We are authoritatively informed – and will furnish the documents in Russian below – that the people running culture in the land of oligarchs are breaking the bank to bring in the big names for their political paymasters.
Maxim Vengerov, for instance. The comeback violinist, who is sparing in his appearances, is getting two million six hundred thousand rubles for playing the Brahms concerto next month. That’s £52,000 or $82,500, which works out at something over two grand a minute. Nice work, if you can get it.
Nicer still is what they are paying Juan Diego Flores for singing five arias on New Year’s Eve. Think of a number? It’s five million rubles for five arias, or £20,000 ($32k) a song. Silly money. Players in the orchestra, I guess, are on less than $10 a day.