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Executive Director Oregon Bach Festival - Archive
Sr. Vice President and Provost

Posting: 15182
Location: Eugene
Closes: 2015-12-10

Revised: Application Date

The University of Oregon’s Oregon Bach Festival invites applications and nominations for the position of Executive Director, available in the summer of 2015.

The Organization


Heralded by the Los Angeles Times as a “musical enterprise virtually without equal in America,” the Oregon Bach Festival (OBF) is one of the foremost celebrations of Bach’s music and legacy in the United States.  Founded by conductor Helmuth Rilling and executive director Royce Saltzman, the original Summer Festival of Music grew to include performances of major choral-orchestral works, instrumental and chamber concerts, solo recitals, workshops, and master classes.  As its first decade closed, the event was renamed the Oregon Bach Festival, more clearly defining both its location and its mission.  The Festival continued to develop in scope and stature with Rilling’s leadership.  In the summer of 2014, conductor Matthew Halls was welcomed as Artistic Director.

The Oregon Bach Festival is currently in its 45th season and will offer 50 events over a 17-day period starting in late June, attracting an audience of more than 30,000. Members of the Festival Orchestra and Chorus come from professional organizations throughout North America and Europe and many return year after year.  A stellar array of vocal artists, instrumentalists, and guest conductors join them. The OBF is also known for its high quality educational programming, which includes a Discovery Series, the Stangeland Family Youth Choral Academy, and the Master Class for Conductors.

In the summer of 2015, the Oregon Bach Festival will launch the Berwick Academy dedicated to historically informed performance practice of music from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries.  Made possible through the generosity of OBF patrons Phyllis and Andrew Berwick, the tuition-free Academy will be open by audition to young professional musicians who will receive immersive training by an outstanding faculty of artists led by Juilliard’s Monica Huggett. 

As an outgrowth of the University of Oregon’s School of Music, the Festival was originally housed at UO’s Beall Concert Hall, one of the finest chamber recital rooms in North America.  The 1982 opening of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts allowed the Festival to expand its offerings and to attract artists of the highest artistic caliber and stature.   In recent years, the Festival has expanded its geographic reach to include performances in other Oregon venues, and has diversified its programming to include artist residencies, partnerships, co-productions, and concerts during the fall and winter seasons.

The Festival’s annual budget is $2.8 million and includes $1 million in University support. In addition to ticket revenue, sources of income include several endowment funds, the OBF Conductor’s Society, the OBF Legacy Society, and annual gifts of nearly $1 million.  The University has launched the public phase of a $2 billion campaign; the OBF’s goal is $22 million, with $14 million raised to date.

The Oregon Bach Festival is a program of the University of Oregon with close connections to the School of Music and Dance. Administrative oversight of the Festival lies with the Office of the Provost and the Office of Academic Affairs.  The Executive Director and the Artistic Director report directly to the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.

Located 110 miles south of Portland, the University of Oregon has an enrollment of 24,447.   The University is an AAU research institution and a member of the Pac-12 conference.

The Position

The Executive Director is the chief executive officer and manager of the University of Oregon’s Oregon Bach Festival.  S/he is responsible and accountable for ensuring that the Festival fulfills its mission and achieves its goals for artistry, financial stability, education, and community engagement.

The Executive Director works closely with the Artistic Director in planning and producing the Festival, including programming and the selection of artists.  S/he oversees the engagement of artists and negotiation of contracts.   S/he fosters an environment that allows resident and guest artists to do their best work.

The Executive Director develops and monitors the Festival’s annual budget, ensuring compliance with University fiscal policies.  S/he ensures that the Festival meets its goals for earned and contributed income.  S/he takes a leadership role in the identification, cultivation, and solicitation of donors and provides excellent stewardship for gifts.   S/he ensures the implementation of a robust audience development program on campus, within the community, and throughout the region.

The Executive Director plays a major role in brand development of the Oregon Bach Festival, consistent with University policies, and ensures an effective public awareness program locally, nationally, and internationally.  S/he represents the Festival throughout the community and the region and serves as spokesperson for the OBF to external audiences.

The Executive Director cultivates and maintains productive relationships with the University Administration, the Dean of the School of Music and Dance, and the Friends of the Oregon Bach Festival Board of Directors. S/he engages, motivates, supervises, and evaluates a high caliber administrative staff.  S/he provides guidance and support to those who serve the OFB as volunteers. 

The Executive Director and Artistic Director report to the Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs.  The Executive Director oversees a staff of 10 University employees year-round, which expands to 15 or more during the Festival season.

Candidate Profile

The successful candidate will be a dynamic leader who combines a thorough knowledge and understanding of the performing arts with a strong record of success in artistic administration, concert operations, audience development, financial management, and fundraising.  S/he will be a seasoned executive with excellent planning, organizational, communications, and management skills.  The successful candidate will have the demonstrated ability to manage staff effectively.

The successful candidate will embrace the mission of the Oregon Bach Festival and will be knowledgeable and passionate about the music and legacy of Bach. S/he will have the demonstrated ability to work effectively with an artistic director, conductors, orchestral musicians, vocalists, and other creative artists from diverse backgrounds and cultures. 

The successful candidate will be a strategic thinker who is prepared to address the long-term sustainability of the Festival through audience development, fundraising, and active engagement of the greater Eugene community as volunteers and investors in the OBF. S/he will be an effective and enthusiastic fundraiser. 

The successful candidate will be a skilled communicator with the ability to work effectively with cultural, philanthropic, and academic communities locally, nationally, and internationally.

S/he will have excellent listening skills and an inclusive approach to decision-making.

The successful candidate will welcome the opportunity to be part of a vibrant university community.  An undergraduate degree with exceptional experience is required; an advanced degree is strongly preferred.

Position is subject to criminal background check.

The Community

The Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area, with a population exceeding 200,000, is located in the emerald green Willamette Valley between the breathtaking scenery of the Cascade Mountains and the Oregon Coast range.  Eugene is a family-centered community known for its livability, pleasant climate, cultural diversity, quality of professional services, and recreational activities including: fishing, golfing, sailing, kayaking, skiing/snow boarding, hiking, and biking. Natural beauty is part of living in this community.

Eugene offers a great diversity of business opportunities, entertainment, and cultural events. In addition to the wide-ranging cultural and sports activities offered by the University, the community features the award-winning Hult Center for the Performing Arts, resident symphony and chamber orchestras, as well as ballet, modern dance, and opera companies, community theatre groups, art galleries, museums, and crafts associations.  Eugene has excellent public and private schools, including French, Japanese and Spanish immersion options within the public school system. The city is situated in a prime geographic location with the Portland metropolitan area less than two hours away, and the scenic Oregon Coast and the Cascade Mountains each about an hour away. Eugene has a modern airport with convenient non-stop flights to major cities in the west, and convenient national and international connections.


Compensation, including a generous benefits package, is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.


Please send a cover letter of application that addresses your specific interest in the position and your qualifications.  Include with a resume, salary history, and contact information for at least three professional references.  All submissions will be treated as confidential and references will not be called without the candidate’s knowledge.  

OBF Search c/o Catherine French Group
2500 Q Street NW, Suite 623
Washington, DC  20007
202-965-0939  (fax)

Electronic submissions in PDF form are requested. 

The position is open until filled.  To be assured consideration, applications should be received by June 19, 2015.

The University of Oregon is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution committed to cultural diversity and compliance with the ADA. The University encourages all qualified individuals to apply, and does not discriminate on the basis of any protected status, including veteran and disability status.