Mystery score

Mystery score

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Orchestral Executive Compensation

Adaptistration's annual compensation review reports started coming out today. These are based on the 2010-11 season, the most recent for which 990 tax forms are available.

The first report, on executive compensation, has a few doozies in it:

  • In third place, with compensation just north of $770,000, is the Toledo Symphony. You read that right: not one of the 800-pound gorillas, but an orchestra with an annual budget that is under $7 million. Apparently, that compensation includes a large one-time payment to the exiting long-time CEO.
  • Alison Vulgamore of the Philadelphia Orchestra, who led that august group into bankruptcy, rates a salary around 50% above those of Mark Volpe of the BSO and Brent Assink of the SFS. Note: those two executives have greatly increased their orchestras' endowments at a very tough time. Who do you think deserves the big bucks here?
  • The Los Angeles Philharmonic is another group that's in great shape - and it has an enormous budget - but you still have to wonder how Deborah Borda rates a salary three times those of Volpe and Assink.
  • Zarin Mehta of the NYPO is in between Borda and Volpe/Assink. Okay, NY is a very expensive city. Still, lotta money.

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