In recent years, the story of symphony financing has eclipsed much of the conversation about musical performance. That’s because around the country orchestras are struggling to find new ways of staying in the black. Locally, the Dallas Symphony has regrouped after a budget scare and are now trying new programming strategies to diversify their offerings and target new audiences.
But for a second, let’s jump back a couple of years to the 2010-2011 season. That’s because the IRS has released the latest Form 990 reports, the publicly available financial filings required by all nonprofit organizations. Over on the Adaptistration blog, Drew McManus breaks down the symphony finances, listing compensation of executives, musical directors, and concertmasters. As McManus notes, it is important to remember that Form 990s are imperfect documents for drilling down into the financial details of a nonprofit organization’s numbers, and they offer an incomplete picture of compensation. That said, these rankings ballpark where the DSO stands in relation to the rest of country’s orchestras.
Some interesting takeaways:
- The DSO keeps executive compensation low when compared to other top tier orchestras. Dallas’ executive pay roll is half of the New York Philharmonic’s and one-quarter of Los Angeles’.
- Jaap van Zweden is not the most well-compensated musical director, which is not surprising. His stock has risen while director of the DSO (and keep in mind he is also pulling in a salary from his other director position in Hong Kong these days, and in 2011 he was still the artistic leader of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic). The highest paid musical director resides in San Francisco (Michael Tilson Thomas), while the lauded young gun Gustavo Dudamel in Los Angeles comes in just under van Zweden.
- The DSO’s Emanual Borok set an all-time high for concertmaster compensation just before his retirement after the 2011 season. In fact, if Borok had been a musical director, he would have made the top ten for compensation. He earned more than $300,000 more than the next highest paid concertmaster during the 2010-2011 season. If you’re wondering why, it’s because the among reflected here includes the settlement made to Borok upon his retirement.
Here are the lists:
1. Los Angeles Philharmonic: $1,602,228
2. New York Philharmonic: $887,401
3. Toledo Symphony: $772,099
4. Philadelphia Orchestra: $768,271
5. Boston Symphony: $587,514
6. San Francisco Symphony: $511,923
7. Chicago Symphony: $494,608
8. Cleveland Orchestra: $493,895
9. Dallas Symphony: $444,072
10. Saint Louis Symphony: $419,625
1. San Francisco Symphony: $2,412,662
2. New York Philharmonic: $1,562,417
3. Philadelphia Orchestra: $1,468,814
4. Boston Symphony: $1,207,300
5. Minnesota Orchestra: $1,078,350
6. Dallas Symphony: $1,025,692
7. Los Angeles Philharmonic: $985,363
8. Saint Louis Symphony: $959,337
9. Cleveland Orchestra: $958,597
10. Seattle Symphony: $746,028
1. Dallas Symphony: $829,470
2. New York Philharmonic: $517,432
3. Cleveland Orchestra: $512,228
4. San Francisco Symphony: $507,063
5. Chicago Symphony: $469,442
6. Boston Symphony: $462,467
7. Los Angeles Philharmonic: $460,741
8. Philadelphia Orchestra: $406,332
9. National Symphony: $324,492
10. Baltimore Symphony: $270,931