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The Orchestra Compensation Reports

Since 2005, one of the most popular and eagerly anticipated series of articles at Adaptistration are the Orchestra Compensation Reports. Published in June of each year, this annual event examines the compensation trends among orchestra executives, music directors, concertmasters, and base musicians at more than 65 professional U.S. orchestras.

As is the case with every annual orchestra compensation report, the most important element to keep in mind is the figures for each year actually cover an earlier season thanks to a few key elements:

  1. Most professional orchestras maintain a fiscal year structure that begins and ends at some point from June to August; as a result, they tend to file their annual return several months later than the typical April 15 deadline that applies to individuals.
  2. When you add that time against the length of time the IRS takes to process and release the returns (anywhere from six to nine months), you arrive at the seemingly odd gap of the report being a season later than expected.

The end result is the most recent season available with data for every potential orchestra in these reports is two seasons behind the current season. Consequently, here’s a key to the reporting scheudle:

  • 2015 reports  = 2012/13 season
  • 2014 reports = 2011/12 season
  • 2013 reports = 2010/11 season
  • 2012 reports = 2009/10 season
  • 2011 reports = 2008/09 season
  • 2010 reports = 2008/09 season
  • 2009 reports = 2007/08 season
  • 2008 reports = 2006/07 season
  • 2007 reports = 2005/06 season
  • 2006 reports = 2004/05 season
  • 2005 reports = 2003/04 season
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