2024 Essentials of Orchestra Management

More About Essentials

July 24 - August 2, 2024

Applications are now closed.

Essentials of Orchestra Management provides a unique, 10-day immersive experience to prepare current and aspiring orchestra professionals with the tools and mindsets they need to grow as leaders and progress in their careers. Since its inception in 2000, more than 600 individuals have participated in Essentials, including many who now hold key leadership positions in orchestras. This residential program on the campus of The Juilliard School in New York City provides an in-depth overview of orchestra management, builds career networks, and offers participants an interactive opportunity to build necessary skills and mindsets to become innovative and successful leaders in the arts. 

Led by a faculty of currently active orchestra executives and leadership experts, the program addresses both theory and practice, integrating the faculty’s extensive practical experience and professional knowledge in the course curriculum. Additional core activities include visits with prominent artists and musicians, concert attendance, and excursions to Carnegie Hall and David Geffen Hall.

2024 Faculty

2024 Faculty Leadership

  • Scott Faulkner (Faculty Director) Principal Bassist, Reno Philharmonic & Reno Chamber Orchestra; Former Executive Director, Reno Chamber Orchestra; Director, League Alumni Network
  • Laura Reynolds, VP, Impact and Innovation, San Diego Symphony
  • John McCann, Founder and President, Partners in Performance

2024 League Leadership

  • Simon Woods, President and CEO
  • Caen Thomason-Redus, VP, Inclusion and Learning
  • David Styers, Director, Learning and Leadership Programs
  • Maria Martini, Meetings Manager

2024 Juilliard Leadership

  • John-Morgan Bush, Dean of Juilliard Extension, The Juilliard School
  • Alex Jackson, Special Projects Coordinator, The Juilliard School
  • Isabella Wang, Operations Lead, The Juilliard School

2024 Guest Faculty

Guest faculty will include:

  • Lisa Brown Alexander, President and CEO, Nonprofit HR
  • Jennifer Barlament, Executive Director, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
  • Michelle Miller Burns, President and CEO, Minnesota Orchestra
  • Doug Hagerman, Board Chair, League of American Orchestras
  • Jonathon Heyward, Music Director, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Chief Conductor, Nordwestdeutsche Philharmonie; Renée and Robert Belfer Music Director, Lincoln Center’s Summer Orchestra
  • Joe Kluger, Principal, WolfBrown
  • Alex Laing, Executive Director, Gateways Music Festival; Principal Clarinetist, The Phoenix Symphony
  • Eun Lee, Associate Director, Programming and Programming Strategy, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts; Founder and Executive Director, The Dream Unfinished: An Activist Orchestra
  • Najean Lee, Director, Government Affairs and Education Advocacy, League of American Orchestras
  • Anwar Nasir, Executive Director, Louisiana Philharmonic
  • Kim Noltemy, CEO, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Doris Parent, VP of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access Strategies (IDEAS) and Strategic Partnerships
  • Faith Raiguel, Former CFO, LA Opera; Board Member: Idyllwild Arts, Silk Road, Street Symphony
  • Alexa Smith, Senior Director, Anti-racism, Equity, and Belonging, The Public Theater
  • Bill Thomas, Former Executive Director, New York Philharmonic
  • Michelle Zwi, Director of Orchestra Operations and Touring, The Philadelphia Orchestra | Ensemble Arts • Executive Director, Penn Med Symphony

Additional faculty will be added.

Who Should Apply?

Early and mid-career professionals, musicians, career changers, and students are eligible to apply, as well as experienced administrators who wish to expand and deepen their knowledge base in all aspects of an orchestral organization. The League especially invites applicants from backgrounds that have been historically underrepresented in the orchestral field.

In a highly competitive application process, up to 36 applicants will be selected based on demonstrated experience, potential, commitment to serving American orchestras, and motivation and goals for participating in this professional development program. Program applicants will receive a one-year membership to the League of American Orchestras.

Application Guidelines

Find details about application materials and requirements in the 2024 Application Guidelines.


  • Application fee: $60 *
  • Program tuition: $3,960

Tuition covers 10 days of instruction and housing for up to 11 nights on The Juilliard School campus, and concert tickets. Residency on site is required. Each participant will be responsible for covering their own costs of travel and most meals. Full and partial scholarships based on financial need are available.

Participants are expected to commit to all 10 days of the program and attend all sessions and associated events. Partial attendance is not permitted: participants will receive a non-credit Juilliard Extension certificate upon completion.

We will have a Zoom welcome for introductions on Wednesday, July 10, 2024 from 3:00-4:30 p.m. Eastern.  The program will begin at Juilliard with lunch on Wednesday, July 24 at 12:00 noon and conclude on Friday, August 2 at 7:00 p.m. following dinner.

Accommodation is provided in single-occupancy bedrooms with shared private bathrooms and lounge space in the Meredith Willson Residence Hall on The Juilliard School campus. Check-in is on Tuesday afternoon, July 23 or Wednesday, July 24; check-out on Friday, July 2 or Saturday morning, August 3.

A limited number of need-based tuition awards are available for U.S. citizens and Permanent Residents only. Those wishing to apply for financial aid may do so in the application.

Note: Applicants will be notified by Thursday, April 25, 2024. If accepted into the Essentials Class of 2024, a non-refundable tuition deposit of $1,000 will be due immediately. The tuition balance will be due by Wednesday, July 10, 2024.  

Scholarship Opportunities

The cost of tuition and travel expense can be prohibitive for many aspiring orchestra leaders, and our goal is to remove this barrier as we work to recruit a higher number of talented candidates. We are pleased to announce two scholarship opportunities for Essentials of Orchestra Management participants.

The Trish and Rick Bryan Scholarships for Orchestral Leadership will provide full and partial scholarships for participants in the Essentials of Orchestra Management program for whom the cost of attending is a barrier to access.

The 25th Century Foundation has established a fund to support scholarships for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color) participants from the Philadelphia metropolitan region including Greater Philadelphia, Delaware, and Southern New Jersey. The grant from the 25th Century Foundation will provide select BIPOC participants full scholarships including tuition and travel expenses.

Applicants can request consideration for financial aid as part of the application process.

For additional information, please contact David Styers at dstyers@americanorchestras.org.

Essentials of Orchestra Management is made possible by grants from Trish & Rick Bryan, 25th Century Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

Banner: Essentials 2023 at Juilliard. Photo Credit: Juan Patino Photography

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