A Russian voice professor washes floors at railway station

February 28, 2018 by norman lebrecht


Shocking revelations from the Ural Mussorgsky State Conservatoire in Yekaterinburg.

Teachers are complaining they are so impoverished that one assistant professor can be found scrubbing floors at the city railway station.

Music teachers earn 10-11,000 rubles ($177) a month. The rector makes 200,000.

Read on here.

Comments (13)

  1. John Borstlap says:

    Incredible. These ar almost tonal composers fees.

  2. John says:

    The rector is still making 1/5 or less compared to a similar position in the United States, UK, or Australia.

    11,000 – 17,000 rubles is an average wage in Russia (especially outside Moscow/Peter)

  3. Thomasina says:

    But I think that there are many dancers, singers and musicians of the same situation( have a other job) in the US or Europe etc…

    1. M2N2K says:

      Not sure about Europe, but here in the USA those “dancers, singers and musicians” who are assistant professors do not have to scrub floors of railway stations just to make ends meet.

      1. Cyril Blair says:

        Adjunct professors might have to, however.

  4. Luigi Nonono says:

    There is no lack of starving musicians in the USA, and great numbers who are forced to work full-time at other jobs to survive. This is sad to read, but don’t ignore what is going on here. Don’t pretend it isn’t a desperate situation, and too many of our few jobs go to foreigners. At least the Russian has a position in which to teach, if not for enough money. We don’t even have the positions. The 21st Century Depression has not ended, and its damage has not even slightly been addressed.

    1. Burton says:

      Calling out a troll-bot. Reflexive pro-Russia rhetoric + unidiomatic use of English = highly suspect posting. Of course no one is much affected or influenced. Still, best to call a spade a spade.

      1. Phillip says:

        Burton, you are insufferable. What he said is absolutely on the mark. Take a step back and ponder.

        1. Burton says:

          Yes, life is complicated. As a former starving musician I know all too well the challenges inherent in that pursuit. None of that takes away from the simple fact that the incessant output of the troll-bot factory is both irritating and futile. Trust me – no one is convinced. Seriously, can’t you guys find something useful to do? For your sake I do hope you’re pulling in more than 10-11000 rubles for your efforts. At least that’s something I suppose.

    2. M2N2K says:

      How is it better, having a job without being paid decently for that work rather than not having to work at all? At least the latter situation gives one plenty of free time to look for another job or learn a different profession.

    3. Anon says:

      That ’21st century Depression’ is not a depression. It’s a race to the bottom.

  5. SVM says:

    Meanwhile, in the UK, the Universities Superannuation Scheme, a pension scheme for academics at pre-1992 universities (but *not* the conservatoires), is imposing (yet again!) major changes which will be detrimental to the financial security of academics’ retirement. Understandably, many of these academics are on strike.

  6. Carla says:

    Well I am a British musician of some pretty decent calibre and I know I’m not the only one who has been cleaning toilets and mopping floors of late to “make ends meet”…..

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