Essentials of Orchestra Management

This Summer, Essentials Heads West


For the first time, Essentials of Orchestra Management, in association with University of Southern California’s Arts Leadership Program (ARTL), will be held in Los Angeles, hosted by USC Thornton School of Music. This new partnership allows the League to draw upon some of the most innovative voices currently working on the West Coast.

This summer, the League’s immersive 10-day seminar will be enhanced as it becomes a residential program, with participants housed on the USC campus.



Essentials is co-directed by Brent Assink, Executive Director of the San Francisco Symphony and Deborah Rutter, President of The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Faculty will include Deborah Borda, President of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and members of her staff; Ken Foster, Director of the Arts Leadership Program at USC; and staff of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Since its inception in 2000, 385 emerging leaders have participated in Essentials, including many who are running orchestras. This program will provide you with the concepts, skills, and strategies required by members of a successful leadership team in the 21st century. Registration is limited to 32 participants.

Seminar Details
Dates: July 7 – 16, 2015
Location: USC Thornton School of Music, Los Angeles, California
Fees*:Application fee - $60
Tuition & Housing - $3,512

To see the agenda, click here.

To see the faculty list to-date, click here.

For current participants, please find more information about the sessions and reading materials here.

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



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.

Alternative Housing Options Note:
Essentials of Orchestra Management is an immersive, residential ten day experience with relationship-building and learning opportunities that continue into the evenings beyond the scheduled agenda. Hence, we strongly encourage all participants to reside on campus throughout the entire program: you’ll gain a great deal more by doing so. If you have any concerns about tuition or costs, please review our Technical Assistance page.

To apply, click here.

Review our application check list here.

For technical assistance, please click here.

Please contact Ken Cole at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and/or 646 822 4024 with questions.

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 generous grants from The James Irvine Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Wells Fargo.

Essentials is sponsored by the Association of California Symphony Orchestras.

* The housing fee covers ten nights’ accommodation, single occupancy, of housing at USC (the nights of July 6-12 at the Cardinal Garden Apartments on USC campus and the nights of July 13-15 at the Radisson Hotel adjacent to campus). Each participant will be responsible for covering their own costs of travel, and most meals. If you are accepted into the Essentials Class of 2015, a non-refundable deposit of $1000 plus a $100 refundable housing deposit will be due on or before June 1, 2015. The balance will be due on or before July 7, 2015.