The Executive Director of The Knights and its umbrella organization, Music Forward, is a strategic, entrepreneurial leader who works in tandem with The Knights’ Co-Artistic Directors and Board of Trustees to provide leadership and drive revenue growth, managing the artistic, human, and financial resources of an ambitious and creative orchestral collective at home in New York City and on tour across the US and abroad.
Reporting to the Board of Trustees and Artistic Directors, s/he oversees an annual budget of approximately $2 million, a concert season of 25-30 performances per year, major domestic and international tours, recordings on major labels, and an expanding presence in NYC. Acting as the head of fundraising and strategic planning, s/he is responsible for maximizing both earned and contributed revenue and directing a campaign to ensure organizational sustainability. The Executive Director, with the support and collaboration of the General Manager/Administrator Director, will execute the goals and objectives of the Artistic Directors and Artistic Steering Committee. In addition, s/he engages the musicians of the orchestra and collaborates with two full-time staff members, including the General Manager/Administrative Director and the Development and Engagement Manager, as well as participants in the organization’s Arts Administration Internship program. The Executive Director serves as the chief communicator between The Knights and the community, guiding and overseeing all marketing and communications efforts.
Responsibilities include and are not limited to
In collaboration with the Board, Artistic Directors, staff and Musicians, lead organization in short- and long-term planning
Articulate and implement organization’s strategic vision and organizational goals
Fundraising and Revenue Enhancement
Build on existing individual and institutional relationships and develop new ones
Develop and implement fundraising strategies and proposals for support from individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies
Plan and execute a new campaign for sustainability of the orchestra and support for artistic growth
Apprise Board of all matters within the Executive Director’s scope of responsibility
Attend all meetings of the Board and committees and prepare and present reports as required
Assist in governance, development, and recruitment of new Board members
Oversee, in collaboration with the General Manager/Administrative Director:
Budgets and financial reports under guidance of the Treasurer of the Board
Day-to-day accounting and cash flow
Internal controls and collaborate with auditor in preparation of all tax filings
Payroll and timely payment of invoices
Securing necessary general liability insurance, directors and officers insurance, workers compensation, disability and other legal requirements as necessary
Negotiating all contracts with managing agents, booking representatives, presenters, and collaborating artists and composers
Work with Artistic Directors, General Manager, Staff, Musician Programming Committee, and Opus 3 Artists to plan artistically and financially well-balanced concert seasons, including NYC projects and tours
Create and communicate project budgets that meet artistic needs in context of Board-approved operating budget
Engage Musician Members in the leadership of the organization through committee and project work, as well as regular meetings and open communication
Attend all concerts and events in NYC and key engagements on tour; build relationships with presenters
Oversee Development & Engagement Director in creating program materials
Oversee General Manager/Administrative Director in production and tour planning
With Artistic Directors and Recording Committee, execute recording and digital media strategy to create and distribute traditional and unconventional recordings that promote the mission of The Knights
Maintain a regular presence in the office when not attending offsite meetings and appointments
Marketing and PR
Maintain The Knights’ brand consistently in all print and digital publications
Create and oversee public relations strategy in collaboration with 21C Media Group
Oversee Development and Engagement Manager and all creative partners in the creation of marketing and engagement strategies and print and digital content to promote Knights activities in NYC and worldwide
Competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience
Please send resume and cover letter to email@example.com with the subject heading “Executive Director.” The Knights are an equal opportunity employer, and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.
Qualifications Qualified applicants will have an undergraduate college degree and a post-graduate degree in music or arts administration, as well as 10-15 years of relevant experience in increasingly senior-level positions.
The successful candidate will be comfortable and confident in providing leadership to develop and execute comprehensive fundraising plans, including a campaign for organizational sustainability. An excellent knowledge of fiscal management is critical, including the ability to maximize earned income opportunities and increase contributed income. The ideal candidate is energetic, innovative and committed to the musicians and mission of the orchestra. S/he is knowledgeable about the field of classical music, and is experienced in the management of performing ensembles, budgeting and financial reporting, and marketing in print and on digital platforms. S/he interacts with collegiality, has an extensive background in building and motivating teams, and exhibits exemplary communication skills. S/he is flexible and adaptable, willing and able to accommodate and adjust to differing styles of management and communication. S/he is an adept negotiator. S/he is accomplished in building patron relations, has a demonstrated track record in fundraising with institutional and individual donors, and brings an established network of contacts throughout the field. Previous experience in the New York City performing arts community, while not essential, is important. S/he is proficient in Microsoft Office, Google Docs, Quickbooks, and PatronManager or other fundraising software.
This is a full-time position that involves nights and weekends based on the schedule of concert activity and events. Rehearsal and concert activity comprise approximately 12-14 weeks each season.
About The Knights
About the Knights
The Knights are a Grammy-nominated collection of adventurous musicians, dedicated to transforming the orchestral experience and eliminating barriers between audiences and music. Drawing on their classical roots and passion for artistic discovery, The Knights bring a spirit of curiosity and camaraderie to create adventurous programs and innovative collaborations that take them into parks, plazas, and bars as well as the world’s greatest concert halls. Having performed and recorded with such renowned soloists as Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Béla Fleck, and Gil Shaham, and appeared in venues including Vienna’s Musikverein and New York’s Carnegie Hall, The Knights are proud to be “an adventurous young orchestra that has established a strong reputation for polished performances and imaginative programming.” (The New York Times)
Recent highlights include a thrilling performance as part of the opening season of the new Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, where their performance was hailed as one of the venue’s best (Hamburg Abendetter). The Knights also appeared as the first American orchestra-in-residence at the Festival du Paques in Aix-en-Provence, performing multiple concerts... throughout the city, including programs with pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet and violinist Renaud Capucon. In addition, The Knights recently presented a fully-staged version of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide as part of his 100th birthday celebration at the Tanglewood Music Festival in Massachusetts, and premiered The Head and the Load, with international artist William Kentridge at London’s Tate Modern and New York’s Park Avenue Armory.
The Knights’ commitment to new music is unsurpassed. The past few seasons have seen them give world premiere performances of works by Kinan Azmeh and Judd Greenstein, the East Coast premiere of Vijay Iyer’s violin concerto Trouble, and the New York premiere of Sarah Kirkland Snider’s song cycle Unremembered, besides previewing excerpts from Chimera, a drag opera by Angélica Negrón. At the 2016 NY PHIL BIENNIAL, they joined the San Francisco Girls Chorus and Brooklyn Youth Chorus for a program of world premieres by Rome Prize-winner Lisa Bielawa, Pulitzer Prize-winner Aaron Jay Kernis, and Knights co-founder Colin Jacobsen.
The Knights have made two recordings for Warner Classics: the ground beneath our feet, which showcases their first original group composition, and Azul, a celestial-themed collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma. Their discography also features Gabriel Kahane’s song cycle Crane Palimpsest, with the composer on vocals, and Prokofiev’s Second Violin Concerto, recorded with Gil Shaham for his Grammy-nominated album 1930s Violin Concertos, Vol. 2.
The Knights evolved out of friendly late-night chamber music sessions at the home of violinist Colin Jacobsen and cellist Eric Jacobsen. Since the orchestra’s incorporation in 2007, the brothers have served as its artistic directors, with Eric Jacobsen as conductor. The Knights’ roster boasts remarkably diverse talents, including composers, arrangers, singer-songwriters, and improvisers, who bring a range of cultural influences to the group, from jazz and klezmer to pop and indie rock music. The unique camaraderie within the group retains the intimacy and spontaneity of chamber music in performance. Learn more at theknightsnyc.com.