Which orchestra manager is paid most?

Which orchestra manager is paid most?


norman lebrecht

November 29, 2011

In the US, that’s easy. The figures are in the public domain and widely discussed. $1.4 million is the current top rate, apparently.

Britain and other European nations are more secretive about these things. But they can be found.

The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra filed its annual accounts today and a copy was promptly sent my way.

The least adventurous of UK ensembles, conducted at present by Charles Dutoit, the RPO showed turnover up 15% at £10.05 million and pr-tax profits ip 88% at £1.15 million. The latter figure is about £100,000 in excess of the orchestra’s Arts Council grant. Perhaps the Council should ask for its money back.

Be that as it may, the orchestra is beating the global recession  y establishing residencies in such wealthy spots as Montreux, Switzerland, and Qebala in Azerbaijan.

Which brings us to remuneration. The report turns a little coy, telling us that two directors received joint emoluments of £205,362 plus pension contributions of £11,910, and that one of them ‘fell within the range £180,000-190,000’.

Seven years ago, the average pay for a London orchestra manager was £60,000. It looks like the RPO is driving wage inflation vertifcally up.

Hats off to Ian Maclay, the RPO’s CEO. Read the full report here: RPO 2011-0331

UPDATE: Here are the other London orchestral manager salaries from the latest accounts:

LPO 175,000
LSO 145,000
Philharmonia 138,983


  • Jane says:

    If you’re going to stick with the US comparison, American orchestras tend to receive greater funding (private or public) the more profitable they become because it shows they are better in control of their finances.

    It’s an odd UK phenomenon whereby public funding is given to fiscally under-performing groups and taken away from fiscally responsible groups.

    Remember that the RPO exists on less than half the Arts Council funding of the other London orchestras. If the RPO can make up that shortfall by playing gigs in Montreux, then good for them…

  • Emma says:

    @Jane In the UK our country (and arts scene) is small enough that artistic merit or function is more primary than fiscal performance. Thus a small, underfunded orchestra/arts organisation that successfully fills an important niche might be worth maintaining. Currently I think this translates to having a good education or outreach program. The costs of a touring ballet company or a modern music group may out weigh their profits, but both may be considered worth supporting financially. Those groups that are ‘fiscally responsible’ are generally those who are not artistic pioneers and don’t take any risks with programming. The middle of the road/popular/mediochre outcome is frightening.

    With regard to orchestral managers salaries, it would be interesting to see a proportional analysis between managers and players salaries & how they compare across the UK/EU & USA… One UK orchestral manager’s salary is a tutti/rank and file NY Phil.

  • Helena says:

    Hats off to Mr Maclay indeed – he is clearly doing his job extremely well!