What Currentzis is paid in Russia

What Currentzis is paid in Russia


norman lebrecht

May 28, 2019

The Russian Ministry of Culture has posted the wage bill for the opera and ballet theatre theatre at Perm.

The artistic director Theodor Currentzis earned 18.8 million roubles in 2018, about quarter of a million US dollars.

That’s around 2.5 times as much as the next artistic employee.



  • anon says:

    Muti earns 4x CSO concertmaster.

  • anon says:

    With his $5M payday in Dallas, JvZ earned 16x DSO concert master.

    • Nick2 says:

      It has been reported at least 4 times on this blog that JvZ did NOT earn $5 million from Dallas. He certainly earned a lot more than Currentzis and the DSO concertmaster but the $5 million was an earmarked gift from a donor.

  • Thea Derks says:

    Well, that seems quite reasonable to me, Currentzis is the driving force, after all. https://theaderks.wordpress.com/2018/05/05/teodor-currentzis-music-to-die-for/

    • Simon Gregory says:

      Worth every rouble! He might be a maverick but he sure makes you think and the playing standards alone are superlative – that requires discipline and commitment from both sides, and leadership in its true sense.One might question his interpretation but he seems to have a very loyal and dedicated ensemble who can certainly show up some other orchestras with very well rewarded maestros. I can see the cross hairs lining up right now and yes, I am getting my coat!

  • Stephan says:

    …while an average salary for Russian musicians is nearly 30000 Rubles (in Moscow)

    • Ned Keene says:

      Your figures are ten years out of date. Even the cleaner in the buffet earns more than 30000R

      • Stephan says:

        I worked in a very famous orchestra in Moscow, I know what I am talking about. yes, musicians in Russia are paid like a cleaner in a buffet, unless you have friends involved in politics (surprise!).

        the second important thing is, when an orchestra in Russia puts some data about an average salary, it works like this simple math (Currentzis `s salary + a buffet cleaner`s salary)/2 = “an average salary”, got it?

        • Ned Keene says:

          I work in a very famous opera house in Moscow. 30,000R is way off, for top orchestras. Maybe that’s what back desk players get in ad-hoc bands playing The Four Seasons in minor venues. In any case, this article is about Perm – where things are very, very different to Moscow.

    • Walter Klemmer says:

      Actually it’s more around 90 000 – 110 000 (ca. 1700 USD) in Moscow, but the salaries in Perm are probably lower than that.

      • Gloria says:

        a musician form Russia: we earn 30000 in Moscow, I worked in an orchestra

        several guys from other (provably Western) part of the world: no, we know THE TRUTH


      • People in Perm who work with Curetntzis, earn enough. People at the same theater who don’t work with him, earn much less. At the same theatre and in fact in the same orchestra.

        • norman lebrecht says:

          That’s extraordinarily interesting. He is completely unaccountable wherever he goes, guarded by an English minder whose father was a very good BBC reporter.

  • Jorge says:

    That’s why he can’t afford long-sleeved shirts.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Peanuts, compared to similar positions in the west, with one reservation: how is the cost of living in Russia in general and Perm in particular?

    • LEWES BIRD says:

      I’m sure he doesn’t really live in Perm. He probably has a flat there, but his real home, notwithstanding that he’s probably not there too much, like most conductors, is surely somewhere more civilised.

      • Ned Keene says:

        You might be surprised how civilised Perm is?! 🙂 True, it’s a rather small city – always in the shade of Ekaterinburg. But it’s a charming and dare I even say, sophisticated kind of place 🙂

  • John Rook says:

    Doesn’t seem excessive for someone who has put Perm on the map and is genuinely creative, whether one likes the result or not.

    • Ned Keene says:

      Perm was very much ‘on the map’ before Currentzis was ever appointed there. Mysteriously he has never been invited back to the Bolshoi, the Mariinsky, Helikon Opera, Stanislavsky Opera & Ballet Theatre, Paris, or Novosibirsk Opera. I wonder why that could be? Even his own orchestra, Musica Aeterna, refuses to have anything further to do with him.

      • I worked with him in Bolshoi while he was conducting Wozzek. He also did Don Giovanni afterwards (I wasn’t playing then). Questions should be directed to the management, but from my perspective there were reasons.

  • mathias broucek says:

    Does that include the money he makes from his perfume?

  • Nick says:

    I would say: a bit too high of a salary for Currentzis! A more modest US$ 200.000 would be more than he deserves really.

  • Gregor Tassie says:

    Currentzis is not the first charlatan to get high wages conducting …..Readers can surely name a few others…

  • FrauGeigerin says:

    Overpaid overrated baton-holder (I refused to call ‘conducting’ what he does). What he does is not conducting. Whatever he gets paid it is too much.

  • Michael Smith says:

    I’d say Perm are getting a good deal.

  • JS says:

    That’s kind of how it is everywhere for musicians. My boss earns exponentially more than his musicians do just to hold the title, plus gets bonuses for actually being here from time to time to conduct. It’s screwed up though and should have the spotlight on it, not just in Russia but everywhere else too!

  • Ned Keene says:

    But what will Currentzis be paid in Germany? Where he is now announced as the Chief Conductor of the SWR Radio Orchestra, on the orchestra’s own website:


    The announcement came at a concert in Moscow’s spiffy new Zaryade concert hall, which he gave there on 31 May with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra & Musica Aeterna Chorus. He now takes the Mahler CO to Germany for a series of concerts (listed on his own website)

    But what of Perm, where Sony Music have poured buckets of roubles into his operations? The Perm Opera & Ballet Theatre have no mentions of any future work by Currentzis on their website. Is this yet another location to which TC cannot return?