He’s not even second richest.
A useful survey in today’s LA Times checks out the pay checks of conductors and arts administrators in 2010-11, the year that Gustavo Dudamel became supremo at the Los Angeles Philharmonic. To earner with a baton that year was Michael Tilson Thomas at San Francisco Symhony, pulling down $2.41 million. James Levine was close behind with $2.06m at the Met (plus an extra couple of mil at Boston). Newbie Alan Gilbert was on $1.56m at the New York Phil.
Dude came in just behind James Conlon of Los Angeles Opera. Con made $993,696, Dude $985,363.
Do not read too much into these stats. Two years is a long time in podium politics. Dude will be earning more in his third year than in his first and will probably be quite comfortable in the knowledge that he’s never going to make it as rich as MTT, away in Lotus Land. I get the impression he doesn’t want to be. He likes music too much to keep thinking about the size of his lunchbox.