Originally Posted by Aran
In which case, if you are so good, why not join a professional orchestra? My friend in the BBC Concert Orchestra is professionally a lawyer. About 1/4 of the members in our local orchestra are ex-professionals, I don't know about jobless ex-conservatoire.
Perhaps that someone is you.
You can get into the BBC Concert Orchestra with a degree or profession in any subject as long as you are of a good enough standard to pass the audition, and are successful after the trial period. It is a professional orchestra. Grade 8 isn't a good enough standard.
I assume when you say ex professionals you are not including anyone who has been a music teacher, as they are not good enough to get into a professional orchestra. The group I play in has an ex professional player in it. He isn't professional standard now as it is a long time since he played professionally and he hasn't been able to keep his standard up.
A retired professional player who is no longer professional standard might be prepared to play in a low standard group just to play somewhere, and as they are now retired may not be worried about their standard of playing slipping. Ex music conservatoire students need to play in a high standard group in order to improve, or maintain their standards so that they can find work.