This job listing has expired and may no longer be relevant!

31 Oct 2023


President and CEO

Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra

 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Job Description

The Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra invites applications and nominations for the position of President and CEO, available in the Fall of 2023.


The Organization

Founded in 2011, the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra (HSO) is Hawaiʻi’s premier professional orchestra and is a cultural cornerstone of the Hawaiʻian island community.  The HSO’s 2023/2024 season is comprised of nine Halekulani Masterworks concerts, five HapaSymphony concerts featuring local artists from Hawaiʻi, four Lexus Films in Concert productions, and a four-week Sheraton Starlight Festival outdoors at the Waikiki Shell in the summer.  The HSO also performs with the Hawaiʻi Opera Theatre and Ballet Hawaiʻi and is the Resident Company and Artistic Partner at the Historic Hawaiʻi Theatre. The Orchestra is thrilled to welcome Music Director Dane Lam, currently in his first season at the HSO.

The Orchestra serves the Island of Oʻahu with live performances and reaches the other Islands of Hawaiʻi through radio broadcasts and regional television broadcasts.  The HSO’s impact extends beyond the concert hall through several free community and education concerts each season and 30 to 45 ensemble performances across the region in schools, libraries, community centers, and retirement facilities.

The Orchestra’s 84 professional musicians include a core of 64 players and an additional 20 per-service professionals.  The musicians are organized by a collective bargaining agreement with the American Federation of Musicians and the HSO holds membership in the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM).

The Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra is governed by a Board of 16 community leaders and has an operating budget of $5.2 million.  The HSO’s endowment of $13M is managed and governed by a separate Board.  The Orchestra has ten full-time and two part-time employees.


Mission Statement

The Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra proudly affirms their commitment to: present the highest-quality performances of great music, bringing national and international distinction to the orchestra and its community; delight and educate audiences of all ages and backgrounds, and enhance the cultural vitality and quality of life in these islands; and operate in a financially sound manner.


The Opportunity

Hawaiʻi’s setting is unique. Thanks to its geographic location and multi-national heritage, Hawaiʻi looks east for the best of American and European cultures and looks west for the cultural richness of Pacific Rim countries and all of Asia.  As a result, Hawaiʻi is a vibrant and diverse community pulsing with international creative energies.  This mixing of cultures and heritages also creates a robust musical environment.

The resident and CEO will have the opportunity to continue to harness these energies and heritages to develop a musical landscape that is truly unique in the world.  Because of Hawaiʻi’s climate, physical beauty, and what is referred to as its “aloha spirit,” the HSO is able to attract an extremely diverse audience of music lovers as well as internationally acclaimed musicians not normally attracted to a state with only 1.4 million people.  In many ways, Hawaiʻi possesses the best of two worlds: a population to some extent as sophisticated as that of New York, Chicago, or San Francisco, and a culture in which the aloha spirit truly permeates life, alleviating the stress that major cities so often impose.  HSO’s next President and CEO has a singular opportunity to grow, create, and experiment in this extraordinary environment.


The Position

The President and CEO is the chief advocate, networker, and ambassador for the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra, cultivating new donor relationships and enhancing the organization’s profile and visibility throughout the statewide community.  The President’s responsibilities include oversight of external and community relations; audience development and participation; fund development; long-range planning; and overall internal operational, financial, and administrative management. The President maintains a positive, team-spirited institutional culture, which balances the diversity and vibrancy of the Hawaiʻian Islands and the Orchestra’s artistic traditions and programs with best business practices, fiscal accountability, and institutional impact.

The President and CEO collaborates with the Music Director to achieve their shared goals and support the mission of the organization. Both the President and CEO and Music Director report to the Board of Directors through the Board Chair.  The President is responsible for all financial matters including wages, salaries, and working conditions for musicians and employees; expenditures of any kind; decisions concerning operations of the HSO; and all other matters traditionally assigned to a CEO other than the duties specifically assigned to the Music Director.  The Music Director provides artistic vision and guidance, recommends and implements artistic policies, and is responsible for maintaining and developing the artistic quality of the Orchestra.  The Board considers a strong and healthy partnership between these two leaders essential for the success of the organization.


Principal duties and responsibilities include:

Institutional Advancement:

The President and CEO identifies stakeholders, develops strategies, and defines how key messages will be delivered to individuals and institutions to maximize visibility, brand, and both earned and contributed revenues.  Central to this are the President’s responsibilities in the areas of fundraising, marketing, and public relations.  The President is responsible for the planning and implementation of all aspects of fundraising, including annual campaigns, planned giving, endowment, and capital initiatives.  The President collaborates with internal stakeholders to identify new sources of earned and contributed revenue and explores innovative approaches to audience development.  The President is the public face of the HSO.

Education, Community Engagement, and Community Relations:

The President and CEO supports the development of opportunities for learning, collaboration, and accessibility that further the goals outlined in the Mission Statement.  The Board Chair and the President serve as the HSO’s primary spokespersons with the community.

Operational and Strategic Planning:

The President and CEO oversees short-term operational and long-range strategic planning and implementation, including the effective mentoring and supervision of the organization’s human resources, mobilization of technological resources, and decision-making related to appropriate use of financial resources.  The President collaborates closely with the Music Director and supports the Music Director’s artistic vision while maintaining the fiscal health of the organization.  The President cultivates and maintains relationships with key HSO community partners and actively seeks, identifies, and explores effective partnerships that advance music in the state-wide community.

Governance and Financial Management:

The President and CEO provides support to best utilize the talents and resources of the Board, stimulates the Board’s involvement, helps recruit new Board members, and works closely with the Board to ensure fiscal health and effective organizational governance. The President partners with the Board Chair to maximize Board engagement.


Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will be a leader who brings an optimistic, pragmatic, and entrepreneurial perspective to building an effective management team and an organizational structure that will best serve the HSO. The candidate will have a solid track record for leading, managing, and developing teams, proven success with fundraising, a firm understanding of management processes, and proactive community-building skills.  The candidate will have a strong interest in, and passion for, developing a positive work environment among Board, staff, musicians, volunteers, and local constituents.

The successful candidate will be an intelligent, outgoing, likeable person capable of interacting with diverse internal and external stakeholders.  The candidate will demonstrate the ability to innovate and bring about positive change.  The candidate will have the leadership skills and vision to guide the Board in developing the HSO as a major cultural, musical, and educational force in the community.  The successful candidate will value diversity in the workplace and will work to foster an environment that welcomes and supports inclusion.

The successful candidate will have a strong working knowledge of, and passion for, classical and pop artists and repertoire, both established and new, and the ability to implement programming that engages and stimulates the community. The successful candidate will possess a strong commitment to interactive arts education and community engagement and will understand how to integrate such projects successfully with the other activities and goals of the HSO.

A Bachelor’s degree and seven to ten years of relevant work experience is preferred.  Experience working with professional musicians organized in a collective bargaining agreement will be considered an asset.  The successful candidate must be willing and able to accept a work schedule that includes evening and weekend attendance at concerts and other events.



The compensation range for this position is $150,000 to $175,000 per year, depending on qualifications and experience.  Comprehensive benefits are provided.



The Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in all facets of the organization and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or national origin.

Please send a cover letter outlining your specific interest in the Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra and your qualifications for this position.
Include a résumé, salary requirements, and contact information for at least three references.
Electronic submissions are requested.
All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be called without the candidate’s prior knowledge and agreement.

The position will remain open until filled. The Search Committee will begin to review candidate credentials in mid-November.  Please send materials to:


Hawaiʻi Symphony Orchestra – President and CEO


MS Word or Adobe Acrobat attachments only


Full-Time Job in Music:
President and CEO
Hawai’i Symphony Orchestra
 Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

Job Categories: Music. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: administration, advancement, CEO, Community Engagement, finance, management, and performing arts. States: Hawaii.