To hear the Met Orchestra at Carnegie Hall from a perch on the First Tier this Sunday will cost you $155. Now, granted that musicians have to eat, James Levine's services don't come cheap and there's the one-stop subway journey from Lincoln Center to consider. But that's not the only place your money goes. The real way to get to Carnegie Hall in style is to get a job there moving chairs and music stands around the stage. IRS Form 990 (a non-profit organization's tax return), which Carnegie filed for the fiscal year ending in June of 2004, is available here. It lists the five highest-paid members of the staff. The late, much missed Robert Harth, who swung from the rigging to scuttle a disastrous merger with the New York Philharmonic topped the list, earning $604,418, plus a benefits package of $141,590. After that, there's not an executive in sight. Nos. 2,3,4 and 5 on the list are all stagehands, who made between $300,000 and $384,000. And for that kind of change, you don't get to keep reconfiguring supposedly supple Zankel Hall, which in theory has three different incarnations but has hardly ever budged out of its starting end-stage mode. The payroll situation is similar at Lincoln Center, where the stagehands are comparatively penurious, but still crowd the top earners list. The crew's biggest moneymaker put in 40-hour weeks and made $216,388 - almost $20,000 more than Nigel Redden, the director of Lincoln Center Festival. The New York Philharmonic uses Lincoln Center's stagehands, too, which explains why the orchestra managed to keep the biggest salaries flowing towards its players - so long as you don't count executive director Zarin Mehta (roughly on a par with Robert Harth) and one well-remunerated independent contractor by the name of Lorin Maazel ($1.9 million). It's enough to make a fiddler wonder whether it wouldn't make a more luxurious life in music to stop scraping strings and start moving chairs instead.