7 Mar 2023


Executive Director

American Youth Symphony

 Los Angeles, California, United States

American Youth Symphony jobs

Job Description


As it prepares to enter its sixth decade, the American Youth Symphony (AYS), its acclaimed Music Director Maestro Carlos Izcaray, and its Board of Directors will celebrate an historic juncture. The incoming Executive Director will be responsible for overseeing the development and implementation of a strategic effort that will better reflect the Symphony’s professional standing, educational goals, and reputation within the classical music environment.

Reporting to the AYS Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for leading the organization in the fulfillment of its mission:
To inspire the future of classical music by providing landmark fellowships to virtuosic
young adults and exceptional, innovative, and free concerts to the Los Angeles

The Executive Director oversees all day-to-day operations, including fundraising, and upholds the institutional ethos of fostering individual and collective potential, both internally through team management and in the wider community. In this way, the Executive Director ensures that the artistic health of the organization is maintained with the support of an active Board of Directors and three full-time staff members – the Director of Orchestra Operations, Development Director, and Community Engagement and Marketing Director.

The Executive Director leads AYS in all areas of the organization’s operation. The job is multi-faceted and is divided as follows:

Development (Fundraising) 50%
Organizational Leadership 20%
Business Operations 20%
Marketing and Community Outreach 10%

A significant aspect of the position is fund development. Therefore, the Executive Director will lead the organization’s fundraising function and be expected to meet with high-level donors and donor prospects and contribute to grant writing efforts on behalf of AYS, ensuring the financial health of the organization.

The Executive Director must be comfortable being the public face of the organization. Additionally, the Executive Director must be willing and prepared to assist in numerous other activities associated with running a successful orchestral organization.


The American Youth Symphony is a Los Angeles-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 1964 by Mehli Mehta. AYS is dedicated to the artistic development of a new generation of professional musicians and to building the audiences to support them. Led by Music Director Carlos lzcaray, AYS offers a professional training ground for musicians. ranging in age between 18 and 27 years to master their craft and to develop a deep understanding of the musical score. In collaboration with world-class artists like Daniel Bjarnason, Anna Clyne, Sarah Chang, Johannes Moser, John Williams, David Newman, Alan Silvestri, Charles Fox, and Lera Auerbach, AYS performs an annual series of five public concerts at UCLA’s Royce Hall, four of which are free admission to the public. The Orchestra also performs at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles as part of the LA Philharmonic’s Sounds About Town series and participates in community outreach initiatives designed to make orchestral music accessible to all. For more information, please visit www.aysymphony.org.


Greater Los Angeles is the second-largest metropolitan region in the United States with a population of 18.5 million encompassing five counties in southern California, extending from Ventura County on the west to San Bernardino County and Riverside County on the east, with Los Angeles County in the center and Orange County to the southeast. It consists of three metropolitan areas in Southern California: the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the Inland Empire, and the Ventura/Oxnard metropolitan area.

The combined statistical area covers 33,954 square miles, making it the largest metropolitan region in the United States by land area. In addition to being the nexus of the global entertainment industry (films, television, and recorded music), Greater Los Angeles is also an important center of international trade, education, media, business, tourism, technology, and sports. It is the 3rd largest metropolitan area by nominal GDP in the world with an economy exceeding $1 trillion in output. Los Angeles is one of the most important cities in the world for the recorded music industry. The production alone of soundtracks for TV and movies provides steady work for classically trained musicians and composers.

In the heart of downtown Los Angeles is the Music Center of Los Angeles County. The Music Center consists of the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Ahmanson Theatre, and the Mark Taper Forum. Adding to its cultural importance, on the same street are the Broad Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Colburn School of Performing Arts. The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra performs at Walt Disney Concert Hall and performs its summer concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. The Los Angeles Master Chorale also calls the Walt Disney Concert Hall home.

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is also the residence of the Los Angeles Opera and Dance at the Music Center. The westside of LA is home to UCLA’s Royce Hall, which is the primary performance venue for AYS.

Development – Communications – Outreach

The Executive Director will:
• Develop and maintain high-level relationships within the philanthropic, arts/music, education, government, and private sectors
• Be the “face” of AYS in the community and spearhead development planning, all fundraising activities, volunteer support and advance growth in foundation, corporate, and individual contributions
• Act as the liaison to the AYS Board of Directors through active communications which will keep the Board well-informed about key organizational activities, as well as facilitating regular board meetings
• Ensure effective and ongoing training and staff development, which will support fundraising and community outreach goals
• Strategize and develop a thoughtful and effective communications strategy for the organization

Program -Management – Operations

The Executive Director will:
• Work closely with the Music Director to oversee all aspects of AYS programming. Oversee orchestra auditions and the musician selection process, training and management, artistic planning, and the coordination of all performances
• Work closely with the Directors of Marketing, Development, and Operations to ensure a smooth and consistent roll-out of the new branding initiatives as outlined by Maestro Izcaray and the Board of Directors
• Work with the Board Treasurer and contract accountant to prepare financial statements and reports in preparation for the delivery of financial results to all key stakeholders
• Work with AYS staff and Board of Directors to prepare short- and long-term strategic plans that are designed to advance the goals of the AYS organization
• Provide excellent leadership, promote organizational values, and clearly communicate staff expectations
• Implement effective performance evaluation systems that promote growth and achievement of individual and organizational goals
• Promote a positive and collaborative work environment
• Work closely with the Board of Directors to establish clear financial goals, ensure sound fiscal planning, and manage a clear and transparent organizational budget, including financial reporting, cash management, and annual audit management
• Oversee all aspects of administrative operations including human resources, office management, utilities, ticketing, customer service, and donor relations


Candidates should possess:
• Experience as a successful leader in the nonprofit arts sector, preferably with an
orchestra or other music organization. Experience in arts education and/or classical music workforce development are a plus.
• A clear understanding of the role of the Board of Directors and experience as a
proficient board liaison.
• Strong familiarity and experience with the strategic organizational and operational planning process.
• Proven fundraising success with foundation, corporate, and individual giving programs. Experience in planned giving and estate planning is a plus.
• Skills and experience with financial planning, budget development and management.
• Knowledge of the cultural landscape of Los Angeles and surrounding communities, and an ability to build collaborations with new and existing community partners for the purposes of organizational support, arts education outreach, and audience development.
• A history of effective and evaluative staff management.
• A keen interest in the mission and programs of AYS.
• Knowledge of the standard orchestral make-up and passion for the classical
music repertoire.
• High comfort level with technology: electronic communications, social media, database management, and office software, including Microsoft Office Suite.
• Bachelor’s degree required; advanced degree preferred.

American Youth Symphony embraces diversity and equal opportunity as a key organizational value. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. AYS provides equal employment opportunities to all and prohibits discrimination and/or harassment of any type, regardless of race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Salary is commensurate with experience
Employer-paid health coverage
Paid vacation, sick days, and holidays

In order to be considered for this position, each applicant must submit a cover letter outlining why you believe you are the best candidate for the position, your applicable experience, and your salary requirements, in addition to your resume.

Please send cover letter, resume, and the names and contact information for three professional references via email to:

Victor Gotesman, Principal
Performing Arts Planning

The position remains open until filled.


Full-Time Job in Arts and Culture:
Executive Director
American Youth Symphony
 Los Angeles, California, United States

Job Categories: Arts and Culture. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: classical music, director, executive director, music, Orchestra, and Symphony. States: California.
Job listing expires in 36 days.

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