13. August 2011 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

On An Overgrown Path write about some pretty hefty salaries.

I’m not sure what I think. If people are willing to pay, I guess that’s how it goes. And I do wonder how this compares to so many other famous classical folk. (He can only supply what was provided by an anonymous source.) I used to know a few of the fees of some big names, but never would I share the names or the fees here. It just wouldn’t be a good idea. (I also knew about some of their demands when it came to what would be provided to them at the hall in their room(s) and sometimes those demands were pretty amazing.)

But what do you think? Should we begrudge these artists? Is it “fair”? Does “fair” matter?

I don’t ask to be paid that much. I just want what your … hmmm … how about what the average baseball star makes? Would that be okay?

Oh. Never mind.


  1. patti with an i

    There’s a significant amount of important information missing in that post. First of all, in the case of a conductor’s, or soloist’s, engagement with an orchestra, that’s not the fee for a “single evening’s work”, it’s for a week’s work, the performance(s) and rehearsals leading up to it/them, assuming that the artist in question lacks the ability to be in two cities at one time. Second, nobody can tour every week for an entire season, and even if that were possible there are less than a handful of artists who are in such demand that they could book every single week of the year were they so inclined. So that’s more like the weekly fee for the 20-30 weeks of work one is likely to have in the course of a year.

    Frankly, I found the figure for Dudamel surprisingly low, and didn’t think there was anything particularly noteworthy about any of the others. I think a certain mega-star cellist’s fee when he last appeared with our now-defunct former employer some 15-20 years ago was in the range of $65,000 for rehearsals and a single concert.

    Finally, any of these figures would barely register next to what Lady Gaga makes in a night, so I don’t see fodder for even slight irritation, much less indignation, here.

  2. Yeah, patti with an i, I wasn’t all that surprised by most. The only ones that seemed odd to me were the composers who charge a rather large fee to sit and listen to their music. But hey, if they can ask that much and get it, more power to ’em.

    The other thing folks need to remember is that soloists don’t work every week of the year. They do need time to practice. They need a time of respite. And there’s this issue of their very expensive instruments, too.

    Still, I look at those numbers and think, “Hey, wanna share? Wanna buy me an oboe?!” 😉

    I am much more appalled by the folks in sports … but then again, if they can ask and get it, so be it. Neither their salaries nor the music stars’ salaries changes my life or what I earn. I might be envious sometimes … thinking about how life would be without the worry of music.

    I think the demands that aren’t made public (like the brands of beverages they must have, etc.) are goofier.