Oregon Symphony


About Oregon Symphony

Employment Opportunities

The Oregon Symphony is the sixth oldest major orchestra in the United States and one of the largest arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest, performing over 70 concerts per year at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland and providing a wide array of musical educational offerings for all ages.

The orchestra is recognized as one of the most successful and innovative symphony orchestras in the nation. On May 12, 2011 the Oregon Symphony made its debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the Spring for Music festival. Writing in the June 6th issue of the New Yorker, critic Alex Ross called our performance "the highlight of the festival and one of the most gripping events of the current season."

Vice President and General Manager

About the Position

With the artistic renown achieved under Maestro Carlos Kalmar, soon to begin his thirteenth season, the appointment of dynamic CEO Scott Showalter, who has quickly earned the confidence of the broader community of Portland and Southwest Washington, and the enthusiastic commitment of an involved board, the Oregon Symphony’s momentum is palpable. During its 2014/15 season, the Oregon Symphony broke many records: number of tickets sold, ticket revenue, number of new patrons, number of sold out performances, number of donors, contributed revenue, number of new donors, and amount raised at its annual gala.

In the words of a long-time orchestra musician who also serves as a board member, "The musicians, board, and administration have never been as aligned as they are today—in their work together, their optimism, and their commitment to the future of this orchestra."

All constituents look forward to welcoming a new Vice President and General Manager who will play an important leadership role in shaping the orchestra's next decade of expansion, in service to the state of Oregon and the world of music.

The Vice President and General Manager will have the opportunity to make a significant and lasting contribution to the Oregon Symphony, at a time when key ingredients for success are in place and the growth potential is clear. The winning candidate will be an experienced arts manager, an excellent communicator, and a confident collaborator, with a proven track record of managing diverse programs and personalities. S/he will serve as a strategic partner to the CEO, the music director, and other symphony and community leaders.


The Vice President and General Manager oversees the Oregon Symphony’s extensive artistic operations, as well as its many education and community programs. As a member of the organization’s senior leadership team, s/he further helps to set overall strategy for the institution.

Working with artistic leadership and fellow senior managers, the Vice President oversees production of a wide range of concerts throughout the season. S/he ensures the smooth, effective, and financially-responsible production of the Oregon Symphony’s classical, pops, and kids concert series, special concerts, rehearsals, tours, and presentations. Additionally, in collaboration with the Artistic Administrator, the Vice President maximizes use of orchestra services.  S/he also oversees library operations, and handles musician personnel contracts and issues. Beyond daily operations, the Vice President is responsible for expanding a range of artistic outreach initiatives, including the Symphony’s presentations, broadcasts, community concerts, run-out performances, and artist-in-residence programs.

Reporting to the President and CEO, the Vice President and General Manager manages a full-time staff of seven, plus several part-time employees. Direct reports include the Director of Operations, Orchestra Manager, Education Program Director, and Principal Librarian.

This position requires knowledge of artistic productions, backstage operations, and touring logistics, including how to effectively secure and manage venues, arrange equipment, negotiate contracts, and manage with collective bargaining agreements. The Vice President should have significant experience working with unions and electronic media projects. S/he also should have familiarity with the development of education and outreach programs of an arts organization.

S/he will serve as a member of the senior leadership team and a strategic thought partner to the CEO. Working collaboratively with musicians, the music director, administrative colleagues, community leaders, and other stakeholders, the Vice President and General Manager manages individual programs for the Oregon Symphony Association while working to achieve future objectives.

Specific duties include, though are not limited to:

  • Produce concerts at the highest level and ensure smooth operation throughout the year
  • With the Artistic Administrator, devise and execute master plan and calendar for all orchestra activities—including rehearsals, concerts, community programs, run-outs, broadcasts, recordings, and tours
  • Provide guidance to the Music Director, CEO, and other senior leadership re. artistic, musician personnel, operations, policy, and contractual matters
  • Develop and manage annual and program-specific budgets
  • Provide lead support to the CEO in negotiation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement with Local 99, AFM and uphold its terms throughout the year
  • Assist Music Director in hiring of all musicians; negotiate and execute musician contracts
  • Foster productive working relationships with musicians by meeting with the orchestra committee to share information and discuss concerns
  • Resolve contractual, operational, and personnel issues in a timely and effective manner
  • In collaboration with senior team, devise and execute electronic media plans, contracting and collaborating with engineers, recording label, and other partners
  • Leverage opportunities for smaller group performances to extend the reach and impact of the Oregon Symphony beyond the concert hall
  • With the Director of Operations, augment the Oregon Symphony Presents program and provide oversight of contracts and relationships with guest artists
  • Help identify additional earned revenue opportunities through effective use of OSO assets and new productive partnerships
  • Hire, train, manage, and evaluate artistic, production, library, and education staff


  • 10+ years in nonprofit arts administration or equivalent required; background as performing musician helpful
  • Strong knowledge of orchestral repertoire, current performing artists, and trends in music education
  • Facility in union contract negotiation or related experience
  • Ability to accurately forecast and manage expense budgets
  • Ability to resolve complex situations with competing priorities efficiently and with diplomacy
  • Leader, facilitator, self-starter, and team player
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and motivational skills
  • Exceptional organizational abilities and attention to detail
  • Knowledge of, or ability to quickly learn, OPAS software and other systems
  • Bachelor's degree required, advanced degree in the arts or business a plus

About The Oregon Symphony

Founded in 1896, the Oregon Symphony is acclaimed among the nation’s top orchestras and is one of the largest arts organizations in the Northwest. Nearing the start of its 120th year, it is the oldest orchestra west of the Mississippi with 76 professional musicians. The OSO produces over 80 concerts before an audience of over 156,000 people, primarily in Portland’s Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

The OSO’s upcoming 2015/16 season runs from September through May and spans a variety of repertoires and genres—from Classical, Pops and Kids programs, to movie scores, gospel, and country music. Featured artists include Yo-Yo Ma, Lang Lang, Joshua Bell, Melissa Etheridge, Patti LaBelle, and Lily Tomlin, among others.

In May 2011, the Oregon Symphony made its New York debut at Carnegie Hall as part of the inaugural Spring for Music festival. The performance was hailed as a tremendous success by the New York Times, the New Yorker, and Musical America. Critic Alex Ross called the Oregon Symphony’s performance under Kalmar “the highlight of the festival and one of the most gripping events of the current season.” That program was recorded and subsequently released as part of the CD “Music for a Time of War” (2012) under the PentaTone label. Subsequent recordings under Kalmar have included “This England” (2012) and “Spirit of the American Range” (2015).

The OSO invests in an extensive set of education and community programs, including its annual waterfront festival, which among the largest free community concerts in the Western U.S. The Orchestra regularly travels to perform in Salem, Newberg, and other smaller communities. Its award‐winning programs bring live orchestral music to schools, libraries, children’s facilities, hospitals, and correctional institutions, reaching more than 50,000 children and adults outside the performance hall each year. Master classes and audience education opportunities are offered throughout each season for teenagers and adults. Through a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation, the symphony has partnered with Oregon’s least-advantaged school district, the David Douglas schools, to build a culture of music education by mentoring teachers and coaching students.

The Association operates on a budget of over $16 million, approximately half of which is derived from contributed revenue, making it the largest arts institution in the region. It has an endowment of approximately $10 million and employs a staff of 33. Its board is strong and growing, and the Friends of the Oregon Symphony volunteer time to support many programs throughout the year.

Learn more about the Oregon Symphony at www.orsymphony.org.

To inquire, please submit a cover letter and resume to Careers@orsymphony.org.  No phone inquiries, please. 
Position is open until filled.

Audience Development Manager

Job Title: Audience Development Manager
Department: Marketing
Reports To: VP for Communications, Marketing and Sales
Supervision Exercised: N/A
FLSA Status: Full time, exempt

SUMMARY The Audience Development Manager oversees the solicitation and analysis of patron data and develops and executes strategies, programs and events designed to deepen relationships with ticket buyers for longer-lasting engagement marked by additional ticket purchases and philanthropic contributions by performing the following duties:

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: include the following.  Other duties may be assigned.

  1. Identifies and defines existing patron segments in database based on type of purchases, frequency of purchases, event attendance and overall contributions to the organization.

  2. Increases earned revenue and enhances the bond between patrons and the organization by developing and executing plans, programs and events for each of the identified target database segments. These plans would include, but not be limited to, patron loyalty programs to increase subscriber retention; upgrade programs through which patron purchasing commitment would become larger; step-up programs to move single ticket buyers into larger package purchases; and stewardship programs to continually move patrons along the continuum from first-time buyer to avid fan and contributor.

  3. Develops and executes communication plans to share new plans, programs and events with appropriate database segments.

  4. Conducts cost-effective market research to help the organization meet its strategic goals through increased ticket and contributed revenue.

  5. Analyzes new and current data to develop new product offerings and research methods.

  6. Establishes research method, such as survey, opinion poll, or questionnaire, and designs means for collecting data for each project.

  7. Develops and assists in conducting surveys and focus groups to analyze customer purchasing patterns, preferences, and the organization's image and marketing effectiveness.

  8. Researches market conditions and conducts feasibility studies to determine market demand for existing and new products or services.

  9. Gathers, analyzes, and compares competitor data and pricing to that of organization.

  10. Maintains market intelligence database in order to examine, analyze, and compile statistical data.

  11. Prepares reports, including charts and graphs, and presents recommendations for action plans to management.

  12. Manages expenses, and provides invoice reconciliation: codes and manages marketing invoices, and reconciles with accounting department.

  13. Attends Symphony concerts and events.

QUALIFICATIONS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelor's degree (B. A.) from four-year college or university and a minimum of four years marketing or development experience, preferably in the performing arts sector. Audience development experience preferred.
  • Language Skills: Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals.  Ability to write routine reports and correspondence.  Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization.
  • Mathematical Skills:  Ability to budget and forecast with accuracy and to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, percentages, etc.
  • Reasoning Ability: Ability to apply common sense understanding to carry out instructions furnished in written, oral, or diagram form.  Ability to deal with problems involving several concrete variables in standardized situations.
  • Computer Skills:  Extensive Excel spreadsheet experience; working knowledge of Microsoft Office software;  ability to quickly learn and use new software; Tessitura database software experience a big plus.
  • Certificates, Licenses, Registrations: None required

Successful candidate will be able to demonstrate a blend of analytic and intuitive thinking, combined with the ability to view the world from patrons’ point of view. Ability to communicate clearly and persuasively in a variety of media.

OTHER QUALIFICATIONS: Team player.  Flexibility to work occasional evenings and weekends as needed.

COMPETENCIES: To perform the job successfully, an individual should demonstrate the following competencies:

  • Analytical - Synthesizes complex or diverse information; Collects and researches data; Uses intuition and experience to complement data; Designs work flows and procedures.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Project Management - Develops project plans; Coordinates projects; Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and budget; Manages project team activities.
  • Customer Service - Manages difficult or emotional customer situations; Responds promptly to customer needs; Solicits customer feedback to improve service; Responds to requests for service and assistance; Meets commitments.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Maintains confidentiality; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
  • Communication - Speaks and writes clearly and informatively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Teamwork - Balances team and individual responsibilities; Exhibits objectivity and openness to others' views; Gives and welcomes feedback; Contributes to building a positive team spirit; Puts success of team above own interests; Able to build morale and group commitments to goals and objectives; Supports everyone's efforts to succeed.
  • Quality Management - Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness.
  • Business Acumen - Demonstrates knowledge of market and competition; Works within approved budget; Contributes to profits and revenue; Conserves organizational resources.
  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.
  • Organizational Support - Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Supports organization's goals and values; Promotes a harassment-free environment; Observes safety and security procedures; Reports potentially unsafe conditions ; Uses equipment and materials properly
  • Strategic Thinking - Develops strategies to achieve organizational goals; Analyzes market and competition; Identifies external threats and opportunities; Adapts strategy to changing conditions.
  • Judgment - Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.
  • Motivation - Sets and achieves challenging goals; Demonstrates persistence and overcomes obstacles; Measures self against standard of excellence; Takes calculated risks to accomplish goals.
  • Planning/Organizing - Prioritizes and plans work activities; Uses time efficiently; Plans for additional resources; Sets goals and objectives; Organizes or schedules other people and their tasks; Develops realistic action plans.
  • Professionalism - Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Treats others with respect and consideration regardless of their status or position; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Quality and Quantity - Demonstrates accuracy and thoroughness; Looks for ways to improve and promote quality; Applies feedback to improve performance; Monitors own work to ensure quality; Meets productivity standards; Completes work in timely manner.
  • Adaptability - Adapts to changes in the work environment; Manages competing demands; Changes approach or method to best fit the situation; Able to deal with change, delays, or unexpected events.
  • Dependability - Is consistently at work and on time; Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to long hours of work when necessary to reach goals.
  • Initiative - Takes independent actions and calculated risks; Looks for and takes advantage of opportunities; Asks for and offers help when needed.
  • Innovation - Meets challenges with resourcefulness; Generates suggestions for improving work.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms. The employee is frequently required to talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, color vision, depth perception and ability to adjust focus.

WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Oregon Symphony Association is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Founded in 1896, the Oregon Symphony is recognized for its internationally-acclaimed conductors, skilled musicians, diverse performances and outstanding education and community engagement programs. Our mission is sharing live performances with the people in our region.