The Board of Directors seeks an arts management entrepreneur to leverage Los Angeles Master Chorale’s creative and financial resources to:
• Deliver the world’s very best environment for artists to produce and present choral music, and for audiences to experience the art of choral music;
• Drive increased audience engagement along a broad front, with particular emphasis on young, diverse audiences whose active embrace is critical to the future vitality of choral music;
• Complete a comprehensive campaign to transform young lives through choral music, to expand artistic excellence, and increase local and global reach.
Los Angeles Master Chorale (the “Chorale”), an $8 million budgeted organization with 24 staff members and 25 members of the Board of Directors, is the “the finest-by-far major chorus in America” (Los Angeles Times) and a vibrant cultural treasure. Hailed for its powerful performances, technical precision, and artistic daring, the Chorale is led by Grant Gershon, Kiki & David Gindler Artistic Director; Associate Artistic Director Jenny Wong; and Swan Family Artist-in-Residence Reena Esmail.
Now in the midst of Grant Gershon’s 22nd season, the Chorale has transformed itself from a vibrant semi-professional chorus to the largest independent professional choral ensemble in the United States, as well as one of the most acclaimed. The Chorale draws audiences from throughout Los Angeles County and reaches an estimated 175,000 people a year through its concert series at Walt Disney Concert Hall, its international touring of innovative works, its performances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its education programs.
Los Angeles is a driving force shaping the Chorale and the perfect proving ground for innovation. Open, accepting, multicultural, and complex, this city prizes creativity, and its people embrace the new and daring. The Chorale answers the call and ups the ante. Under Grant Gershon’s artistic direction, the Chorale has leveraged its 58-year legacy of leadership to set a new pace for the art form and to establish the tempo for choral music nationwide.
Under the direction of Grant Gershon, the Chorale has released eight recordings, including the music of Steve Reich and Nico Muhly and the national anthems / the little match girl passion by David Lang. The Chorale is on the soundtracks of many major motion pictures, including Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and Disney’s Jungle Cruise, and their discography includes the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Deutsche Grammophon recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 8, for which the Chorale won a Best Choral Performance Grammy Award with the National Children's Chorus, Los Angeles Children’s Choir and Pacific Chorale.
Starting in 2020, the Chorale now commits at least 50 percent of each season to feature works by women, people of color and people of the global majority – composers from groups historically excluded from classical music. Under Gershon’s tenure, the Chorale has premiered 66 new works by contemporary composers, including 45 world premieres and 38 commissions, an almost unheard-of number for any professional choir. The Chorale also has a prestigious international reputation and opened the Salzburg Festival in 2019 and will do so again in July 2023.
The Chorale’s education programs include Voices Within, fifth grade residencies that facilitate students writing and performing their own songs, and an expansive Oratorio Project for high school students. The Chorale also presents an annual High School Choir Festival, which brings teenagers from around the Southland to perform in Walt Disney Concert Hall. In May 2019, the High School Choir Festival celebrated 30 years as one of the longest-running and widest reaching arts education programs in Southern California. In 2017, the Chorale launched Big Sing California, the largest group singing event in state history, encompassing a concert in Disney Hall that was broadcast live to venues in five other cities in California and live streamed online. Subsequently, Big Sing took place in 2018, 2019, 2022, and the forthcoming event in September 2023.
As the next stage in its evolution, the Chorale will transform young lives through an empowering city-wide choral music program, expand on its reputation for unsurpassed artistic excellence, and increase its global reach through expanded touring and digital strategies. Philanthropy will play a critical role in achieving these goals and, in partnership with the Chief Advancement Officer and key volunteers, the CEO will play a significant role in growing fundraising. This growth will enable the Master Chorale to increase commissions, launch its ambitious choral program for young people, undertake international tours and partnerships, and continue to expand the definition of choral music through innovative collaborations and immersive performances and more.
The Board of Directors seeks a President & CEO who is an arts management entrepreneur to leverage Los Angeles Master Chorale’s creative and financial resources to:
Deliver the world’s very best environment for artists to produce and present choral music, and for audiences to experience the art of choral music; increase audience engagement along a broad front, with particular emphasis on young, diverse audiences whose active embrace is critical to the future vitality of choral music; and complete a comprehensive campaign to transform young lives through choral music to expand artistic excellence, and increase local and global reach.
Reporting to the Board of Directors through the Chair of the Board and Executive Committee, the President & CEO is responsible for the organization’s earned and contributed revenue, overall financial strength, engagement with a diverse audience of all ages and backgrounds,
operating infrastructure, contract compliance, information technology, human resources and all business management functions of a choral music organization.
Of paramount importance is the relationship between the President & CEO and the Artistic Director as well as among the President & CEO, the Board Chair, and the Executive Committee.
The President & CEO has a special responsibility to bind together the organization as an operationally coherent, effective and ambitious world leader of choral music. Just as the Artistic Director is responsible for the vitality and quality of performances experienced by Los Angeles Master Chorale’s audience, the President & CEO must provide the Artistic Director and the Company with a financially strong, uniquely supportive environment for their art.
With this in mind, the President & CEO will be a hands-on and deeply involved fundraiser, audience engager, innovator, leader and business manager. She/he/they will partner with the Artistic Director, and will cultivate an ambitious, high-output environment focused on results achieved through targeted action and staff teamwork.
The President & CEO’s immediate priorities will be to:
• Understand all facets of Los Angeles Master Chorale, the Artistic Director’s vision, and the Board’s priorities, including: the organization’s history, culture, art and artists, audiences, staff, finances and revenue streams, performances and programming schedule, education and public programs, infrastructure, operations, marketing, diverse regional, national and international constituencies, etc.;
• Build a dynamic partnership with the Artistic Director, the Board Chair and Board Members, and with the staff; advance a shared vision that positions Los Angeles Master Chorale as the world’s leading choral music organization; manage the day-to-day business affairs of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, including cash flow and expense management, with the intent of accelerating financial, audience and artistic growth;
• Work with legal counsel and Board to oversee and negotiate contractual matters with the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), guest artists, vendors, and strategic partners;
• Help to expand the brand and footprint of the Chorale and drive increased audience engagement along a broad front, with particular emphasis on young, diverse audiences whose active embrace is critical to the future vitality of choral music;
• Serve as the organization’s chief fundraiser and marketer responsible for dramatically increasing earned and contributed revenue; work closely with the staff, Board, and advisors to diversify revenue streams and complete the comprehensive campaign;
• Work with the staff to understand their contributions, strengths, and concerns; instill a strong sense of partnership and cohesion across the organization; use open channels of communication to reinforce a culture of excellence toward achieving the highest standards of performing arts practice;
• Work with the Board to update and implement long-range strategic plans, in the process integrating the organization’s shared values of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility into all artistic, business and governance aspects of the Chorale; identify and suggest new Board members whose talents, interests, and commitment will help to further the Chorale’s mission and will help to expand funding opportunities.
IDEAL EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
The ideal candidate should have the following type of experience and qualifications:
• A management professional with strong staff or board-level experience in the performing arts, ticketed experiences, and in organizations known for innovative programming; sector knowledge in the classical music, opera, dance, choral music or arts education would be a distinct advantage; an international perspective would be useful;
• Strong understanding of production values, budgeting and technology for the stage;
• A deep understanding of the artists and the international arts ecosystem for choral music; connections in the international world of classical music with agents, managers, and arts organizations to create meaningful partnerships locally, nationally, and internationally, and a knowledge of touring and sponsorships is helpful;
• The ability to work successfully with individual, institutional and business donors to maximize contributed revenue; measurable and successful results in maximizing ticket sales revenue and in identifying, cultivating, and developing other sources of earned income; experience engaging all artistic, staff, Board, audience and education constituents to maximize all forms of earned and contributed revenue;
• Strong understanding of audience development approaches, with a track-record of reshaping the audience mix to be younger and more diverse while maintaining traditional audiences; demonstrated understanding of the relationship between having diversity within an organization’s staff, artistic and governance ranks, and the ability of an arts organization to engage new generations and more diverse audiences;
• A detailed understanding of financial and operations management; the ability to analyze financial reports and develop/monitor realistic budgets and programs; a metrics-driven approach that is ambitious, focused on expansion and accountability, and provides for the balanced risk-taking that keeps arts organizations vital and sustainable;
• Experience working with artists: artistic directors, singers, musicians, orchestras, conductors, educators, and others; demonstrated ability to forge mutually respectful and effective relationships with a diverse group of personalities to deliver exceptional performing arts experiences to the public;
• Outstanding oral and written communication skills, including the means to address issues in non-confrontational and non-polarizing ways, but nevertheless with determination; excellent public speaking experience; a track record as an effective advocate for his, her or their organization;
• A leader adept at planning, prioritizing, organizing, and following through; a hard worker with a high energy level who welcomes accountability; a good listener and strategist; comfortable receiving input from many sources; and
• Someone who imparts trust, integrity, and solidity and guides others in a similar vein; an ability to disagree without being disagreeable; a team player and team builder; someone who enjoys working in close collaboration with staff, Board, and community members and who is able to connect with a broad spectrum of constituents; a person with a sense of humor and perspective.
For more information please contact:
m/Oppenheim Executive Search
558 Presidio Boulevard, Box 29625,
San Francisco, CA 94129-0625
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