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Chief Executive Officer

Columbus Symphony Orchestra
Ohio, United States
$200,000.00 - $250,000.00
Posted Date
Jun 26, 2024

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Position Type
Employment Type
Full Time

Aspen Leadership Group is proud to partner with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra in the search for a Chief Executive Officer.

Reporting to the board of trustees, the Chief Executive Officer, a visionary, strategic, and innovative leader, will play a pivotal role in shaping the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's ascendance—ensuring its continued growth, relevance, and impact within the community and beyond. The Chief Executive Officer will assume a wide range of responsibilities, from strategic planning and fiscal management to marketing, fundraising, and advocacy. The Chief Executive Officer will work collaboratively with key stakeholders to uphold the Symphony's mission and advance its long-term vision. With a blend of strategic vision, financial acumen, and dedication to artistic excellence, the Chief Executive Officer will lead the Columbus Symphony Orchestra towards a vibrant and sustainable future.

Since 1951, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra (CSO) has been proud to serve as central Ohio’s flagship music performance organization. Guided by Music Director Rossen Milanov, CSO musicians, conductors, chorus, and renowned guest artists bring extraordinary talent, passion, and the highest standards of musicianship to enrich the community. The CSO's innovative programming spans Masterworks, Pops, Nationwide Picnic with the Pops, Education, and Community Engagement, reaching diverse audiences across central Ohio. The Symphony plays an integral role in Columbus’ vibrant art scene, serving over 159,000 central Ohioans, with 2.3 million reached, and impacting 28,000 children, families, and teachers.

Three venues allow audiences to experience world-class music in the heart of Columbus. From classical music to Pops performances, the world’s best perform with the Columbus Symphony at the Ohio Theatre. The theatre’s lush interior, excellent acoustics, and state-of-the-art stage facilities have made it a favorite of guest artists and conductors. The breathtaking details, including the 21-foot-high chandelier, and opulent Spanish-Baroque architecture and design make any night out at the Ohio an event to remember. The Columbus Commons is nine acres of live, green space located in the heart of Downtown. Featuring the state-of-the-art Columbus Bicentennial Pavilion, it is home to the Columbus Symphony’s Nationwide Picnic with the Pops and Popcorn Pops series. The Davidson Theatre is a modern space. This 903-seat facility opened in 1989 as part of the Vern Riffe Center for Government and the Arts. It offers intimate performance experiences including Columbus Symphony Pops concerts.

Making a meaningful impact as the forefront music education resource in the community, the Columbus Symphony Orchestra is committed to educating and entertaining individuals of all ages. The Symphony nurtures talent, cultivates future audiences, supports intellectual development, and ignites creativity in students, families, teachers, and lifelong learners. Each year, thousands of students throughout the greater Columbus area participate in the CSO's Young People’s Concert. Concerts are programmed at the Ohio Theatre and are thematically based and grade appropriate. Pre-concert materials are provided for teachers and students based on the Ohio Academic content standards.

The CSO brings the transformative power of music into the community. Aligned with the Symphony’s strategic plan, the CSO strives to be an organization that makes a difference by identifying and advancing new channels of accessibility and developing new opportunities for the dynamically growing community served. Proudly committed to making a difference through music, the CSO extends its reach to diverse locations, including local hospitals, nursing homes, retirement communities, food pantries, correctional facilities, and more. Committed to deepening its service to the community, the Symphony launched its Cares program in 2018. The program is designed to support the missions of Central Ohio social service organizations through the creation of partnerships that bring the power of music to their clients, constituencies, students, and staff. In just its first year, the program served approximately 2,000 people across 18 different non-profit organizations, and since then, its impact has only grown.

Among the Columbus Symphony Orchestra's most ambitious projects is the construction of a 200,000-square-foot concert hall on the banks of the Scioto River that would provide the city with an iconic performance venue while boosting community and education initiatives. The venue would feature a 1,600-seat main orchestra hall with exquisite acoustics, education and rehearsal spaces to support the symphony and its outreach programs, a flexible performance space available for use by community arts organizations and the public, and multiple gathering and event spaces ranging in size from an intimate lounge to a large venue with a capacity of 500. The concert hall would serve a multitude of purposes for the community, not the least of which is to be a highly visible space that would put Columbus "on the map" as a major cultural force in American performing arts. The new hall would feature a year-round schedule of performances from the symphony and other interested entities, freeing up its current home, the historic Ohio Theatre on Capitol Square (a 2,800 seat 1920’s era proscenium hall equipped for Broadway) to expand its available dates for Broadway shows, Ballet, Opera, and other large performances.

A bachelor’s degree focused on arts administration, non-profit management, business administration, or music or an equivalent combination of education and experience and at least 10 years of progressive leadership experience in executive roles within the arts or non-profit sector, is preferred for this position. The Columbus Symphony will consider candidates with a broad range of backgrounds. If you are excited about this role and feel that you can contribute to the CSO, but your experience does not exactly align with every qualification listed above, we encourage you to apply. All applications must be accompanied by a cover letter and résumé. Cover letters should be responsive to the mission of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the responsibilities and qualifications specified in the position prospectus.

The salary range for this position is $200,000 to $250,000 annually.

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra is committed to the inclusion of all qualified candidates. If you require reasonable accommodation in completing this application, interviewing, or participating in the selection process, please contact Kim Farr at

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