We all get older. For musicians, aging brings a host of physical challenges and a set of decisions to make. Among them is figuring out what to do about retirement. When should I stop what I am doing, or is it better to keep going? Some conductors would just as soon collapse on the podium, while others determine that they no longer have the stamina to continue.
This chapter is about understanding the choices available as we move along in the profession. I look at the options for European orchestra members versus their American counterparts, taking into consideration the pension and health plan differences between the two continents. Most importantly, I offer an intriguing solution, one that is sure to generate controversy.
Please weigh in with questions about the general subject of aging and how it impacts the individual musician as well as the organizations they work for.