And no wonder so many cellists have (Casals, Rostropovich, Toscanini, etc.).
James Levine made $3.5 million last year, according to this Boston Globe article. Lorin Mazzel almost $2 million, just from the NY Philharmonic. A little guest conducting here and there, and you’re talking some real money.
And you don’t have to buy an extra airplane seat for a baton, unlike so many professional cellists who buy a ticket for their cellos to insure it arrives at the right place, at the right time, in one piece.