Which cultural figures are paid the most by the Russian state?

Oleg Tabakov, actor and Chekhov Moscow Art Theater artistic director, performs in the Dragon, based on Yevgeny Shvarts' play, staged by Konstantin Bogomolov at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater.

Oleg Tabakov, actor and Chekhov Moscow Art Theater artistic director, performs in the Dragon, based on Yevgeny Shvarts' play, staged by Konstantin Bogomolov at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater.

Vladimir Fedorenko/RIA Novosti
Information released by the Russian Culture Ministry shows which of the country’s cultural figures command the highest salaries.

The Russian Culture Ministry published the 2016 income tax returns of prominent cultural figures (and members of their families) working in state theaters, museums, orchestras and other cultural institutions. RBTH takes a look at how much these giants of Russian culture officially earned last year on their state salary.

Valery Gergiev

Director Valery Gergiev during the premiere of the opera "Sadko," which premiered outside the walls of the Hagia Sophia cathedral. Source: Konstantin Chalabov/RIA NovostiDirector Valery Gergiev during the premiere of the opera "Sadko," which premiered outside the walls of the Hagia Sophia cathedral. Source: Konstantin Chalabov/RIA Novosti

The famous conductor and artistic director of the Mariinsky Theater in St. Petersburg, Valery Gergiev, constantly tours the world, and ranks as the highest paid cultural figure. According to his 2016 tax return, he earned $2.7 million on his official salary at the Mariinsky Theater. As Kommersant daily noted, this income figure does not include Gergiev's international touring fees.

The maestro owns two cars and three plots of land (the largest of which is 29,215 square meters), as well as six apartments, each with an average size of 200 square meters.

Lev Dodin

Director Lev Dodin before a rehearsal of the play "The Cherry Orchard," featured in the Competition at the Golden Mask performing arts festival, on the stage of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater. Source: Vladimir Pesnya/RIA NovostiDirector Lev Dodin before a rehearsal of the play "The Cherry Orchard," featured in the Competition at the Golden Mask performing arts festival, on the stage of the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater. Source: Vladimir Pesnya/RIA Novosti

Second place on the list goes to another St. Petersburg cultural giant, the famous theater personality, Lev Dodin, who is artistic director of the Maly Academic Drama Theater. His income last year was $2 million.

Dodin’s numerous critically acclaimed works include Richard Strauss's Elektra, performed at the Salzburg Easter Festival and in theaters in Florence and Amsterdam. He’s also an officer in France’s Order of Arts and Letters, and a commander in the Order of the Star of Italy.

Vladimir Spivakov

As conductor and artistic director of the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Spivakov earned about $1.35 million in 2016. Source: Mikhail Dzhaparidze/TASSAs conductor and artistic director of the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Spivakov earned about $1.35 million in 2016. Source: Mikhail Dzhaparidze/TASS

As conductor and artistic director of the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Vladimir Spivakov earned about $1.35 million in 2016. The maestro owns two plots of land (2,000 square meters each), and two apartments - one in Russia and one in France.

Oleg Tabakov

Oleg Tabakov, actor and Chekhov Moscow Art Theater artistic director, performs a role in "Dragon," a play based on Yevgeny Shvarts' work, staged by Konstantin Bogomolov at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater. Source: Vladimir Fedorenko/RIA NovostiOleg Tabakov, actor and Chekhov Moscow Art Theater artistic director, performs a role in "Dragon," a play based on Yevgeny Shvarts' work, staged by Konstantin Bogomolov at the Chekhov Moscow Art Theater. Source: Vladimir Fedorenko/RIA Novosti

The legendary Soviet actor and director, Oleg Tabakov, heads Russia's leading drama theater, the Chekhov Moscow Artistic Theater, and earned $1.22 million last year. This officer of the Legion of Honor of France also has his own theater in Moscow, the Tabakerka, and also owns two lots of land (1,500 square meters) and three apartments in Russia.

Far from a million

There are many other Russian cultural figures who are famous internationally but who don’t even come close to earning $1 million a year. For example, the director of the State Hermitage Museum, Mikhail Piotrovsky, earned $264,900; director of the Kremlin Museums and daughter of the first man in space, Elena Gagarina, earned about $230,000; and general director of the Bolshoi Theatre, Vladimir Urin, made $147,900.

Read more: Elena Gagarina: 'No one even knew the Kremlin had a museum'>>>

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