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Essentials Curriculum

Led by a faculty of high-profile orchestra executives, musicians, arts activists, and leadership experts, the seminar is designed to address both theory and practice. Participants can expect to explore key functions of an orchestra manager’s work (e.g., artistic planning; equity, diversity, and inclusion; audience development; and contract negotiation) through an innovative course of study that explores not only the challenges faced by orchestra managers today, but also how orchestras must adapt and change to be sustainable in the future.

The purpose of Essentials is to:

  • Serve as a platform to develop future orchestra leaders
  • Envision orchestras of the future
  • Deepen the knowledge and skills of the people in the field
  • Connect orchestra professionals to one another
  • Inspire life-long careers in, and dedication to, orchestras
  • Strengthen orchestras as they carry out their missions

As graduates of Essentials, participants will be able to:

  • Enhance critical thinking skills to identify, diagnose, and resolve strategic challenges of the orchestral field both today and tomorrow
  • Advance orchestras as diverse and inclusive organizations and fulfill their unique role in the cultural context of their communities
  • Develop leadership abilities to work productively with competing imperatives and a wide range of constituent groups, including patrons, musicians, staff members, boards, and partner organizations
  • Demonstrate basic knowledge of core business and operating practices in American orchestras
  • Deepen knowledge of orchestral performances and learn to speak about orchestral music with understanding and insight
  • Cultivate a network of peers, mentors, and resources for continued professional development

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


Banner: 2018 Essentials of Orchestra Management Seminar. Photo: Agibail R. Collins Photography.

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