Portland Symphony (Maine) Music Director


Job Title:  Music Director

Organization/orchestra name:
Portland (Maine) Symphony Orchestra

Who we are
The Portland Symphony Orchestra was established in 1924 and is a fully professional per-service orchestra with the mission of serving its community by enriching lives through music. The Portland Symphony Orchestra aspires to be the finest regional orchestra in the country.

Who we seek
The Portland Symphony seeks an outstanding musician and conductor, dedicated to artistic excellence, community relationships, and lifelong musical learning. An inspirational leader to musicians and audiences alike, this person will be an excellent communicator, collaborator, and listener.

The ideal candidate will have a deep understanding of composers and their repertoire, the current musical climate, and a proven ability to craft powerful musical experiences while remaining fiscally responsible. This person will have a strongly developed network in the industry, a familiarity with and ability to attract high-caliber artists to the Portland Symphony. The Music Director will have a keen ability to enthusiastically articulate the mission and artistic vision of the organization in the community and beyond.

Duties and responsibilities
The Music Director is responsible for:

  • Serving as the orchestra’s artistic leader and conductor
  • Building and growing the orchestra’s visibility, accessibility, and position both in the community and nationally
  • Creating artistic seasons and developing a long-range artistic plan in collaboration with the Artistic Planning Committee
  • Inspiring and engaging PSO Musicians and Audiences
  • Serving as a passionate advocate for music education
  • Serving as a mentor for PSO conducting staff positions
  • Engaging current and potential supporters through fundraising and relationship-building
  • Respecting pertinent financial and organizational capacities
  • Collaborating with the administration, musicians and board to carry out stated responsibilities


  • Conducting abilities at the highest professional and artistic level
  • Thorough understanding of the core orchestral literature and styles, and awareness of the broader repertoire
  • Experience and ability in collaboratively developing inspired programming that supports the artistic vision of the orchestra
  • Ability to grow the orchestra through both effective rehearsals and judicious personnel decisions

Compensation: Negotiable

Benefits offered: Competitive Benefits

Organizational Overview

The PSO is the largest performing arts organization in Maine, with a strong reputation for artistic quality. Operating for seven consecutive seasons in the black, the PSO has proven to be a fiscally responsible organization. The PSO’s Strategic Plan—collaboratively created by over one hundred community members, Musicians, Staff, and Trustees— ensures that the organization will continue to serve as an artistic leader and play a vital role in the region.

The PSO is a per service orchestra with an annual operating budget of $3.3 million that currently performs:

  • 6 Tuesday Classical*
  • 5 Sunday Classical*
  • 4 Pops (two performances of each program)
  • 12 Magic of Christmas performances
  • 3 Discovery Concerts
  • 4 Youth Concerts (two programs per season)
  • 50+ KinderKonzerts and arts integration programs (musician-led chamber music presentations)

*Some Sunday/Tuesday Classical programs are presented in pairs; the full Classical cycle represents 8 unique programs.

The majority of PSO concerts are held at the beautifully restored and acoustically superb Merrill Auditorium in Portland. Merrill Auditorium has a seating capacity of 1,900. The 83 members of the Portland Symphony Orchestra are drawn from Maine, Boston, New Hampshire, and the Atlantic Region. PSO’s musicians are affiliated with the Regional Orchestra Players Association (ROPA) and the Boston Musicians’ Association, Local 9-535.

Located on the magnificent Maine coast, Portland is the state’s largest urban and cultural center. Listed by multiple publications as a “best place to live,” Portland offers an internationally acclaimed culinary scene, year-round recreation opportunities from sailing to skiing, a diverse art scene, and a walkable, vibrant downtown. Portland, Maine, has emerged as a magnet for artists, entrepreneurs, professionals, and young families due to its unparalleled livability. Within driving distance to Boston and New York, Portland is geographically accessible to major metropolitan areas.

“Our city offers a rare combination of arts and cultural venues, award-winning local food establishments, outdoor recreation, and business and economic opportunities.”  – Portland Mayor Michael F. Brennan (2011 – 2015)

Date posted: February 23, 2016

Application deadline: May 15, 2016

Contact name: Leah Puleio, Director of Artistic Operations

Contact e-mail: PSOMDSearch@gmail.com

Orchestra website: http://www.portlandsymphony.com

Application procedure: email cover letter and resume to Leah Puleio atPSOMDSearch@gmail.com in PDF or .doc format. Please do not send videos or any other electronic media. Selected candidates may be asked to provide a video for consideration at a later date.     

An Equal Opportunity Employer: It is the policy of the Portland Symphony Orchestra to provide all persons with equal employment opportunities without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, handicap, age, or Veteran status.

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