What's a Performing Arts Executive Worth?

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As orchestras, opera companies and presenters wrestle with declines in funding and ticket sales, some have cut back on the number of full-time musicians they employ, others have reduced salaries. With those measures come questions of wage parity. How much money should the head of a major performing arts organization be paid? And should executives be paid less for failing to keep finances afloat -- or more, since managing such a crisis is tough?

In this podcast, host Jeff Spurgeon poses these and other questions to two expects: Drew McManus, an orchestra consultant and author of the blog Adaptistration.com, which compiles an annual compensation report of orchestra executives; and Debra Oppenheim, the co-founder of Phillips Oppenheim, an executive search firm that specializes in arts institutions.

Weigh in: What do you think is a fair salary for a top executive the classical music business? Please share your thoughts.

Podcast producer: Brian Wise; Engineer: George Wellington