President and CEO

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO) invites applications and nominations for the position of President and CEO.  Ralph Craviso, who created and has successfully led the Orchestra’s financial recovery plan, will step down as President and CEO on August 31, 2017.  The Board of Directors anticipates a seamless transition with the next President and CEO taking office on September 1st.

The Opportunity

The next President of the Rochester Philharmonic will join the Orchestra as it anticipates the celebration of its centennial in a community that places high value on the arts, on music, and on its symphony orchestra.  Building on a strong tradition of artistry and community engagement, the next President will partner with the Music Director in developing programs and activities that attract and energize new and diverse audiences while strengthening the RPO’s links to its current and loyal patron base.

The next President will take the helm of an Orchestra that is experiencing the forward momentum of a successful financial turnaround.  S/he will take leadership of an organization that has gained strong community support and restored donor confidence in the ability of the RPO to execute on a plan that is producing a balanced budget for the current year and forecasts positive results for the next four years.

The next President will come to an Orchestra that has a fully staffed and high achieving development office and a chief operating officer who provides oversight for finance, marketing, production, and artistic operations.  S/he will be able to focus attention on external relations, fundraising, building the RPO’s brand, and building the RPO’s links to the community through diverse musical programming and educational activities.

Working with the Board, Music Director, musicians, and staff, the President will have the opportunity to secure the Rochester Philharmonic’s position as one of leading orchestras in the nation and as an invaluable and sustainable musical resource for the Rochester community.

The Organization

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has a rich history that developed from the vision and generosity of George Eastman and continues today to reflect the Rochester community’s deep commitment to the arts and education.

With the mission “to inspire, educate and engage our community through the art of music,” the RPO today maintains high standards of artistic excellence, a unique tradition of musical versatility, and a deep commitment to education and community engagement.  The Orchestra brings music to an audience of more than 160,000 through diverse programming of classical, symphonic pops, educational concerts, and special presentations.  The majority of concerts take place at the newly renovated and acoustically excellent Eastman Theatre, but the RPO also performs in schools and community centers throughout the region.

The Rochester Philharmonic today has more than 3,000 individual and corporate members.  The RPO is governed by a 27-member Board of Directors and has an annual operating budget of about $10.5 million.  The orchestra has a core of 59 full-time musicians; the administrative staff includes 25 full-time employees. Ward Stare is Music Director of the RPO; Jeff Tyzik is Principal Pops Conductor.

The Position

The President is the chief executive officer of the Rochester Philharmonic and reports to the Board of Directors through the Chair.  The President provides leadership to ensure that the Rochester Philharmonic fulfills its mission, realizes its vision, and achieves it goals for excellence, sustainability, and community engagement.  The President provides the major external presence that strengthens the ties that unite the RPO with the greater Rochester community.

Working in partnership with the Board and the Music Director, the President articulates a clear and compelling vision for the Orchestra.  S/he is responsible and accountable for all aspects of the RPO’s operations and oversees the development of short- and long-term strategic and operating plans.  The President’s executive leadership team includes the Chief Operating Officer and the Vice President for Development.  Together they ensure thorough, timely, and successful execution of these plans.

The President is the chief fundraiser for the Rochester Philharmonic and takes a leadership role in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors. Working with the Chair, the President provides leadership and impetus to the fundraising efforts of the Board.

The President is a visible presence in the greater Rochester community.  S/he plays an active role in civic life, representing the RPO with the business sector, philanthropy, government, and other arts, cultural, and community organizations.

Candidate Profile

The ideal candidate will be an experienced executive with proven leadership ability, excellent management skills, strong entrepreneurial instincts, a collaborative style, and a track record of success with fundraising and community engagement. S/he will be a person of integrity and high ethical standards with a reputation for fairness and a commitment to transparency.  S/he will have not-for-profit leadership experience and a record of success in building a brand, strengthening links to the community, and generating philanthropic support.

The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic fundraiser with the demonstrated ability to secure philanthropic support and the willingness to devote substantial time and effort to revenue development.  S/he will have excellent listening skills, oral and written communication ability, and interpersonal skills.

The successful candidate will have strong human resource and financial management skills.  S/he will have a track record for achieving budget goals.  S/he will have the demonstrated ability to build customer loyalty, develop brand awareness, and increase audience size, diversity, and demand.

The successful candidate will have a passion and enthusiasm for music, orchestras, and live performance.  S/he will welcome the opportunity to play a leadership role in the greater Rochester community as the RPO moves toward its centennial celebration.


Compensation, including benefits, is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.

How to Apply / Contact
Please send a cover letter outlining interest and qualifications with resume, salary history or requirements, and contact information for at least three references.  Electronic submissions are preferred.  All applications will be treated as confidential and references will not be called without the candidate’s knowledge and agreement.

Please send materials to:

Rochester Philharmonic – President Search

c/o Catherine French Group

2500 Q Street NW, Suite 623

Washington, DC  20007

Upload your CV/resume or any other relevant file. Max. file size: 32 MB.

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