The Big Institutions – Orchestra Management

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Professional orchestras can be complex organisations consisting of musicians, administration professionals and usually a board and/or board of directors. The structure of an orchestra organisation’s leadership will vary to a great extent. This goes for both artistic leadership and executive leadership.

A well-functioning administrative team with a group of managing directors overseeing operations is essential to the artistic outcomes of any orchestra. The managing directors’ primary job is to implement the plans and vision decided at the top level. They do this with the help of a professional staff. Commonly held positions in the administration could be: General Manager or CEO, Artistic Planning Manager, Orchestra Manager, Communication Manager, Marketing Manager, Tour Manager, Financial Manager, Personnel Manager, Stage Manager, Manager of Educational Activities and many more, depending on the size and outreach of the orchestra. Regardless of variations of organisational structure, orchestra management professionals oversee operational, financial and human resources tasks. They are in charge of carrying out the orchestra’s daily chores as well as developing and implementing the orchestra’s long-term master schedule, making sure the orchestra reaches its goals.

The administration professionals are usually the first people you will meet when hired by a professional orchestra. While some orchestras will have appointed a specific person to take care of all communication with the conductors and act as a liaison between the departments, you will likely be in contact with several other members of the administrative team during your work period. For example, you may communicate with the music librarian about scores, you may set rehearsal and performance schedules with the orchestra manager and you may be asked by a PR consultant to film a promo video for the week’s concerts.

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