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How much do concert pianists make? #371923
01/24/04 12:15 PM
01/24/04 12:15 PM
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KyleE Offline OP
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On average, how much do concert pianists make? Any information on this would be great. Thanks in advance.

Kyle

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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371924
01/24/04 01:28 PM
01/24/04 01:28 PM
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Anywhere from $5000-$10,000 per engagement. But even some of the big guns will do it for much less depending on their schedule and the location of the performance.

As for how many performances they do in a year's time, it varies widely.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371925
01/24/04 02:11 PM
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There are a few concert pianists who make $25,000 $50,000 and even $75,000 a night. Even $5-$10,000 is highly unusual.
I define a concert pianist as a highly competant classical pianist who makes at least $50,000 per year, from solo or concerto engagements.
Many classical pianists play on series that get reviewed by major newspapers ( W. Post, NY Times), and every pianist on the series has achieved a certain reknown, and the fees range from $500 to $1000.


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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371926
01/24/04 03:10 PM
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Keep in mind, too, that while the gross salary of some concert pianists might sound impressive, there are :

- agents' fees,
- all the out-of-pocket expenses associated with travel: hotels, meals, wardrobe maintenance., etc.

And for the good-but-not-so-famous pianist:
- the insecurity of not knowing whether this will be a good year with lots of bookings or a lean year with fewer bookings, i.e. whether the agent is really doing his/her job or whether another has to be found;
- deciding whether or not to hang on to the paying students one has or to drop them for a concert circuit that may or not be rewarding; if you temporarily drop the students, will they still be waiting for you if you want to take them back again?
- the frustration of having to always be at your best when performing, in spite of the jet lag, the noisy hotel where you couldn't sleep
- the artistic frustration of having, in some cases, to cope with less than ideal, poorly maintained pianos
- the difficulty of maintaining a family/home life because of all the time that must be spent "on the road"

I think it equally important to ask : What percentage of, say, a "reasonable" annual income from concert fees would actually reach the pianist's bank account?

But for a very few, it's a somewhat perilous existence from the material point of view.

Regards,


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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371927
01/24/04 04:06 PM
01/24/04 04:06 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by BruceD:

For only a very few, it's a somewhat perilous existence from the material point of view.

Regards,
Did you mean "but for a very few"?

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371928
01/24/04 04:30 PM
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He means that most have to augment their performing income with that from teaching.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371929
01/24/04 06:08 PM
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Excellent information everyone..thanks soo much! How would you promote yourself to get your name out, so people know about you? Anymore information regarding money, promoting, big competitions, etc, would be great. Thanks again.

Kyle

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371930
01/24/04 06:17 PM
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I think that you have to be half a business man, and half musician in order to be a concert pianist.

You have to play a lot of concerts, and know how to promote them. Flyers, the internet, and word of mouth are usually cost effective promotional means.

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371931
01/24/04 07:22 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by F. Chopin:
Quote
Originally posted by BruceD:
[b]
For only a very few, it's a somewhat perilous existence from the material point of view.

Regards,
Did you mean "but for a very few"? [/b]
You are absolutely right! Thank you for catching my error. I have corrected it.

Regards,


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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371932
01/24/04 09:13 PM
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Who can command $75,000/concert? I've recently read that Brendel makes $16,000/concert, and he's one of the top pianists of our time.

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371933
01/24/04 09:36 PM
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I actually heard Brendel commands $50,000 per concert and Kissin $30,000. I find it hard to believe, but I heard Horowitz got paid into the seven figures for each of the last few concerts he did in Japan.

Regarding hotel and travel fees, I thought these were paid for if you're invited. A professor of mine told me the LA Phil spares no expense when they invite a major performer (first class flight, 5 star accomodations, etc.) not only for them, but also for their entourage should they have one.

Mike

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371934
01/24/04 10:03 PM
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No way Brendel gets that much. Musicians may respect him, but he doesn't bring in the average crowds like Andre Watts and Lang Lang.

As for how you promote yourself, it's pretty much a luck thing. It's important to develop connections - usually through your teachers and peers. And although winning a competition doesn't guarantee anything, it really helps to enter a bunch of them and play well. It's also helpful to attend festivals (Tanglewood, Aspen, Eastern, etc...)

The first order of business is to be a great musician. Once you're in that category, it's all about being personable, reliable, and making connections.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371935
01/24/04 10:10 PM
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I think Horowitz's Manhattan apartment sold for a few million dollars, so I am sure he had a good amount of wealth piled up from years of touring. I think he actually got that apartment a long time ago, for a much cheper sum, though.

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371936
01/24/04 11:33 PM
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How much does Lang Lang get per concert? Anyone have a good guess? He is more of a modern concert pianist..I see interviews with him on TV, performances, etc etc all on TV, which i never see of many other pianists...

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371937
01/25/04 12:33 AM
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Ashkenazy came to Singapore several months ago. His fee was six figures, US dollars. Lang Lang got the second largest recording contract in history... in the region of $10mil. And they put a lot of money into promoting him & making him into a star!!

Somebody once told me that a star concert pianist makes 6 figures a month, but below that, the going is difficult.

I really agree with Kreisler that it starts with being a first-rate musician!

That's because if piano-ger existed, the first thing I'd do is to treat her like a princess, and ask to be her agent, put her on with New York Phil, in Carnegie Hall, with BMG, Mazael, Barenboim, etc., & ask her to win a major competition. Then I'll start collecting my 20% cut of her fees....

All she has to do is to live life well, concern herself with her art, walk on stage and make the audience go crazy. And as her agent, I'll retire in Hawaii at age 35.

But that's in the realm of fantasy!!

For normal situations, using only my imagination, I personally think that it's too much work for one person to have to promote yourself & play well at the same time. I think you have to find people who are willing to organize small recitals to promote you. Also, the best thing to do is to appear with any orchestra, because the orchestra does all the promotion. The rest depends on connections and luck.

Using my imagination again, if it's like a board game (such as RISK), I'd consolidate my reputation in one place first (one city, one region, etc.). I'd find people to organize mini-recitals for me, then get on with the local symphony. And I'd make sure my playing was so good it stuns the audience at EVERY recital, even if I have to pay for an expensive teacher to become good. Once the press catches on, the idea is to become known (ideally a star) in the tiny region, a la conquering a well-defended piece of land in RISK.

It's nice, because you don't have to travel, and it's easy to teach students. And you can live the rest of your life in that manner.

Then IF I'm lucky, I'd expand internationally. I'd go to a famous concert pianist, become his student, show him my playing and the recital programs I've amassed, and ask him if I was good enough that he can send me to a competition, put me on with NY Phil and a real agent. But I'd have to have tremendously solid playing and a vast repertoire before that happens.... a la victory in the game of RISK. All just imagination, of course! :p

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371938
01/25/04 12:42 AM
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Buchan, 10mil seems like a large number for a classical pianist. What are some other big money classical music recording contracts out there?

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371939
01/25/04 01:10 AM
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A recording contract in the amount of $10 million is a lot, but don't think that Lang Lang is taking that home in cash. If it's anything like a typical recording contract in the pop music world, then the $10 million covers:

money spent on studio time - renting the hall, recording, editing, mastering, equipment costs, etc...

money spent on PR - posters, free copies to radio stations, advertisements in magazines, promotional tours, etc...

an advance on the royalties that DG expects to get from sales of the CD

And keep in mind that Lang Lang's contract is for 5 discs over 5 years. That's just $2 million per disc. Definitely a lot for a classical artist, but not quite on par with the likes of Britney or Christina.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371940
01/25/04 07:21 AM
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If yr talking about less professionals who comissioned their own concerts, well then, at most, $5000. For you have to subtract the bookings fees, accomadation and so on.
But if you're s featured pianist, and you're invited to play as a guest...maybe between 10000, to 17000. For everything is on the 'house'. There's no need to pay for your own expenses, not even the air tickets.
And then, there's always the highly profilic type. Whereby their tickets are always sold out even before public sales. They won't earn anything less than 18000 for sure. Perhaps even 30000-50000or even more, depending on the number of seats. The pricing of the tickets for this 'school' of top notch pianists will not be a determinating factor as to how much they made, rather it's the number of seats available and size of the recital hall. Pricing for these great masters normally will not be anything less than 200, so with bigger halls, they just make more. laugh

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371941
01/25/04 09:56 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by DW_mod:
And then, there's always the highly profilic type. Whereby their tickets are always sold out even before public sales. They won't earn anything less than 18000 for sure. Perhaps even 30000-50000or even more, depending on the number of seats. The pricing of the tickets for this 'school' of top notch pianists will not be a determinating factor as to how much they made, rather it's the number of seats available and size of the recital hall. Pricing for these great masters normally will not be anything less than 200, so with bigger halls, they just make more. laugh
I don't agree with your figure of $200. Even when Carnegie Hall presents the most famous pianists on the planet, there are seats for under $30.

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371942
01/25/04 08:10 PM
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The most expensive concert tickets for piano recitals that I've seen are no more than $120.

About Lang Lang's concert fees, two years ago, I heard that it was $5000/concert. I'm sure it's much more now.

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371943
01/26/04 01:12 AM
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reply to pianoloverus:
Yes. Of course there are always the cheaper seat segment. You can even get it at 20 bucks. But seriously that does not make up the core of the ticket pricing. And most improtantly, seriously speaking, who would wants a 20 bucks seating when you're watching such a great concert. And pls remember that we're from different parts of the world. Currency exchange people! From where I come from...Minimum pricing for a topnotch pianist can go as low as 21 bucks, but the better average seats would be 80-100 bucks, and 140-200 for premium seats which just happens to make up around 30-40% of the booth.

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371944
01/26/04 01:29 AM
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I saw Kissin in Ann Arbor and got a great seat for $35.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371945
01/26/04 07:33 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by DW_mod:
reply to pianoloverus:
Yes. Of course there are always the cheaper seat segment. You can even get it at 20 bucks. But seriously that does not make up the core of the ticket pricing. And most improtantly, seriously speaking, who would wants a 20 bucks seating when you're watching such a great concert. And pls remember that we're from different parts of the world. Currency exchange people! From where I come from...Minimum pricing for a topnotch pianist can go as low as 21 bucks, but the better average seats would be 80-100 bucks, and 140-200 for premium seats which just happens to make up around 30-40% of the booth.
Just to clarify that we are talking US Dollars here:

Murray Perahia is giving a recital at the Philadelphia Kimmel Center in April. Would you agree that this is a major pianist ina major venue?

Ticket prices: $68.00, 59.00, 51.00, 43.00, 38.00, 33.00, 28.00

His Carnegie Hall recital this year : Range $89.00 to $25.00

The same prices apply to Brendel's Philadelphia recital this season: $68.00 to $28.00

Similarly, Brendel at Carnegie Hall: $89.00 to $25.00

Andsnes' Wigmore Hall (London) recital prices this season are: 26, 22, 16, and 12. At the current rate of exchange : $47.50 to $22.00.

So, I'm really not sure where the quote of $140.00 to $200.00 for premium seats applies.

Regards,


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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371946
01/26/04 07:35 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
I saw Kissin in Ann Arbor and got a great seat for $35.
I saw him in Verbier last year and will see him in March in Geneva - he's great on the concert platform.

Anyway, I read somewhere that he limits the number of performances per year to 40 or 42. This would mean that at US$30,000 a concert, that's around US$1.2 million. Pretty neat for a boy that still lives with him Mum ... smile

Of course, you could deduct a little since he plays Verbier for next to nothing (as all the musicians do). But then there's the royalties on his DVD and CD's ...

Gary.

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371947
01/26/04 11:01 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by DW_mod:
reply to pianoloverus:
Yes. Of course there are always the cheaper seat segment. You can even get it at 20 bucks. But seriously that does not make up the core of the ticket pricing. And most improtantly, seriously speaking, who would wants a 20 bucks seating when you're watching such a great concert. And pls remember that we're from different parts of the world. Currency exchange people! From where I come from...Minimum pricing for a topnotch pianist can go as low as 21 bucks, but the better average seats would be 80-100 bucks, and 140-200 for premium seats which just happens to make up around 30-40% of the booth.
But your post said the *least* expensive seat was 200 which is not true. In fact, this figure is higher than than the most expensive seat at Carnegie Hall for a solo recital.

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371948
01/26/04 11:22 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Kreisler:
I saw Kissin in Ann Arbor and got a great seat for $35.
I saw Marc-Andre Hamelin for $7, best seat ever, and on March 13, I'll see Angela Hewitt for the same price. Wonderful, isn't it?

Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371949
01/26/04 11:36 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by KyleE:
On average, how much do concert pianists make? Any information on this would be great. Thanks in advance.

Kyle
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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371950
01/26/04 12:49 PM
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I saw Olga Kern, co-winner of the Cliburn, for $28 US at Furman University. I sat on the front row about 6 feet from the piano keyboard. The night before, the Peace Center had her for mid $40's to mid $70's per ticket.

The recital program was the same for both venues. Obviously her take-home was different for the two, but after everything is deducted, that's not a bad sum.


Cynicism with a smile.
Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371951
01/26/04 03:10 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by BamBam:
Obviously her take-home was different for the two, but after everything is deducted, that's not a bad sum.
Do you have it on good authority that her take-home was - or wasn't - different for the two? How do you know how much was "deducted," and deducted from what?

Just curious ...


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Re: How much do concert pianists make? #371952
01/26/04 03:55 PM
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Also keep in mind that Furman may have put up some of the money to keep ticket prices down. Kern could easily have received the exact same fee for both concerts.


"If we continually try to force a child to do what he is afraid to do, he will become more timid, and will use his brains and energy, not to explore the unknown, but to find ways to avoid the pressures we put on him." (John Holt)

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Sweetwater - Keyboards
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New Topics - Multiple Forums
Young Chang still providing action brackets??
by Rich Galassini. 10/23/18 10:21 AM
Piano environment monitoring
by Chris Snyder. 10/23/18 09:57 AM
Basic Canon Practice - Mary Had a Little Lamb
by LooneyTune. 10/23/18 09:45 AM
unbalanced lineout to balanced xlr speaker in?
by varignet. 10/23/18 09:40 AM
Impressions of the Shanghai Music Show
by Campanella12. 10/23/18 08:37 AM
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