blog Compensation Reports

2019 Orchestra Compensation Reports: Music Directors – Adaptistration

Should you have been a music director in the course of the 2016/17 season, there’s a great probability you had several hundred thousand good reasons to see it as a very good yr and one conductor particularly had more than three million good reasons. But if we’re taking a look at issues from middle out, music administrators continued to take care of a mean compensation price in extra of $600,000.

The Info

As a way to present info that is as correct as attainable, information from the 2016/17 season is gathered from the next sources:

  • Music Director compensation figures have been obtained from their respective orchestra’s IRS Type 990 for the 2016/17 live performance season.
  • Complete Expenditures have been also obtained from every respective orchestra’s IRS Type 990 for the 2016/17 live performance season.

Adaptistration makes no declare to the accuracy of data from documents compiled or reported by external sources. When you have purpose to consider any of the knowledge is inaccurate or has changed since reported in any of the above sources and you may present documentation to such impact, please be happy to use the following type to submit a notice.

Do you know? Direct hyperlinks to a lot of the orchestra’s monetary disclosure paperwork at can be found within the Orchestra Monetary Studies or you can save your self dozens of hours by choosing them up by season at the Adaptistration Retailer.

What The Numbers Don’t Present

It is very important keep in mind that the numbers proven don’t all the time convey an entire compensation picture. For example, a music director might have had a large improve in wage because they have been leaving a place and per phrases of their contract they could have acquired a sizeable severance or deferred compensation package deal. As such, the cumulative compensation might artificially inflate annual earnings. Furthermore, these figures might not mirror bonuses or other incentive payments, subsequently underreporting what conductors may actually earn.

Additionally missing from the figures are expense accounts, lodging bills, and different perks; as such, the cumulative compensation for music administrators might or is probably not more than what’s listed. Moreover, the documents used to collect figures don’t indicate how much of the season a person acquired a wage. As such, extreme adjustments in the proportion change from the earlier season’s compensation could also be artificially adjusted. Though the music director compensation figures embrace the mixed amounts reported as what the IRS classifies as Base Compensation, Bonus & Incentive Compensation, Different Reportable Compensation, Retirement And Different Deferred Compensation, and Nontaxable Advantages, every orchestra doesn’t all the time report figures for the latter categories if paying the music director as an unbiased contractor.

How Employment Standing Impression Compensation

In contrast to executives, concertmasters, and musicians, music directors are typically employed as unbiased contractors. In these instances, orchestras will listing the music director among the many five highest paid unbiased contractors as opposed to sections dedicated to worker compensation. In most of those situations, no details about advantages or deferred compensation is accessible.

Likewise, some music directors obtain separate payments for duties associated with their position. For instance, for a number of fiscal years the Seattle Symphony Orchestra paid former music director Gerard Schwarz by way of two separate personal contractor listings: as soon as for music director duties and the other for principal conducting duties. At the Baltimore Symphony, music director Marin Alsop is paid a payment for conducting providers as an unbiased contractor and as an employee for non-conducting music director associated duties and duties.

In situations similar to these, those figures have been mixed right into a single determine in the desk under. For particulars about every individual conductor’s compensation, please seek the advice of the respective orchestra’s IRS Type 990.

2016/17 Season Music Director Compensation

Ensemble Complete Expenditures Music Director Compensation Difference % Change Alabama Symphony $7,077,881 $184,500 NA NA Atlanta Symphony* NA $833,642 $27,090 three.36% Austin Symphony $5,169,664 $169,212 $6 0.00% Baltimore Symphony $27,938,029 $987,667 $133,348 15.61% Boston Symphony $103,630,393 $1,395,161 $94,161 7.24% Buffalo Philharmonic $11,854,256 $352,500 -$24,423 -6.48% Charlotte Symphony $12,536,894 $206,250 -$25,143 -10.87% Chattanooga Symphony $2,521,Zero56 NA NA NA Chicago Symphony $79,669,618 $2,716,488 -$329,649 -10.82% Cincinnati Symphony $31,381,796 $508,733 $92,725 22.29% Cleveland Orchestra $55,320,592 $1,319,353 -$86,790 -6.17% Colorado Springs Philharmonic $3,917,452 $97,600 $14,200 17.03% Colorado Symphony $13,000,490 $159,004 -$95,136 -37.43% Columbus Symphony $Eight,505,883 $186,000 $0 0.00% Dallas Symphony $35,513,077 $2,206,908 -$1,435,896 -39.42% Dayton Philharmonic* NA $176,382 $3,129 1.81% Detroit Symphony $36,345,989 $886,210 $2,143 Zero.24% Florida Orchestra $10,882,617 $292,500 $52,500 21.88% Fort Wayne Philharmonic $5,103,728 $143,161 $9,763 7.32% Fort Value Symphony $9,814,737 $345,537 $19,199 5.88% Grand Rapids Symphony $10,537,011 NA NA NA Hartford Symphony $4,344,269 $169,645 -$24,934 -12.81% Houston Symphony $33,430,280 $405,086 -$53,573 -11.68% Indianapolis Symphony $23,290,238 $456,711 -$39,Zero36 -7.87% Jacksonville Symphony $13,394,954 $174,566 $4,566 2.69% Kalamazoo Symphony $three,637,484 $137,658 $90 Zero.07% Kansas City Symphony $16,520,157 $491,407 $7,530 1.56% Knoxville Symphony $three,941,081 NA NA NA Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra $Four,917,365 $150,661 -$19,289 -11.35% Los Angeles Philharmonic $142,564,684 $three,010,589 $1,027,275 51.80% Louisville Orchestra $6,751,076 $220,000** NA NA Memphis Symphony $Four,372,302 NA NA NA Milwaukee Symphony $18,202,182 $389,423 $21,423 5.82% Minnesota Orchestra $33,889,255 $981,630 $235,052 31.48% Nashville Symphony $25,298,449 $506,659 $80,315 18.84% National Symphony* NA NA NA NA New Jersey Symphony $12,292,103 NA NA NA New York Philharmonic $78,089,764 $1,645,865 -$147,972 -Eight.25% North Carolina Symphony $14,046,103 $213,200 $15,646 7.92% Omaha Symphony $7,876,033 $175,399 -$1,139 -0.65% Oregon Symphony $18,547,539 $485,723 $93,469 23.83% Orlando Philharmonic $5,112,662 NA NA NA Pasadena Symphony $4,220,044 NA NA NA Pacific Symphony $20,980,482 $435,981 -$50,967 -10.47% Philadelphia Orchestra $50,597,401 $1,424,000 $84,667 6.32% Phoenix Symphony $11,951,816 $256,000 NA NA Pittsburgh Symphony $32,918,962 $978,542 $59,992 6.53% Portland (ME) Symphony $3,506,781 $160,884 $1,406 0.88% Richmond Symphony $5,714,796 $121,118 $7,127 6.25% Rochester Philharmonic $11,226,107 $231,523 NA NA Saint Louis Symphony $30,Zero10,463 $1,040,317 -$1,534 -Zero.15% San Antonio Symphony $8,161,040 $301,229 $9,980 three.43% San Diego Symphony $26,040,490 NA NA NA San Francisco Symphony $82,252,992 $2,492,623 -$107,652 -Four.14% Santa Rosa Symphony $3,830,801 $119,250 $2,500 2.14% Sarasota Orchestra $9,770,009 $189,293 $42,994 29.39% Seattle Symphony $29,885,558 $558,322 $47,952 9.40% Spokane Symphony $4,429,370 $141,772 $6,772 5.02% St. Paul Chamber Orchestra $10,773,391 NA NA NA Symphony Silicon Valley $3,744,844 NA NA NA Toledo Symphony $6,534,395 $103,500 -$69,213 -40.07% Tucson Symphony $Four,852,877 NA NA NA Utah Symphony $22,506,582 $479,804 -$three,980 -0.82% Virginia Symphony $6,166,765 $159,000 $Zero 0.00% West Virginia Symphony $3,126,824 $137,864 -$2,136 -1.53% Average $21,311,267 $613,309 1.88%

* As a consequence of their relationship within a larger performing arts structure, Complete Expenditure figures for for these organizations usually are not as available.
**Initially, this figure was listed as “Not Reported” however the organization offered the knowledge shortly after publication.

Prime 10 Earners

  1. Los Angeles Philharmonic: $three,Zero10,589
  2. Chicago Symphony: $2,716,488
  3. San Francisco Symphony: $2,492,623
  4. Dallas Symphony: $2,206,908
  5. New York Philharmonic: $1,645,865
  6. Philadelphia Orchestra: $1,424,000
  7. Boston Symphony: $1,395,161
  8. Cleveland Orchestra: $1,319,353
  9. Saint Louis Symphony: $1,040,317
  10. Baltimore Symphony: $987,667

The “Not Reporteds”

Some of the constructive elements from this yr’s report is the continuing decline within the number of Not Reported entries, which happens when a corporation’s 990 that should otherwise embrace music director compensation, doesn’t. In this case, it was the primary such prevalence from The Louisville Orchestra. I’ve reached out to the group to inquire concerning the missing compensation determine and we’ll replace this article once they’ve been capable of respond. Replace (6/19/2019 4:30pm CT): the organization did reply and offered the determine now found in the chart.

But wait, there’s even more excellent news on this front in the type of a music director voluntarily offering up his compensation when it was in any other case obfuscated within the 990.

But so as to genuinely respect this significance, we’d like a fun lesson in how nonprofit performing arts organizations can screw over the spirit of fiscal transparency that serves as a cornerstone for IRS laws realted to nonprofit tax filings.

On the subject of hiding music director compensation, one of many oldest tips within the e-book is to pay the conductor as an unbiased contractor then make those funds to his/her artist management firm, akin to Opus 3 Artists. The orchestra then mixes those dollars in with all the other dollars paid to guest artists managed by the same agency. The top result’s you, the nonprofit donor and tax payer, haven’t any approach to pretty determine government compensation.

In case you assume that sounds considerably like cash laundering, you is probably not solely inaccurate; besides this isn’t technically illegal, it’s merely unethical and violates IRS laws.

Now that everybody is in control on Shifty Compensation Bookkeeping 101, it’s time to get again to the good news.

One group with a history of using this tactic is the Phoenix Symphony. But here’s where it gets weird; this isn’t at the request of the conductor, it’s a choice made by the chief management and when it came to this season, the Phoenix Symphony’s music director, Tito Muñoz, volunteered to offer his compensation info instantly. Muñoz not solely offered the figure; he offered the verification. Furthermore, he offered that info for every year he’s labored for the organization.

That’s an enormous deal in all the suitable methods.

Most music directors are merely unaware of IRS reporting laws on the subject of nonprofit government compensation to not mention the explanation why that transparency exists.

I’m hoping Muñoz’s actions shall be a spark that helps mild the hearth of increased dialogue on this matter inside the common service group channels in addition to at the educational degree, the place aspiring conductors ought to be learning concerning the worth of transparency.

Wouldn’t it’s one thing to see this as a topic at subsequent yr’s League of American Orchestra or Opera America conferences?

Gadgets Of Observe

  • LA Philharmonic music director Gustavo Dudamel’s compensation has all the time been considerably of an outlier in that he has persistently earned lower than his US peers at equally sized finances orchestras. There have even been seasons the place he earned less than the CEO, which is something that simply didn’t happen on the prime finish of the finances spectrum…until it did. However all that modified in 2016/17 the place he rocketed to the tippy prime of the earner listing because of a 51 % improve over the previous season’s compensation.
  • One other music director that loved a pointy improve was Osmo Vänskä, who noticed a 31 % improve in compensation. Having stated that, the $981,630 continues to be lower than his all-time excessive compensation at the Minnesota Orchestra in the course of the 11/12 season the place he earned $1,183,720.
  • This is more of a fun reality somewhat than an item of word, however the complete quantity earned by the Prime 10 highest paid music administrators was $18,238,971. This was solely $3 million lower than the typical complete expenditure of all of the orchestras from this evaluate ($21,311,267). For perspective, collectively, those 10 conductors earned more in the course of the 2016/17 season than the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra spent on, nicely, every part.

About Drew McManus

“I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired.” Those have been the first phrases out of an government’s mouth after her board chair launched us. That government is now an expensive colleague and good friend however the day that consulting contract began together with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to wash home.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a substantial amount of my consulting and know-how supplier work for arts organizations includes due diligence, separating reality from fiction, deciphering spin, as well as performance assessment and oversight. So sure, typically that work leads to one or two people “aggressively embracing career change” however far most of the time, it reinforces and clarifies precisely what works and why.

Briefly, it doesn’t matter if you understand the place all the bodies are buried should you can’t hold your personal shoppers out of the ground, and I’m lucky sufficient to say that for more than 15 years, I’ve finished exactly that for groups of all price range measurement from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For enjoyable, I write a every day blog concerning the orchestra enterprise, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their thoughts, maintain monitor of what individuals on this business receives a commission, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a great espresso drink.

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