Music@Menlo is an internationally acclaimed chamber music festival and institute in the San Francisco Bay Area that operates as a self-funding program of the Menlo School, a California 501(c)3 nonprofit public benefit corporation. Founded in 2003 by renowned musicians and visionary arts leaders, David Finckel and Wu Han, the organization is known for its high artistic standards and in-depth educational programs. Audiences experience top-tier performances, and young musicians study and perform chamber music under the guidance of world-class faculty members.
With a mission to engage and sustain an audience for chamber music, programmed and presented at the highest levels of excellence, and to provide talented young musicians with comprehensive educational opportunities, Music@Menlo offers a broad range of artistic and educational programs. Its community engagement programs include AudioNotes, an innovative series of preconcert listener guides, Café Conversations, a series of free and informal discussions that explore music, art, and culture, and the Encounter Lecture series, which offer a wide range of opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage with chamber music.
Every summer, a three-week festival is presented, featuring thematic concerts performed by world-class musicians. The 2022 Summer Festival explored the life, times, and music of Haydn, and the 2023 Summer Festival celebrated Beethoven’s work and legacy in parallel with the unfolding of chamber music history. The 2024 Summer Festival will take place July 19 through August 10, and the festival theme, artists, and programs will be announced on February 10. Music@Menlo performances take place in unique concert spaces on the campus of Menlo School, one of the country’s leading college preparatory independent schools with a strong commitment to the arts. Venues include the state-of-the-art Spieker Center for the Arts, Stent Family Hall’s intimate Spieker Ballroom, and Martin Family Hall, a versatile multimedia facility.
Music@Menlo provides exceptional training for talented young musicians through its summer Chamber Music Institute, which runs concurrently with the festival. The institute is comprised of two programs, the Young Performers Program for advanced string players and pianists ages ten to nineteen, and the International Program, for pre-professional string players and pianists ages twenty to thirty. The programs offer participants a rich, immersive experience, and a unique opportunity to study in a rigorous, nurturing environment where they explore advanced chamber music repertoire. Students develop their technical and interpretive skills under the tutelage of world-class musicians, engaging in rehearsals, masterclasses, seminars, and performances. Many Chamber Music Alumni have forged successful careers on the chamber music world stage and now lead dozens of internationally renowned festivals and ensembles.
In addition to its summer activities, Music@Menlo presents special events, performances, and community outreach year-round. Upcoming events include the 2024 Season Announcement and an exploration of classical music written for cinema. The annual Winter Residency Program also brings a group of Music@Menlo artists to the Menlo School campus to engage with students for a series of enriching classroom sessions and performances. The artists, alumni of Music@Menlo’s Chamber Music Institute, work with Menlo School faculty to create lesson plans that integrate the art and history of classical music with the students’ own curriculum.
Music@Menlo is advised by an eight-member board of directors, of which one member is typically a liaison Menlo School trustee. The Executive Director reports to the Chief Financial Officer of Menlo School and oversees six full-time staff that comprises a Director Artistic Administration, Communications Director, Development Director, Business and Operations Manager, and two Development Associates, all of whom are employees of Menlo School. The Executive Director and staff collaborate closely with the Artistic Directors, who are primarily based on the East Coast. For the fiscal year ending September 30, 2023, annual revenues were $2.35 million with approximately $1.9 million from contributions and grants, and $450,000 in earned revenue. For the 2024 fiscal year, the total annual revenue and expenses are budgeted at $2.4 million.
Nestled in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area, the local Menlo Park-Atherton area is a vibrant community offering a unique combination of small-town charm and big-city amenities. The region is home to corporate headquarters of global tech leaders including Meta, Google, Nvidia, and Apple. Cultural institutions in Menlo Park include the Allied Arts Guild, a beautiful and tranquil garden oasis featuring boutique shops and art exhibitions, and The Guild Theatre, a music and event performance space bringing eclectic live music and entertainment to the town.
The proximity to Stanford University and other educational institutions provides families with access to world-leading academics, arts, and medical facilities. The Rodin Sculpture Garden and Cantor Arts Center at Stanford house an exciting collection of art, and the local area offers family-centric activities, including the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose and CuriOdyssey Science Museum. With San Francisco just thirty miles north, the San Francisco Symphony, San Francisco Opera, SFMOMA, Exploratorium, and de Young Museum are just a car or train ride away.
Averaging 265 sunny days a year, there are plentiful outdoor activities to enjoy in the region. Well-maintained local parks and playgrounds are dotted amongst biking trails, and Bayland wildlife preserves provide waterfront tranquility. For those who enjoy hiking and wildlife, dozens of local trails offer serene redwood groves and breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Weekly farmers markets are popular gathering spots, with fresh produce, artisanal goods, and delicious food trucks. In addition, the area’s vibrant dining scene includes charming restaurants and cafés, and its proximity to San Francisco and San Jose ensures easy access to world-class dining, shopping, plus sporting and entertainment events.
Demographically, Menlo Park comprises a population of nearly 35,000. Approximately 60% are White, 17% are Hispanic, 16% are Asian, and the remainder are mixed or other races.
Sources: menlopark.org; california.com; census.gov.
In partnership with the Artistic Directors and under the advisement of the board of directors, the Executive Director of Music@Menlo will be responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the organization with a focus on financial management, fundraising, community engagement, and administrative leadership. They will play a pivotal role in developing and implementing artistic and operational initiatives, and foster close relationships with artists, donors, and community members. Executive Director will oversee a small, dedicated staff, working as a collaborative leader with the team, board, and Menlo School, to ensure that Music@Menlo offers concerts, events, and training opportunities of the highest artistic quality.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Vision and Fiscal Oversight
- Lead the development and implementation of a strategic vision and business plan ensuring there is alignment between the organizational mission and its artistic objectives.
- Contribute to impactful and effective marketing strategies which serve to promote the festival and institute, increase its visibility and attendance, and ensure communications align with Music@Menlo’s mission and identity.
- Support the Artistic Directors in creating educational programs and initiatives which deepen audience engagement and appreciation of chamber music history and repertoire.
- Create comprehensive goals, policies, and procedures, which ensure the long-term growth and sustainability of the festival and institute.
- Develop and manage the budget, conduct financial analysis, ensure accurate reporting, and monitor cash flow, in order to ensure the organization’s financial well-being.
- Create and maintain financial policies and procedures to mitigate financial risks.
- Embrace other strategic leadership responsibilities, as needed.
Donor Relations and Community Engagement
- Conceptualize and implement fundraising strategies that ensure Music@Menlo strengthens its financial sustainability through contributed income and authentic donor relationships.
- Identify and secure new and diverse sources of funding at all levels of the donor pyramid, including individual donors, corporate sponsorships, foundation grants, and government funds.
- Foster relationships with musicians, donors, funders, audiences, and other stakeholders, enhancing Music@Menlo’s brand and reputation throughout the community and beyond.
- Cultivate and deepen strategic partnerships within local communities while also identifying opportunities for artistic collaborations nationally and internationally.
- Embrace other fundraising and community engagement responsibilities, as needed.
Organizational Leadership and Board Governance
- Oversee all administrative activities related to the festival, institute, and other Music@Menlo events, including logistics, venue management, and contract negotiations.
- Manage the recruitment, training, and supervision of staff, providing support, guidance, and professional growth opportunities.
- Partner with Menlo School’s Chief Financial Officer and other key staff members to enhance the relationship between Music@Menlo and Menlo School, and ensure that Music@Menlo remains a collaborative and valued partner of the school.
- Collaborate with the board of directors to set and implement strategic goals and objectives, leveraging their expertise and networks where appropriate.
- Provide regular and comprehensive updates to the board of directors, including financial reports and projections, and reports on other administrative matters.
- Identify, cultivate, and recruit new board members.
- Embrace other organizational and board governance responsibilities, as needed.
Traits and Characteristics
The Executive Director will be a dynamic and dedicated leader who inspires others with their energy and vision, as well as a highly skilled communicator. The successful candidate will be a passionate advocate for chamber music, community engagement, and arts education programs. As an innovative and entrepreneurial thinker who is receptive to new ideas and approaches, they will be resourceful in establishing and achieving clear, strategic goals. A mission-driven, ethical, and collaborative individual, the Executive Director will be capable of building authentic internal and external relationships to ensure the festival, institute, and organization offer a vibrant and collaborative atmosphere.
Other key competencies include:
- Customer Focus and Teamwork – The ability to anticipate, meet, and/or exceed customer needs, wants, and expectation, while cooperating with others to meet objectives.
- Collaborative Leadership –The capacity to work collaboratively with the Artistic Directors, board of directors, staff, school, and other constituencies, and to engage the entire team to address issues constructively and creatively.
- Time and Priority Management – The dexterity to prioritize and complete tasks in order to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames.
- Personal Accountability and Interpersonal Skills – The acumen to be answerable for personal actions, while effectively communicating, building rapport, and relating well to all kinds of people.
The successful candidate will demonstrate a proven track record of senior management leadership in the arts and culture sector, ideally within a music organization. Knowledge of and passion for classical music, as well as a commitment to arts education, is critical. Strong financial acumen, fundraising skills, and a proven ability to build and maintain strong relationships with a diverse range of community members is required. Exceptional organizational, project management, and communication skills are expected. A bachelor’s or higher degree in music, arts administration, business, or a related field (or equivalent work experience), is desired.
Compensation and Benefits
Music@Menlo offers a competitive and equitable compensation package, including an annual salary range of $180,000 - $220,000. Benefits include paid vacation, sick leave, personal days, and holidays; medical, dental, and vision plans; disability and life insurances; and a retirement plan with a generous employer contribution. Further details on benefits can be found here.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/opensearches. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Geoff Chang, Vice President
501 West Broadway, Suite A-582
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 218
Music@Menlo and Menlo School are committed to a policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity for all employees and qualified applicants. We administer all personnel practices without regard to race, color, religion, sex, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status or domestic partnership status, disability, protected veteran status or military status, genetic information, or any other category protected under applicable law.
At Music@Menlo and at Menlo School, equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging are at the core of our organizational identity. Through our daily efforts, we demonstrate a shared commitment to the development of all stakeholders by supporting a campus ethos where equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging reflect the major cornerstones of our community.
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