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Home » Recent News » Iraqi Musicians Carry On Despite Lack of Pay

Iraqi Musicians Carry On Despite Lack of Pay


Musicians of Iraq’s National Symphony Orchestra continue to rehearse and perform despite no pay for the past eight months. The ensemble has lost more than half its musicians, now down to just 40, since the government issued an anti-corruption directive barring state employees with two jobs from receiving two salaries. Though the measure only applies to about one third of the musicians, delays in carrying out the reform have resulted in wages being withheld from the entire symphony. Created in 1970, the ensemble has survived decades of upheaval, but is now in danger of closing. All of the musicians’ salaries (including the maestro) added together amount to just $85,000 for the year.

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