Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He produces the Café Concerts series and the podcast/show Conducting Business. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
Valery Gergiev is Top-Paid Cultural Figure in Russia
Friday, June 20, 2014 - 01:00 PM
Valery Gergiev tops a new ranking of Russia's 200 highest-paid directors of theaters, museums and circuses, published by the Russian Ministry of Culture. The conductor's 2013 income in Russia – 164.3 million rubles (about $4.75 million) – was reportedly ten times that of President Vladimir Putin.
According to the Ministry, Gergiev has six apartments, two cars (a Toyota Land Cruiser 200 and a Lexus LS 460L), and a summer vacation home. His chief source of income comes from the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, where he is artistic director, but investments are also a factor: He has a 15 percent stake in Evrodon, Russia's largest producer of turkey meat.
The figures do not include foreign assets or income from non-Russian conducting engagements, of which Gergiev gave more than 200 last year (Forbes recently put his total income at $16.5 million). Gergiev, who is known for his frenetic scheduling, is due to become principal conductor of the Munich Philharmonic in 2015.
Second on the Ministry's list is Vladimir Spivakov, the artistic director of the National Philharmonic Orchestra and the Moscow Virtuosi. Last year, he earned more than 58 million rubles; his wife, TV actress Sati Spivakov, earned 2.8 million rubles ($1.7 million).
Next in the ranking is Oleg Tabakov, artistic director of the Moscow Art Theater, with an income of 42.5 million rubles ($1.2 million).
Further down the list is Yuri Temirkanov, artistic director and chief conductor of the St Petersburg Philharmonic, who earned 24 million rubles ($700,000).
Among museum employees, Hermitage director Mikhail Piotrovsky's income was 10.9 million rubles ($319,000).
Below is a Twitter photo Gergiev's Lexus: