Music Director Search: Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony

JOB TITLE: Music Director

The Music Director functions as the principal conductor, artistic head and public face of the
organization. As the public face of the organization he/she serves as an advocate and
ambassador representing the orchestra to the community. The Music Director reports directly to
the Board of Directors through the Board Chair.

Founded in 1945, the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony is committed to performing at the highest
international level, inspiring young people to actively engage in music, to presenting music in
new and relevant ways, and to redefining what an orchestra is today. With 100 concerts each
season, 52 professional musicians and a nationally recognized Youth Orchestra program, the
KWS plays a vital role in presenting great music to diverse audiences across the region and


1. Conducting Skills
• Interpretive skills and instincts developed and honed through sequential and increasingly
demanding performance experiences as a conductor.
• Advanced aural skills to deal with complex problems of orchestral intonation, balance, and
color; advanced skills in sight-reading and transposition, especially as applied to the
preparation of orchestral scores for performance.
• Detailed knowledge and understanding of all instruments used in orchestral performance;
functional keyboard skills.
• Practical experience in the art of composition is required. This means an awareness of the
creative process and its choices, systems, and procedures.
• Advanced skills in musical analysis based on professional competence in counterpoint,
harmony, composition, musical structures, and orchestration. These skills must be
integrated to provide the basis of artistic interpretation and the preparation of scores for
• Demonstrated mastery of various musical styles; an awareness of how to discern the effects
of time, place, personality, and relevant performance practice upon the way a work should
sound, and an understanding of how it should be played to achieve the intended effect.
• Baton technique: Ability to maintain continuity of rhythm, line, structure, and interpretive
integrity in the overall performance of a work while evoking and controlling response using
gestures at all levels of musical detail.
• Ability to communicate effectively with the musicians of the orchestra, both in and out of
rehearsal, engendering an environment conducive to a satisfying professional experience
and performances of high quality. • Comprehensive knowledge of the orchestral repertoire, as well as chamber orchestra, opera,
ballet, and choral/orchestral repertoire; detailed knowledge of scores forming the basic
literature of each historical period of orchestral performance.
• Comprehensive knowledge of the history of music and its relationship to Western
• Sufficient language skills to coach singers in French, German, Italian, Latin, Russian, and
Spanish; ability to read music source materials in original languages.

2. Artistic Director
• Ability and desire to assume a creative leadership role within the complex structure of
relationships within the organization.
• Adherence to principles fairness and sensitivity in all matters pertaining to orchestra
personnel such as auditions, terminations, and seating, etc.
• The judgment, imagination, and practical sense to create balanced programs of
significance to the ensemble, the occasion, and the community.
• Knowledge of current solo artists, contemporary music, and performance practices.
• Functional knowledge of and respect for the orchestra’s administrative/business operation,
including governance, fund raising, and marketing/public relations.
• An understanding of musician governance structure and practice and collective bargaining
• Ability to work collaboratively with management, boards, volunteers, and members of the

3. Community Artistic Leader
• A compelling vision of the impact an orchestra can have on its community, and an ability
to realize that potential through programming, engaging the corporate and private audience
and engaging in various forms of activities such as education and outreach programs.
• Awareness of the role the orchestra plays in a changing society.
• Ability to serve as an influential community advocate for the organization.
• An aptitude for good public and personal relations.
• Effective public speaking skills.
• Ability to act with maturity and discretion in sensitive issues.
• Awareness of political processes and the development of public policy.
• Ability to assess the environment in which the orchestra performs and understand the
implications of that environment for the orchestra’s goals and objectives.

The successful candidate will have a University Degree, with a Masters in the performing arts
and at least 10+ years of experience conducting professional orchestras. The ideal candidate
will have prior experience as a Music Director with a professional orchestra. Working knowledge
of German, Italian and French and languages is desirable; composition and arranging skills are
strongly recommended.

Please send resume and cover letter to the attention of Amy Higgins, Administration Manager, 36 King St. West, Kitchener, ON N2G 1A3.


About this entry