Employment & Auditions


The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra currently has the following employment opportunities available:

Director of Artistic Planning

Director of artistic planning

The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) seeks a dynamic and creative leader for the position of Director of Artistic Planning. Under the supervision of the President & Executive Director and in partnership with the President & Executive Director and Music Director, the Director of Artistic Planning helps guide the artistic vision and goals of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra (MSO) through program and project curation. This senior staff position coordinates and facilitates the artistic processes with other staff including the Assistant Conductor and Chorus Director, including leading the development of the annual season concert plan and related expense budgets, booking of guest artists and negotiating fees, assists with special events, and maintains and conveys the highest artistic standards of the MSO. This position will be intimately involved with the MSO’s search for its next Music Director.

Reports to: President & Executive Director.

Works with: President & Executive Director, Music Director, Assistant Conductor, Chorus Director, Artistic Planning team; and various staff.

Position supervises: Artist Liaison & Assistant to the Music Director; Assistant Conductor; Chorus Director.

Required Qualifications:

  • A master’s degree in a related discipline;
  • An advanced understanding and familiarity of orchestral repertoire;
  • Experience in contract negotiation and enforcement; and
  • A minimum of five (5) years management experience with a professional orchestra or performing arts organization

​​FLSA Status and Availability: The position is a full time, exempt position and is available immediately.

Compensation: Salary will be commensurate with experience. The MSO provides benefits including medical, dental, vision, long and short-term disability, and life insurances.

Job Responsibilities: The Director of Artistic Planning is expected to be responsible for the following duties, as well as additional ones, as assigned:

  • Serve as an artistic voice and guide vision, goals, and program and project creation and curation.
  • Guide the Music Director Search Committee in identifying and evaluating talent.
  • Manage all artistic programming processes for the organization. In conjunction with the Music Director and staff, complete research and planning for classical programs. Work directly with appropriate staff members in other repertoire planning (pops, specials, education concerts, tours and run outs, shared experiences and community concerts, etc.).
  • Work collaboratively with the Marketing department to ensure that programming maximizes subscription and single ticket earned revenue.
  • Develop and maintain the artistic budget for projects and performance cycles, including the day to day tracking and forecasting of expenses. Ensure that budget factors are considered when planning repertoire (such as music rental, extra musicians, production costs, etc.).
  • Arrange for commissioned works when programmed; work with Development department to locate funding for commissions.
  • Work with Operations department in developing season schedule and rehearsal orders, and in coordinating performance technical needs.
  • Negotiate fees and schedules with artist managements for guest conductors and artists, and issue contracts for same. Distribute contract riders and rehearsal orders to staff as directed. Enforce contract terms. Document and maintain records of artist contacts, contracts, and information with electronic databases (OPAS, ArtsVision) and file systems; provide information as needed to other departments.
  • Ensure that program information is communicated to staff according to internal guidelines. Coordinate with the Finance department the timely payment of artist fees. Proofread all materials containing program information (including concert programs and advertisements) about Music Director or guest artists.
  • Cultivate strong and positive relationships with artists’ managers, agents and administrative colleagues nationally and internationally.
  • Complete visa applications for international artists where applicable.
  • Write program notes as requested; proofread all materials containing program information (including concert programs and advertisements).
  • Maintain records of regional talent available for emergency replacement in case of last-minute cancellations; schedule and administer (with Operations department and staff conductors) periodic auditions for local talent.
  • Administer material received from artist managers, as well as scores and tapes from composers and artists. Route selected material to conductors for review; maintain and update collection of these materials.
  • With Musicians’ Artistic Liaison Committee and Music Director, discuss and address artistic issues and concerns of the Orchestra.
  • Perform artist duty as assigned. Escort artist(s) to appearances at events as needed.
  • Assist Director of Operations in administering all recording processes or other artistic media projects, including but not limited to, archival recordings, radio broadcasts, television or internet projects.

Application Process: By Monday, June 6, 2016, please submit a cover letter and resume, addressed to Mark Niehaus, President and Executive Director, by email in PDF or Word formats to hr@mso.org. Please, no phone calls or hard copy/physical mail submission.

Please submit any queries by email to hr@mso.org . The MSO is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Information on upcoming audition opportunities: