What Russia’s five top conductors are earning

May 20, 2015 by norman lebrecht


The Ministry of Culture has published the 2014 salaries of the heads of Russia’s leading arts institutions. It’s a revealing chart. In first place, earning six times more than the next orchestra chief, is…. well you’ve guessed:

1 Valery Gergiev                340 million rubles ($6.9m)

Russian President Putin presents a Hero of Labour award to Mariinsky theatre director Gergiev during an awards ceremony in St. Petersburg


2 Vladimir Spivakov         57 million rubles ($1.2m)
Artistic Director of the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia


putin spivakov

3 Yuri Temirkanov           42 million rubles ($850,000)
St Peterbsburg Philharmonic


4 Vladimir Fedoseyev        34 million rubles ($670,000)
Bolshoi symphony orchestra

5 Vladimir Jurowsky          25 million rubles ($500,000)
Svetlanov symphony orchestra

Comments (25)

  1. Olassus says:

    Say what you will about Mr. Putin, he supports music!

    1. Greg Hlatky says:

      George Weiss, one-time general manager of the New York Yankees, sneered that you could buy a sportswriter with a steak. So for all their lofty pretentions, artists will always lick the boots of any thug that tosses a few coins their way.

      1. Al Schlechtenberg says:

        Not me.

  2. harold braun says:

    Absolutely right,Olassus!And they deserve it,Russian conductors(and musicians in general)are really among the worlds very best!I think also of both the Petrenkos,Pletnev,Karabits et al.And Maestro Gergiev´s salary isn´t so high,just look at his working schedule….

    1. Solomiya says:

      Karabits is Ukrainian conductor. Please get your facts right.

      1. Peter says:

        Oy veh, who cares about the difference. All the same people anyway, if you really think about it. Problem is that people don’t think…

        1. Boris says:

          “Who cares”? Are you for real?

    2. Milka says:

      In the long run all not worth a spit in the ocean

  3. T-ARAFANBOY says:

    Apart from Gergs, all pretty modest, but he probably works 6 times harder than the
    others 😉
    Money well spent ✓

    1. Max Grimm says:

      If you really want to see modest, look at the salaries that the top Russian orchestral musicians are paid.

      1. Marina Arshinova says:

        The salary in Temirkanov orchestra are quite high – around 3 000 Euro/month after taxes. Plus touring – it’s extra money
        In Gergiev’s orchestra also like that but they work much more

        1. Max Grimm says:

          That is not at all bad. I was under the impression that the salaries were on average significantly lower than those of their European counterparts.
          Thank you Marina.

  4. Is Pletnev on voluntary Service ?

    1. Nick says:

      Pletnev’s RNO was founded as a private sector orchestra without state funding. I assume it remains so – hence Pletnev does not receive fees from the state.

  5. Boris says:

    Harold, Karabits is Ukrainian.

    1. Peter says:

      Saying Ukrainian is not Russian is like saying Bavarian is not German. Nationalism, what a pest and man dividing concept. Sad we are heading down instead of up.

      1. William Safford says:
      2. Simon S. says:

        Rather like saying “Dutch is not German” – something no sensible person would dare to say, of course.

        I agree that nationalism, but why should Russian nationalism be any better than Ukrainian nationalism?

        1. Simon S. says:

          I must correct myself – “sometheing every sensible person would agree to”, of course.

      3. Boris says:

        I’m sorry, but that comparison is at best ignorant.

      4. William Safford says:

        Let’s try again, another way:

      5. Pavel says:

        Some people might think that there is no difference between Ireland and Iceland. Or that Spanish and Portuguese people are the same. It is sad to see such ignorance, but when ignorant people are also arrogant, it is quite funny.

  6. DLowe says:

    Good for Putin. Wouldn’t see Cameron/Brown/Blair at that sort of thing. I vaguely recall John Major at Sutherland’s farewell at Covent Garden…

  7. John Kelly says:

    A lot more before the recent tanking of the Rouble!

  8. petronius says:


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