Symphony and Orchestra Careers

Careers in Symphony and Orchestra


Alternate Titles: Chief Conductor, Principle Conductor, Maestro, Music Director

Job Description: Conductors lead orchestras, operas, and other musical ensembles during live performances.

Salary: $15,000-$275,000+

Become a Conductor


Alternate Titles: Section Leader, 1st Violinist

Job Description: Leads an entire section of the orchestra, performs solos, tunes their section of the orchestra.

Salary: $95,000 to $517,000+

Become a Concertmaster/Concertmistress

Section Leader

Alternate Titles: Principal Player

Job Description: Leads a section of the orchestra, sometimes supervises rehearsals with the section, and assigns parts to musicians.

Salary: $28,000 to $143,000+

Become a Section Leader

Section Member

Alternate Titles: Classical Musician, Section Player

Job Description: Plays an instrument in the orchestra.

Salary: $28,000 to $143,000

Become a Section Member

Opera Singer

Alternate Titles: Singer, Classical Singer, Soprano, Mezzosoprano, Tenor, Countertenor, Baritone, Bass

Job Description: An Opera Singer sings and acts out operatic pieces in a theatrical setting.

Salary: $450 to $1,000+ per performance

Become an Opera Singer

Managing Director

Alternate Titles: Executive Director, Chief Administrator

Job Description: Handles the administrative duties of the orchestra.

Salary: $24,000 to $1,000,000+

Become a Managing Director

Orchestra Manager

Alternate Titles: Assistant Manager, Operations Manager

Job Description: Assistant to Managing Director. Negotiates musical orchestra performer contracts.

Salary: $26,000 to $100,000+

Become an Orchestra Manager

Symphony Business Manager

Alternate Titles: Management Official

Job Description: Oversees orchestra’s financial affairs, prepares and distributes payroll.

Salary: $25,000 to $85,000+

Become a Symphony Business Manager

Director of Development

Alternate Titles: Fundraising Director

Job Description: Coordinates annual activities and campaigns, and establishes relationships with donors.

Salary: $25,000 to $90,000+

Become a Director of Development

Director of Public Relations

Alternate Titles: PR Director, Director of Press Relations, Publicity Director

Job Description: Coordinates press and promotions of orchestra, may handle advertising.

Salary: $30,000 to $75,000+

Become a Director of Public Relations

Subscriptions and Ticket Service Director

Alternate Titles: Head of Subscriptions, Ticket Service Director

Job Description: Obtains new subscribers for the orchestra, renews subscribers, records ticket sales.

Salary: $24,000 to $49,000+

Become a Subscriptions and Ticket Service Director

Director of Educational Activities

Alternate Titles: Education Director

Job Description: Coordinates programs for students, acclimates youth with classical music, helps secure a future

in classical music.

Salary: $24,000 to $50,000+

Become a Director of Educational Activities

Personnel Director

Alternate Titles: Personnel Manager

Job Description: Distributes notices for career opportunities within the orchestra, screens applicants, maintains applications and potential candidates on file.

Salary: $26,000 to $65,000+

Become a Personnel Director

Orchestral Music Librarian

Alternate Titles: Librarian

Job Description: Catalogs and orders music for the orchestra, assists Conductor by copying scores and sheet music.

Salary: $40,000 and up

Become an Orchestral Music Librarian

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