Recruiting exceptional leaders for mission-driven organizations.

President and Chief Executive Officer Detroit, MI

The Board of Directors of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) seeks a visionary, experienced, and engaging leader to serve as the next President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO). A pillar of the Detroit arts and cultural community for more than 130 years, the DSO is an internationally acclaimed orchestra known for its industry leadership, artistic excellence, innovative programming, oneDSO culture, and an unwavering commitment to community, education and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Under the leadership of the Board of Directors and President and CEO Anne Parsons, who will be retiring in late 2022 after 18 years of unparalleled service, the DSO has undergone a remarkable period of growth and transformation. Like the city of Detroit itself, the DSO has a storied and exciting history and has flourished despite the economic challenges of the past. Through careful financial stewardship, artistic collaboration, and entrepreneurship, the DSO has achieved an operating surplus for the eighth consecutive year and grown its programming and fundraising efforts substantially. Today, the organization has reaffirmed itself as a strong, vibrant, relevant, and essential institution ready to embrace its next chapter.

Known as America’s most accessible orchestra, the DSO is a leader in digital innovation, culturally inclusive programming that celebrates African American and women composers and musicians, and comprehensive education, training, and outreach programs that connect with, and celebrate, the diversity of the surrounding community. In this next era, the DSO aims for even greater artistic heights with a deep commitment to diverse genres of music and support of artists and staff of the highest caliber, a culture of inclusion, and programming that celebrates the social, cultural, and economic diversity of our world today.

Deeply rooted in a city and the surrounding region, with a rich musical legacy and a vibrant multi-cultural population, the DSO is uniquely positioned to leverage the healing power of music in revitalizing neighborhoods, transforming communities, and enhancing civic life. In addition, having recently hired a new Music Director, Jader Bignamini, the DSO is poised for continued excellence. Furthermore, with the emergence of ever diversifying Michigan economy and a rich art and cultural scene in Detroit, there is a great philanthropic opportunity and ability to expand the DSO’s impact.

Together with the Board of Directors, the Music Director, the musicians, professional staff, and the community, the next President and CEO will lead the DSO to new levels of artistic and creative prominence. In order to be successful, the CEO will be expected to address the following key opportunities and challenges:

  • Craft a bold vision for the future of a 21st-century community-engaged orchestra
  • Deliver upon the DSO’s commitment to inclusive excellence and enhance the oneDSO culture
  • Continue the successful launch of the new Music Director
  • Achieve greater financial stability through ambitious fundraising, including an endowment campaign, and resource diversification
  • Further inspire audiences and transform communities in Detroit through innovative outreach and engagement initiatives
  • Partner and engage meaningfully with the Board to support DSO’s governance and development efforts

Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the completion of the search process. Please submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications below in confidence. Electronic submission of materials is required.

Regan Gough and Ben Tobin are leading this search with Phuong Ta.

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