The San Francisco Symphony is widely considered to be among the most artistically adventurous and innovative arts institutions in the United States, celebrated for its artistic excellence, creative performance concepts, active touring, award-winning recordings, and standard-setting education programs. In the 2020–21 season, the San Francisco Symphony welcomed conductor and composer Esa-Pekka Salonen as its twelfth Music Director and embarked on a new vision for the present and future of the orchestral landscape. This exciting artistic future builds on the remarkable 25-year tenure of Michael Tilson Thomas as the San Francisco Symphony’s Music Director. Tilson Thomas continues his rich relationship with the Symphony as its first Music Director Laureate. In their inaugural season together, Esa-Pekka Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony have introduced a groundbreaking artistic leadership model anchored by eight Collaborative Partners from a variety of cultural disciplines: Nicholas Britell, Julia Bullock, Claire Chase, Bryce Dessner, Pekka Kuusisto, Nico Muhly, Carol Reiley, and Esperanza Spalding. This group of visionary artists, thinkers, and doers joins with Salonen and the San Francisco Symphony to chart a new course of experimentation by collaborating on new ideas, breaking conventional rules, and creating unique and powerful experiences. The San Francisco Symphony presents more than 220 concerts and presentations annually for an audience of nearly 450,000 in its home of Davies Symphony Hall and through its national and international touring. A cornerstone of the organization's mission, the San Francisco Symphony's education programs are the most extensive offered by any American orchestra today, providing free comprehensive music education to every first- through fifth- grade student in the San Francisco public schools, and serving more than 75,000 children, students, educators, and families annually.
The San Francisco Symphony’s recordings have won such awards as France's Grand Prix du Disque and Britain's Gramophone Award, as well as 16 Grammy Awards. San Francisco Symphony radio broadcasts, the first in the nation to feature symphonic music when they began in 1926, today carry the Orchestra's concerts across the country. In 2004, the SFS launched the multimedia Keeping Score on PBS-TV and online and in 2014, the San Francisco Symphony inaugurated SoundBox, an experimental performance venue and music series located backstage at Davies Symphony Hall. February 2021 saw the launch of SFSymphony+, the San Francisco Symphony’s on-demand video streaming service. For more information, visit sfsymphony.org.
The San Francisco Symphony’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer (CMCO) serves as an energetic business strategist with broad responsibility for planning and leading the organization’s customer-facing and earned revenue-generating activity. The CMCO reports to the Chief Executive Officer and serves as a high-functioning member of the Symphony’s senior leadership team in a highly collaborative environment. This proactive, bold leader will set a strong institutional vision for the Symphony’s audience development and public reputation as the SF Symphony seeks to grow its earned revenue streams and provide a superior patron experience.
The CMCO is an accomplished leader capable of developing strategies to set and achieve earned revenue goals by guiding and motivating a broad team of professionals. This role leads the Marketing, Editorial, Creative, Public Relations, Patron Services, and Front of House functional areas. The CMCO works closely with the Board of Governors and acts as the staff liaison for the Marketing and Communication Committee.
A highly visible, collegial professional, the Chief Marketing and Communications Officer maintains open and ongoing communication with constituent leadership, providing complete and accurate activity reports, revenue forecasts and situation analyses on a regular basis. The CMCO is a skilled communicator and relationship builder who can articulate clear and compelling strategies for more deeply engaging current audiences and attracting the interest of new audiences from throughout the Bay Area.
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS & RESPONSIBILITIES
Build, lead, and inspire the Symphony’s team of marketing, sales, communications, patron services, and front of house professionals by establishing an environment that emphasizes accountability, efficiency, creativity, collaboration, staff retention, and mutual respect.
Develop and implement creative strategic marketing and sales plans to engage a broad population and maximize short-term and long-term audience growth potential connected to symphonic, film, recital, chamber, holiday, pops, and presentation concerts. Establish performance measures, monitor results, and evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing and communications programs, making changes as appropriate.
Work in partnership with members of the Symphony’s leadership team in setting robust but achievable earned revenue forecasts and goals with clear metrics that promote accountability. Regularly and clearly report on progress towards goals, providing information about sales pacing, YOY performance, audience trends, and other insights.
Develop and rigorously manage the marketing and communications expense budgets for strong return on investment.
Build strong relationships among the Board of Governors, the Orchestra and Chorus, the President, the Music Director, the Chief Executive Officer, and other staff members and external stakeholders including subscribers, patrons, donors, community, and business and civic leaders.
Create and lead an effective market research program, continuing to build a systematic effort to increase audience base.
Guide and build the Symphony’s public reputation through management of all public relations, crisis communications, and patron and donor communications programs.
Identify and implement improvements to the patron experience in an effort to maximize revenue and drive more frequent attendance.
Be recognized as a committed, valued and collegial SFS leader by musicians, conductors, artists, and administrative teams. Foster a culture of trust-based relationships across all stakeholders in the Symphony.
Represent the institution at public functions and events to raise the visibility of the San Francisco Symphony.
Serve as a member of the Leadership Team, participating in the development and execution of organizational strategy.
Serve as lead negotiator for Theatrical Employees Union Local B-18 contract negotiations, representing Patron Services and Usher staff.
Conduct job functions and activities in alignment with the principles of the SFS’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work, and support the organization’s DEI work through participation in working groups and other initiatives.
A minimum ten years of senior-level leadership experience in leading successful marketing and/or communications teams, preferably in the arts sector.
Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in marketing, communications, or business.
A passionate, enthusiastic commitment to the mission of the San Francisco Symphony
Proven experience as a member of the executive management team of a complex organization, including working closely with administrative staff, engaged boards, and volunteers.
Proven ability to lead, inspire, motivate, hire, and retain teams that achieve excellence and exceed goals.
A confident, flexible, and collaborative leadership style known for strategic thinking, innovation, integrity, and political astuteness.
Strong financial management skills with experience in budget analysis, forecasting and planning.
Excellent communication skills with a persuasive ability, including strong written, verbal and presentation skills.
High degree of technological proficiency, including experience with patron management and arts enterprise applications and project management tools.
Personal interest in and knowledge of orchestral music and the orchestral industry.
Oversee a department of 29 FT staff, 54 PT staff, and 1 PT external contractor.
Direct supervision of:
Director of Marketing, Sales, and Visitor Experience
Director of Public Relations
Director of Patron Services
Revenue & Pricing Analyst (PT, external)
The internal and external constituents with whom this position most frequently interacts include:
CEO and Leadership Team
Marketing and Communications team
Patron Services representatives and ushers
The San Francisco Symphony celebrates diversity and is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and employees without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information (including characteristics and testing), military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law. The San Francisco Symphony believes that diversity and inclusion among our employees is critical to our success, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.
Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, the San Francisco Symphony will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records