The League of American Orchestras, in association with The University of Southern California Arts Leadership Program, presents:

Essentials of Orchestra Management

Hosted by the USC Thornton School of Music
Los Angeles, California

July 18-27, 2017


Congratulations to the 32 Essentials participants! Applications for the 2017 seminar are now closed.

Please find the program press announcement, with faculty and participant information, here





Essentials of Orchestra Management is an immersive ten-day seminar which prepares orchestra professionals with the tools they need to be effective administrators and leaders. This residential program on the campus of USC provides an in-depth overview of orchestra management, builds career networks, and offers participants a unique opportunity to obtain what’s necessary to become an innovative and successful leader in the arts.

Led by a faculty of currently active orchestra executives and leadership experts, the seminar is designed to address both theory and practice, integrating the faculty’s extensive practical experience and professional knowledge in the course curriculum.

Participants will be housed on the USC campus, where the seminar is based. Excursions to Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and community-based programs will make the most of the Los Angeles setting.

Since its inception in 2000, over 400 emerging leaders have participated in Essentials, including many who now hold key leadership positions in orchestras. This program provides the concepts, skills, and strategies required of a successful leadership team. Participants also leave with a strong network of orchestra leaders across the country, as well as a one-year membership to the League of American Orchestras. Registration is limited to 30 participants.

Here's What Essentials Alumni Say

“The faculty is top notch and the curriculum intense and immersive. Essentials helped place the work I’m doing at home in the context of the larger orchestral field.”
Paul Finkelstein, artistic planning manager, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and a 2016 Essentials participant

"I led a regional orchestra as its executive director for ten years . . . At the start of my tenure, I attended the League's incomparable Essentials course, the gold standard for management training in the intricacies of the orchestra enterprise."
Melanie Clarke, retired executive director, Princeton Symphony Orchestra

Seminar Details

Dates:        July 18-27, 2017
Location:    USC Thornton School of Music, Los Angeles, California

Seminar Director:
Brent Assink, Executive Director, The Fuller Foundation and the former Executive Director of the San Francisco Symphony

Core Faculty:
Jennifer Barlament, Executive Director, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Bruce Coppock, Former President and Managing Director, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra    
Scott FaulknerPrincipal Bassist, Reno Philharmonic, Former Executive Director, Reno Chamber Orchestra
Jesse Rosen, President and CEO, League of American Orchestras
Simon Woods, President and CEO, Seattle Symphony Orchestra

A distinguished roster of guest faculty will supplement the seminar experience, including Kenneth Foster, director of the Arts Leadership Program at USC, Gail Samuel, Acting President and CEO, Los Angeles Philharmonic Association, and prominent musicians and artists from the greater L.A. area.

Program Fees*:

Application fee:          $60
Tuition:                 $3,245

*Application fee is non-refundable. Tuition includes housing on the USC campus. If accepted into the Essentials Class of 2017, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $1,000 will be due on or before May 5, 2017. The balance will be due on or before July 1, 2017. Housing covers ten nights’ accommodation in a single room in a two-bedroom suite with a shared bathroom in the Cardinal Garden Apartment complex on the USC campus. Each participant will be responsible for covering their own costs of travel, and most meals.

Who Should Apply

Early career professionals, career changers, graduate students, and musicians are encouraged to apply. Experienced administrators who wish to expand and deepen their knowledge-base in all aspects of an orchestral organization are also welcome.

Quick Links

Please note that applications for 2017 are now CLOSED; these documents are posted for informational purposes, only.

Essentials of Orchestra Management is presented by

The League of American Orchestras
In association with
The University of Southern California Arts Leadership Program

Essentials of Orchestra Management is made possible by a generous grant from
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.