projects in settings including care homes, prisons, schools, recovery groups, and all manner of public spaces, undertaken during our short time as Fellows have been some of the most fulfilling musical experiences of our lives.

The bold vision of the Nevis Ensemble to provide “Music for Everyone Everywhere” inspired many of us to move to a new city, leave jobs, defer other studies and opportunities, and make large personal and financial sacrifices to join the ensemble. In return for our work, we were promised an annual bursary of £11,000 paid in instalments of £1,000 at the end of each month.

We want to draw attention to the fact that many of the musicians are struggling with sudden financial hardship. The organisation failed to pay the most recent bursary instalment, covering our work for the month of January. Fellows were given 24 hours’ notice of the insolvency, leaving many of us without our primary source of income. We have sought support from the Musicians Union and Independent Society of Musicians, and have been advised that our Fellowships are entirely unprotected by employment law. Nearly half the fellows are internationals and therefore do not qualify for public funds. Additionally, those musicians who have undertaken freelance work with the organisation will likely not be able to recoup payments due to the organisation’s financial state at the time of insolvency.

In our work, we have seen how communities can provide a safety net, a safe space, and a helping hand. This is a plea for help from our own communities. We have set up a GoFundMe with the aim of raising a temporary hardship fund to help us as we seek employment and try to get back on our feet. We know many of those in our community are musicians as well, and that not everyone will be able to support us financially. We would be grateful if you could share this with your networks so that we can reach as many people as possible.

The proceeds from this fundraiser will be split evenly amongst the 19 fellows. Any amounts raised beyond our goal of £19,000 will be donated to Platform community centre in Easterhouse, Glasgow.



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