Chief Artistic Officer

Music Academy of the West 
Search for the Chief Artistic Officer

Santa Barbara, California

The Music Academy of the West (the Academy), a world-renowned summer school and festival for young classically-trained musicians, is seeking a Chief Artistic Officer (CAO). Located on the beautiful southern California coastline, the Academy offers a one of a kind educational and performing experience for students with faculty, guest artists, and conductors from the top conservatories and orchestras globally. The CAO, in concert with administration and faculty, will take the artistic vision of the Academy to new heights, further developing it into an integrated, year-round training center for the next generation of classical musicians. As the Academy has grown in prestige and influence, this individual will continue to build upon the organization’s successes and incredible artistic assets, and further the Academy’s position as a top tier summer festival and educational institution for the international community.

The Academy employs 50 faculty-in-residence who teach and perform alongside guest artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Currently, the Academy presents more than 200 public educational and performing events each summer, including masterclasses, orchestra and chamber music concerts, competitions, and a fully-staged opera. Central to these efforts is the summer festival program, where the Academy offers an eight-week, highly immersive, tuition free training program for 140 artist fellows ages 18-34 who study and perform alongside musicians at the top of their fields.

Moving forward, the Academy has ambitious plans for growth. It has announced a new artistic exchange partnership with the London Symphony Orchestra and recently instituted a set of alumni awards, which provide funding for former fellows to pursue independent and entrepreneurial projects. It has plans in place to develop a youth choral program in Santa Barbara and the surrounding community. The Chief Artistic Officer will work to further galvanize and build out these efforts, and identify additional possibilities for growth. With a rare combination of both immense artistic and administrative talent and institutional endowment, the Academy is an ideal laboratory for artistic innovation. The next CAO should leverage these assets and capture the imagination of all stakeholders, creating and implementing the next phase of the Academy’s artistic future.

The ideal candidate will be a partner to the President, an exceptional colleague and manager, and an artistic visionary and entrepreneur capable of developing new lines of business. To be successful, the CAO must address a number of key opportunities and challenges, including:

  • In collaboration with the administration and faculty, craft the Academy’s year-round artistic vision and program;
  • Foster a culture of consultation and collaboration;
  • Build new revenue streams and audience support; and
  • Continue to build out partnerships and community outreach programs, increasing the prominence and visibility of the Academy including the summer school and festival and a 12-month calendar of programs and activities.

The Music Academy of the West has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. Screening of complete applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. For more details, including the full position profile and to submit inquiries, nominations, referrals, and applications, please see the Isaacson, Miller website for the search: Electronic submission of materials is required.

Regan Gough, Brett Barbour, and Sunny Zhang

Isaacson, Miller

1000 Sansome Street, Suite 300

San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: 415.655.4900