Essentials of Orchestra Management

Essentials of Orchestra Management is the League's immersive ten-day seminar which prepares emerging orchestra managers to lead successfully in the 21st century. It is a unique residential program that provides an in-depth overview of orchestra management, builds career networks, and provides an unprecedented view of what is necessary to become an innovative and successful leader in the arts.

Essentials of Orchestra Management returns to Los Angeles in 2016, building on the success of last year’s partnership with University of Southern California’s Arts Leadership Program at the Thornton School of Music. This extraordinary partnership allows the League to draw upon some of the most innovative voices currently working on the West Coast.

The invited faculty include innovative leaders, including Brent Assink, executive director of the San Francisco Symphony; Deborah Borda, president of the Los Angeles Philharmonic; Simon Woods, president & CEO, Seattle Symphony; Bruce Coppock, CEO (retired), The St. Paul Chamber Orchestra; Michael Morgan, music director & conductor, Oakland Symphony; Kenneth Foster, director of USC’s Arts Leadership program; top consultants and funders, and staff and board members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, San Diego Symphony, among others.


Participants will reside 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 our 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 will provide you with the concepts, skills, and strategies required by members of a successful leadership team in the 21st century. You’ll leave with a strong network of orchestra leaders across the country. Registration is limited to 30 participants. 

Seminar Details
Dates: July 12 – 21, 2016
Location: Los Angeles, California, USC Thornton School of Music
Fees*: Application fee - $60
Tuition & Housing - $3,095

To apply, click here.

View an overview of the program, faculty list and preliminary agenda here.

View last year’s agenda here.



Who Should Apply

You should apply if you have less than three year’s
management experience within the orchestra field.
Early career professionals, career changers,
graduate students, and musicians are encouraged to apply.

Please review the mandatory application guidelines before you apply.

If you would like to be considered for a scholarship, please complete the financial aid section on the online application.

Review our application check list here.

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,
The Hearst Foundation, Inc., and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Essentials is sponsored by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras.

* Tuition covers ten days of intensive instruction, housing for 10 nights in the Cardinal Garden Apartment complex on the USC campus, and concert tickets. Rooms are double-occupancy, with private bedrooms and shared kitchen and bathroom. Travel arrangements and most meals are not included.