The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP): Artistic Director

Artistic Director Job Opening


for Conductor and Artistic Director (AD)

The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP), San Francisco’s most long-standing and largest new music ensemble comprised of highly skilled musicians performing innovative contemporary classical music, seeks an experienced candidate to lead the organization as its new conductor and Artistic Director (AD). SFCMP is in search of a dynamic AD who will be committed to advancing its mission in the San Francisco Bay Area through his or her artistic vision and leadership. The Board and Players have formed a search committee to recruit and appoint the next AD, who will become the eighth in the organization’s 46-year history.

The Artistic Director’s key responsibilities include the following.


  • To serve as the public face of the organization.
  • To be an advocate for the ensemble and for new music in general.
  • To lead the organization to carry out its mission and to achieve the goals defined by the Board of Directors, including positioning the ensemble at the forefront of contemporary music ensembles in the United States and abroad.
  • To articulate in a clear and compelling way SFCMP artistic goals, plans, and rationale.
  • To participate in educational and outreach programming.


  • To program outstanding concerts, drawing on repertoire that carries out the diversity and guiding principles of SFCMP’s Organization Artistic Values and Goals statement.
  • To program outstanding community and educational events that will involve both the initiated and the uninitiated in new music and/or enrich the concert experience for them.
  • To develop season concerts, community, and educational activities in alignment with the organization’s budget, strategic, and marketing goals.
  • To research new repertoire and developments in contemporary music, including staying abreast of what is being performed and recorded by leading new music ensembles.
  • To seek and obtain new opportunities for performances by the ensemble.
  • To plan major projects such as commissions, recordings, broadcasts, and artistic collaborations.
  • To submit artistic plans on a timely basis, including providing accurate projections of the rehearsal time, and other resources needed for working with the Artistic Production Director to develop program budgets and schedules.
  • To write narrative descriptions for the season to be used for grant writing and promotion.
  • To review and respond in a timely manner to repertoire suggested by the Artistic Planning Committee, the musicians, and other sources.


  • To set and uphold the highest artistic standards for the ensemble.
  • To lead rehearsals, performances, and recordings, including works to be performed without a conductor.
  • To prepare thoroughly for rehearsals and make effective use of rehearsal time.
  • To write conductor’s notes for each concert.
  • To facilitate the “How Music is Made” composer talks and open dress rehearsals.
  • To participate in community and educational activities, including but not limited to presenting master classes, student lectures, and leading students in a side-by-side mentoring program.
  • To preview each concert’s program notes to ensure they communicate an accurate understanding of the music, its background, and context.


  • To maintain good working relationships with all stakeholders in the SFCMP community.
  • To maintain good working relationships with ensemble musicians; to inspire and encourage them to take ownership in, and have loyalty to, the ensemble and its programs.
  • To work closely with the Executive Director (ED), including consulting with the ED during the development of season programming.
  • To work closely with the Artistic Production Director to implement musician personnel decisions.
  • To work closely with the Artistic Production Director to ensure the vision for each production is realized for each performance, community, and educational event.
  • To maintain a working partnership with the Board by participating in Board meetings and through individual communications with Board members, including keeping the Board informed about the ensemble’s artistic endeavors and challenges and their significance.
  • To foster open communication and cooperation between musicians, Board, and staff.
  • To keep the Artistic Planning Committee apprised in a timely manner of artistic plans and personnel issues.
  • To help the Board Development Committee recruit additional Board members to fill specific needs.
  • To work collaboratively with the Players Committees.


  • To utilize ensemble personnel in accordance with SFCMP’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with American Federation of Musicians Union Local 6.
  • To select temporary ensemble members and guest artists in accordance with the CBA.
  • To approve the hiring and firing of all musicians in accordance with the CBA.
  • To adhere to the organization’s policy for contracts with visiting artists.
  • To work closely with the Players Committee to ensure transparency in communications.


  • To support and participate in fundraising activities on behalf of the organization.
  • To write donor appeal letters as requested.
  • To accompany board members and/or the Executive Director to selective meetings with major institutional funders, individual donors as well as prospective donors.
  • To work with the Board of Directors and Executive Director to cultivate individual, government, foundation, and corporate donors.


  • To help the ensemble achieve its audience-building goals through innovative programming, engaging and informative pre-concert talks, and educational and community outreach programs, as well as making one-on-one contact with individual audience members.
  • To help make our educational outreach programs national models for such activities.
  • To establish good relationships with artistic leaders in the Bay Area, nationally, and internationally.


Minimum qualifications:

  • Demonstrated excellence as a conductor with 5+ years’ experience
  • 5+ years’ experience as an artistic director of a classical music ensemble
  • Demonstrated excellence in contemporary classical music programming
  • Excellent writing skills
  • Excellent public speaking skills
  • Awareness of SFCMP’s brand and place in the local community as well as in the international new music community
  • Evidence of being deeply committed to upholding and further developing SFCMP’s mission
  • Demonstrated success in raising funds from individual donors
  • Demonstrated leadership in audience development

Preferred qualifications:

  • Resident of or seeking to establish a permanent residence address in the San Jose-San Francisco-Oakland, CA or Sacramento-Roseville Combined Statistical Areas as defined here
  • Self-motivated and energetic
  • Excellent time-management and organizational skills with attention to detail
  • Strategic, creative, and innovative thinker
  • Strong leadership and decision-making skills
  • Financial responsibility and impeccable ethics
  • Ability to thrive in high-pressure situations
  • Ability to work long hours, especially on concert weekends, and occasionally travel


San Francisco Contemporary Music Players has an annual operating budget of approximately $365,000.  The production budget is $165,000. This budget is based on our current template of a 5-concert season and could fluctuate as project grants are received.


Compensation for the salaried Artistic Director is competitive and is based on a minimum 5-concert season. As required by law, SFCMP contributes to workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, social security, and Medicare for the employee. SFCMP currently does not provide medical, life, or disability insurance or a retirement plan.

  • Reports to: SFCMP Board of Directors.
  • Employee Type: Salaried, Exempt, Part-time.
  • Appointment Duration: The first term is a 3-year appointment. The position is reviewed annually.
  • This salaried, part-time position is budgeted at $40,000 annually.
  • Support for relocation to the San Francisco Bay Area is negotiable.
  • Interview travel expenses are not reimbursed.


  • SFCMP currently holds a minimum of 5 performances per year. Three of the five performances take place over a 2-day period in festival style. The number of performances in future seasons could fluctuate upward depending upon annual grant funding.
  • Rehearsals are typically held for three full days leading up to each concert event day.
  • Educational and community events take place before each concert.
  • Other duties include Board Meetings, Artistic Planning Committee meetings, and regular meetings with the Executive Director and staff, conducted via web meetings and/or in-person.


  • Those who meet the minimum qualifications.
  • U.S. Citizen, Lawful Permanent Resident, or legally authorized to work in the U.S. without sponsorship.


  1. In-person interviews will be held in San Francisco the week of April 24-29, 2017.
  2. Rehearsals with the ensemble will be held in San Francisco with the ensemble on May 10 and 11, 2017 from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Finalist candidates must be available to lead a 1-hour rehearsal on each day. Musical scores will be provided in advance.
  3. The interim appointment for Artistic Director will begin on January 1, 2018. Permanent appointment begins on July 1, 2018.


March 31, 2017 at midnight, PST.


Send an email to with the following information.

All information is required.

  • A resume or CV
  • Three references including name, affiliation, phone number, and email address
  • A 2-page statement communicating your 3-year vision for SFCMP. Discuss why you feel you would be a good fit as SFCMP’s next Artistic Director.
  • Submit two sample 60-70 minute contemporary classical music programs:
    1. One conducted with largest piece(s) being for 10-12 players
    2. A program of non-conducted works for ensembles of 3-6 players
  • Up to three videos demonstrating your conducting skills. The video(s) must be submitted via website link(s)

Combine your documents into one PDF packet

No phone calls please

San Francisco Contemporary Music Players is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of qualifications. Policy prohibits unlawful discrimination in any employment decision based on pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, race, religious creed, color, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, age, sexual orientation, gender, or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law or ordinance or regulation.

Submission of your application is not an offer of employment or an employment contract.



The San Francisco Contemporary Music Players (SFCMP) is San Francisco’s most long-standing and largest new music ensemble comprised of highly skilled musicians performing innovative contemporary classical music. We nourish the creation and dissemination of new works through high-quality musical performances, commissions, and community outreach. We promote the music of composers from across cultures and stylistic traditions who are creating a vast and vital 21st century musical language. We seek to share these experiences with as many people as possible, both in and outside of traditional concert settings.

SFCMP was founded by Jean-Louis LeRoux, Marcella DeCray and Charles Boone in March 1971 and incorporated as a nonprofit in August 1974.  Across its history, SFCMP has been led by seven Artistic Directors and seven Executive Directors with continuous support and oversight by an active Board of Directors.

The organization is comprised of a Board of Directors, 24 union musicians, 1 part-time Artistic Director,1 full-time Executive Director, 1 part-time Artistic Production Director; 1 part-time Marketing and Communications Director, 1 part-time Production Assistant and a Marketing Intern.


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