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Protect jobs. Support touring. Keep music live!

Protect Orchestras Under Threat

Keep the UK’s world famous orchestras live and protect the working people at its heart

46%* real terms cut to art funding since 2005
£6.7 bn* value of music to the UK economy in 2022
£112 bn* value of creative industries

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* Source: UK Music and DCMS

Reverse cuts, fund the arts

Latest news on arts funding in orchestras

Exterior of the Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff, where the Welsh National Opera is based.

MU Responds to Welsh National Opera Cuts

Musicians' Union members in the orchestra of Welsh National Opera (WNO) are facing a reduction in working weeks, equating to a 15% pay cut as a result of a funding shortfall for the company.

Published: 28 March 2024

Read more about MU Responds to Welsh National Opera Cuts

Watch the call to Keep Northern Ballet live

Musicians from Northern Ballet Sinfonia and supporters from across the trade union movement came together to keep Northern Ballet music live. Thanks to TUC General Secretary Paul Nowak, TUC Northern and everyone who joined the campaign in Newcastle for the support.

Did you see the news?

Our members at English National Opera will be going on strike - the first by Musicians’ Union members since 1980 - and the news has made headlines in the UK and around the world. View how we've been getting the message across.


Join the conversation


Fab visit to see The Nutcracker at @LeedsTheatres this afternoon. Sad to hear that @northernballet is being forced to consider getting rid of the live orchestra & replace them with recordings. @ace_national should support the sector and #KeepNorthernBalletLive 📢 @WeAreTheMU

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Live ballet needs live music. What a lovely bunch of talented people :) 👍🏼👏🎻🎺 Help @WeAreTheMU #KeepNorthernBalletLive

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Musicians' jobs are on the line at the Northern Ballet. Join me in supporting @WeAreTheMU union members who are fighting to protect their jobs and save live ballet. #KeepNorthernBalletLive Please sign their petition

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Thank you for everyone’s support for our campaign to #keepnorthernballetlive 🙏Also to my lovely children who also helped spread the word

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Tonight at the theatre we were greeted by the musicians. The pit was white with t-shirts for the cause instead of the usual black. It made me sad. It makes me angry.

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Guidance and advice

Around the web

The MU campaign team

Photo of Naomi Pohl

Naomi Pohl

General Secretary

Photo of Jo Laverty

Jo Laverty

National Organiser for Orchestras

Photo of Morris Stemp

Morris Stemp

Orchestras and Health & Safety Official

Photo of Jamie Pullman

Jamie Pullman

Regional Organiser


Photo of Paul Reed

Paul Reed

Regional Organiser

North of England