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Forbes Lists Valery Gergiev, at $16.5 Million a Year, as Russia's Highest-Paid Musician

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Aug 02, 2013 01:37 PM EDT | Logan K. Young (l.young@classicalite.com)

Putin' Out: Maestro Valery Gergiev Issues Statement to Hans-Georg Küppers on Munich LGBTQ Rights

“For the city of Munich it applies that any exclusion, discrimination or harassment of people because of their gender, origin, color, religion, disability or sexual orientation must not occur. Ways of behaviour that contradict these principles will not be tolerated.” -- Valery Gergiev (Photo : Reuters/Alexei Nikolskyi)

In [post]-Soviet Russia, Valery Gergiev makes more than YOU!  

According to the Russian bureau of Forbes, with an estimated 2011-12 salary of $16,500,000, the richest Russian musician is, in fact, Valery Gergiev.

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$16,500,000? Wow, now that's a lot of rubles! (54,412,380.00, to be exact.)

Moreover, this is the first time ever that a classical musican has out-earned his pop peers behind the ol' Iron Curtain.

Here's the (translated) breakdown, via the original Forbes:

Income: $16,500,000

Celebrity Ranking: 3

Concerts: In less than a year--December 21, 2012 to November 29, 2013--according to his schedule, Gergiev will have to lead 211 concerts in Russia and abroad. In 2010, the online portal Bachtrack called Gergiev "the most sought after conductor in the world."

Opera: In 2003, Gergiev returned to the repertoire of the Mariinsky Wagner's tetralogy Der Ring des Nibelungen--more than a century ago it was the St. Petersburg Theater that performed the first Russian staging.

Scandal: In November 2012, the union of the Kirov Ballet sent a letter to the Ministry of Culture, which accused the theater's management of violating labor laws and prejudice against artists. Gergiev called it an "emotional act," promising to investigate.

Titles: People's Artist of Russia, Ukraine and North Ossetia, five-time winner of the Golden Mask Theater Award, Hero of Labor of the Russian Federation.

Business: Owns 15% of the company Evrodon, Russia's largest producer of turkey meat.

Hobbies: President of the Finnish Sauna Society.

Quote: "We are taking one, maximum of two per year into the sauna...one of those people who has proven themself worthy, at the piano or on the stage with a violin or cello in his hands." (Pozner, 2013)

What else can Classicalite say about Maestro Gergiev's embarrassment of riches--save for it pays to be in Putin's right pocket?

Here's hoping at least one richer pop star has something to say about it...

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