Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
(Los Angeles, CA)
Title: Executive Director
With the vision to be a vital cultural force in Los Angeles and recognized as a premier orchestra worldwide, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra (LACO) is well positioned for the future and seeking an Executive Director inspired by its 50-year history and excited to lead the organization toward its next chapter.
The Executive Director will have the opportunity to guide LACO into the achievement of its strategic goals: to position the Orchestra as an indispensable community resource; to present programs that diversify, expand and strengthen the LACO community; and to establish a stable financial foundation on which to build the next 50 years of sustainability. The Orchestra has identified four pillars on which to build: concert impact, accessibility and diversity, learning and creating, and innovation and entrepreneurship. Unique to LACO is its ability to respond to different geographies and demographics and capitalize on the diversity and vitality of Los Angeles by balancing innovative and traditional elements in all programs. Furthermore, the Orchestra strives to live its tagline, “making great music personal.” Exciting for the next Executive Director is the chance to further position LACO as the flexible model orchestra of the future.
The Executive Director will be presented with the exceptional opportunity to partner with LACO’s new Music Director, acclaimed flutist and conductor Jaime Martín, to move the Orchestra to new heights.
LACO was organized in 1968 to create a forum for classical collaboration among the top commercial musicians working in Hollywood’s film and recording studios. Its mission is to enrich and connect its community through intimate and transformative musical experiences that exemplify and foster artistic excellence, education and innovation. From its inaugural performances in 1969 under Sir Neville Marriner, LACO became known as a first-rate interpreter of baroque and classical repertoire, and a champion of contemporary composers. Under the dynamic leadership of L.A. native Jeffrey Kahane, who ended his 20-year tenure as LACO’s Music Director in 2017, the 40-member orchestra expanded its programming and now performs regularly at five venues across L.A. County. LACO’s sixth music director, Jaime Martín, starts his inaugural season in September 2019. When Martín conducted the Orchestra in April 2019, giving LACO’s musicians and audience a sneak peek of his upcoming tenure, Mark Swed, classical music critic of the Los Angeles Times wrote, “This was a thrilling performance, and the Orchestra played like it was having the time of its life.”
LACO advances its mission with approximately 40 distinctive performances each year. These include free and low-cost education and outreach programs; LACO also makes concert content freely accessible through broadcast and streaming services, and it nurtures a worldwide community on social media. The mainstage Orchestral Series of 14 concerts (seven programs) is presented at Glendale’s Alex Theatre and UCLA’s Royce Hall, and this year also includes concerts at The Soraya at California State University, Northridge in the west San Fernando Valley, Segerstrom Center for the Arts in Orange County and The Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara. In addition, LACO presents three Baroque Conversations, a program in which artists perform and then share personal observations on the music and engage with the listeners. The In Focus program presents three chamber music concerts, also involving conversations with the musicians. Each of those series’ concerts is performed twice, once on each side of the city. LACO commissions and premieres new works and also engages patrons in the creative process through its Sound Investment commissioning program. In addition, guest artist residencies stretch LACO’s reach into the community even further. Meet the Music is LACO’s core education program; it offers six free concerts, plus curriculum and classroom visits by docents and artists. Community Partners provides free concert tickets and transportation to nonprofit and social service groups, and Campus to Concert provides college students with vastly reduced-price tickets to concerts and Sound Investment salons. LACO has also introduced SESSION, programs that present new music in non-traditional ways in non-traditional venues.
For more information about LACO and its commitment to making great music personal, please visit www.laco.org.
As the administrative leader of LACO, the Executive Director is responsible for providing the vision, strategic direction and oversight of the organization’s resources to ensure success in carrying out its mission. Together with the Board of Directors, Music Director and the orchestra-at-large, the Executive Director will work to ensure LACO’s financial and operational stability and maintain its artistic excellence. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director oversees an annual budget of approximately $4.5 million and a total staff of 12.
Specific responsibilities include, but may not be limited to:
- Leadership – Articulating the vision and strategic direction of LACO, implementing the strategic plan, and recommending short-term and long-range plans to the Board, staff and musicians; articulating both the short-term and long-term vision of the organization to relevant stakeholders and ensuring that overall organizational objectives are met.
- Fundraising – Taking a leadership role in personally developing new and existing funding sources and opportunities for LACO; working closely with the development staff and the Board to sustain and grow existing funding, while establishing new relationships and partnerships with prospective donors to increase the organization’s resources, donor pool and overall fundraising capacity.
- Staff Development – Leading staff members to strengthen and support the programmatic and operational goals of LACO; creating a work environment that attracts and retains top talent; participating in developing and motivating staff; identifying training needs and ensuring professional growth and implementation of programs and procedures that address these needs; developing effective compensation programs.
- Board Relations and Support – Facilitating operations and administration of the Board by promoting proactive Board development and advising and informing Board members; effectively contributing to the selection and recruitment of well-positioned Board members; tapping the potential of direct relationships and contacts and supporting the Board to fulfill its governance and fundraising functions.
- Orchestra Relations – Recognizing the unique relationship of the orchestra members to the organization, developing close working relationships with key orchestra members and meeting regularly with the Orchestra Committee to solicit feedback and share information; facilitating open communication and mutual respect that are imperative to a strong partnership. Participating in the negotiation of American Federation of Musicians contracts as well as fostering a constructive relationship among all parties.
- Finance and Administration – Ensuring efficient, timely and smooth execution of all LACO activities, including concerts, fundraising events, tours, recordings, commissioning, Board and Board committee meetings. Overseeing the development of budgets for submission to the Board; ensuring the Board is regularly informed on the financial status of the organization through proper and timely financial reporting; and ensuring there are ongoing adequate and appropriate accounting and controls in place for all funds and assets. Understanding and implementing adequate risk management requirements and controls for the organization including financial, personnel, Board, property, and reputation.
- Community Engagement, Partnerships and Collaborations – Serving as a primary spokesperson and public face of the organization, actively seeking to expand LACO’s scope and reach by cultivating relationships with the audience at large, including current and potential members of the LACO community; ensuring that its programs are consistently presented in a strong, positive image; clearly articulating its mission, vision, programs and impact on the community; and cultivating and maintaining strong relationships with other organizations and artistic communities.
TRAITS AND CHARACTERISTICS DESIRED:
The Executive Director will be an innovative leader and strategic thinker with the ability to see the big picture and identify opportunities, as well as develop and oversee implementation of a long-term vision. The ideal candidate will be creative, conceptual and collaborative and possess exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to interact effectively with staff, musicians, Board members, community members, and collaborating institutions. This individual will be a compelling, credible leader who can move an organization forward by inspiring and motivating people with energy and a sense of humor. The Executive Director should also be a revenue enhancer and relationship builder with strong fundraising and marketing skills. A team builder who attracts and develops talent, the Executive Director should delegate effectively and work collaboratively and respectfully with the Music Director, Orchestra members and the artistic team, which includes Conductor Laureate Jeffrey Kahane, Creative Advisor and Composer-in-Residence Ellen Reid and Artist-Educator Derrick Spiva. As such, the Executive Director should not only possess strong personal communication skills and be a decisive leader, but should also be a good listener and thrive in an environment that is conducive to open and direct communication with individuals of varying degrees of involvement in the organization and its work. This individual should have humility and be someone willing and able to understand and adopt LACO’s unique culture of collaboration among staff, Board, and musicians. The ability to think strategically, generate new ideas, plan, set goals and objectives, as well as implement and follow through on these goals is imperative. The Executive Director must be an articulate ambassador and spokesperson who unites LACO’s current constituencies and inspires new ones by telling the organization’s story persuasively, in person and through various media. The Executive Director will be comfortable with public visibility and be an effective public speaker, projecting energy and enthusiasm. At the same time, this individual must be a fiscally responsible executive who ensures that LACO carefully manages its financial and programmatic resources.
CAREER PATH LEADING TO THIS POSITION:
Prior nonprofit leadership experience is preferred. A strong interest or passion for classical music, including contemporary classical music, is critical. Although previous experience in the arts is not required, experience working in a collegial relationship with a music director or an artistic director would be a plus. Prior successful fundraising, marketing/branding and Board relations experience is expected and essential. The ideal candidate will have experience mentoring and managing staff and working collaboratively with cross-functional teams. The Executive Director should have a demonstrated commitment to professional development for staff, as well as to community involvement and partnership building. While the successful candidate will likely have solid knowledge and skills in nonprofit management, those with other professional experience who demonstrate a passion for LACO may also be considered.
Annual compensation will be competitive and relocation assistance, if needed, is negotiable.
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