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

The Essentials of Orchestra Management

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

July 18-27, 2017


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Application Deadline:
March 24, 2017



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

Core Faculty:
Brent Assink, executive director, San Francisco Symphony
Jennifer Barlament, executive director, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Bruce Coppock, former CEO, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra
Scott Faulkner, bassist, Reno Philharmonic; former executive director, Reno Chamber Orchestra
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, leaders from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, 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.

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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.