McManus used the orchestra’s IRS Form 990 for the 2018/2019 concert season. According to his list, the top earning conductors are as follows:
Riccardo Muti at the Chicago Symphony: $3,420,804
Gustavo Dudamel at the Los Angeles Philharmonic: $2,857,103
Michael Tilson Thomas at the San Francisco Symphony: $2,139,720
Andris Nelsons at the Boston Symphony: $1,787,000
Yannick-Nézet-Séguin at the Philadelphia Orchestra: $1,672,167
McManus did caveat that the numbers shown do not always convey a complete compensation picture. For example, he said "a music director may have had a large increase in salary because they were leaving a position and per terms of their contract, they may have received a sizeable severance or deferred compensation package."
He also makes no claim to the accuracy of information compiled and reported from external sources.