A music career, especially a successful one, is one of the most paying careers in the creative space. Musicians have made fortunes over the course of their careers, from amateurs to professionals. Once an artist or musician reaches stardom, that’s when the real money starts coming in. The richest musician or most well-paid musician as of now is Kanye West, according to Forbes. Other musicians with amassed wealth relatively close to Kanye West are Angus Young, David Gilmour, and Jimmy Page. Wealth among these artists is a common feature because of the type of business model they work in.
Selling countless copies of pop, hip-hop, and rock records is not too hard, not to mention concert tickets that sell like hotcakes. Considering what mainstream artists today earn, you have to wonder how much other music creators make. Amateurs, indie artists, alternative musicians, classical singers, and instrumentalists all fall under this other category. An amateur is considered not to be too good at the craft and makes quite little from it with few exceptions. Such an artist could be at the beginning of their career and could make little to nothing in substantial profit. Alternative and Indie artists, in most cases, don’t have the reach that mainstream artists do. Therefore, they are disadvantaged in monetary value, seeing that it may take them longer to catch up to their wealthier counterparts.
Classical musicians earn decent salaries, with the conductor being at the top of the pack. They may not make as much as the top rock musicians, but it is still a good living. Classically trained personnel often work in orchestras or smaller groups of instrumentalists. In an orchestra, each member has a vital role in the quality of music produced. It is more of a hands-on approach to music production rather than the computer-aided ones that are more common. Because of this reason, the players of these instruments take time to sharpen their skills to the highest possible level.
Other than practice, performers have taken up masterclasses in highly accredited institutions. Their hard work pays off if they land a job as part of an orchestra. Recent data shows that most orchestras play for a season of nine months to a year, earning a little over one hundred thousand a year at the end of it. A weekly pay of one thousand dollars is a fortune, but surprisingly this is what classical instrumentalists make.
A music conductor arguably the most important member of a band or orchestra. He plays a huge role in guaranteeing the success of the group. Whenever there is a performance, it is the duty of a conductor to take charge of the group and lead them through the performance. A baton is what a music conductor uses to signal the rest of the players during the performance. Although some may prefer to use their hands, the baton acts as a symbol of authority, not to mention an identification tool for the conductor.
Musical directors in an orchestra also take up many managerial roles and may even be considered part of specific institutions. Some of those roles may include fundraising and community outreach programs. Fundraising is vital for any music program to stay afloat. Generous donors and investors with a personal relationship with a director are more likely to add to an orchestras funding. Like sports games, especially those that need a band to be present, youth activities benefit from a close relationship with the director.
How much a music conductor is paid really comes down to how he is valued. If the orchestra values what is brought to them, then the conductor will be paid handsomely. Jaap van Zweden was paid a figure over one million dollars more than the average compensation amount in previous orchestral seasons. An average music conductor may receive up to six hundred thousand in annual salary normally. The huge addition in salaries made relies on factors that are specific to each director. Even though the gap between how much an instrumentalist is paid and the conductor is huge, steps are being made to mitigate the situation.