The Cincinnati Pops, which also performs as the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, is under the direction of John Morris Russell and presents a diverse array of musical styles, encompassing the world-renowned “Cincinnati Sound.” The Pops was officially founded in 1977 by Erich Kunzel, and since 1980, the Pops has sold ten million recordings worldwide.
The Pops has performed in recent years with contemporary artists such as Rhiannon Giddens, Ben Folds, Idina Menzel, Boyz II Men, Kristin Chenoweth, Vanessa Williams, Audra McDonald, Ben Folds, Roseanne Cash, Bernadette Peters, and Smokey Robinson. These collaborations continue a tradition of working with legends including Aretha Franklin, John Williams, The Temptations, Ella Fitzgerald, Peter Frampton, Dave Brubeck, Mel Tormé, Henry Mancini, Rosemary Clooney, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Arturo Sandoval.
The Pops tours nationally and internationally, most recently in Shanghai and Taiwan for concerts in March 2017 and Florida for a week of performances in December 2014. The Pops traveled to Beijing as part of the Opening Festivities of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, and in 2005, the Pops completed a historic tour to China and Singapore performing in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The Cincinnati Pops was the first U.S. Pops orchestra to perform in China. They have also performed to enthusiastic audiences in Carnegie Hall, Washington D.C., and multiple tours in Japan.
An estimated 30 million people have viewed national telecasts of the Cincinnati Pops on PBS, and the Orchestra has more than 100 available recordings, 55 of which have appeared on the Billboard charts, a record unmatched by any other orchestra. The Pops’ Copland: Music of America won a Grammy in 1997, and four other Pops recordings have been nominated for Grammy Awards.
In 2012, the Pops released its first recording under John Morris Russell, Home for the Holidays, on the Orchestra’s own Fanfare Cincinnati label. Subsequent recordings Superheroes! and Carnival of the Animals reached #8 and #15, respectively, on the Billboard charts. The most recent Pops release, American Originals: 1918, celebrates and reimagines American music of the post-World War I era, and is a successor to the Pops’ 2015 release of American Originals, which received national attention for its reimagining of the Stephen Foster songbook. In the spring of 2016, the Pops unveiled American Soundscapes, an online video series that features Pops performances captured live. It has already reached nearly a million viewers around the world.
The Director of Artistic Planning, Pops, is responsible for managing all aspects of artistic planning and programming for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, collaborating with the Pops Conductor, President and Vice President & General Manager. The Director is a key collaborator in the ongoing stewardship and development of the CPO’s artistic profile nationally and internationally, especially in developing recording projects, tour programs and media events, and is responsible for initiating, developing and maintaining the Pops' relationships with major artists, arrangers and conductors. The Director may also be responsible for managing programming of other presentations of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, as assigned.
Artistic Profile of the Cincinnati Pops
In collaboration with the Pops Conductor, President and General Manager, formulates the CPO’s long-range artistic profile with the goal of presenting innovative orchestral programming featuring groundbreaking concepts and artistic partnerships.
Identifies, attracts and works with major guest artists and key conductors to foster long-term relationships with the Orchestra, including artist residencies.
Responsible for commissioning new arrangements, including fostering relationships with and identifying major arrangers.
Consult on the long-range schedule for the CPO with the General Manager, Director of Operations and Senior Management Team.
Plan CPO programming with Pops Conductor and guest conductors, along with involvement of Vice President of Marketing, General Manager and President, that advances a goal to develop and inspire a new audience for the 21st century.
Engage and contract all guest artists and conductors.
In consultation with Pops Conductor, identify and engage special performance groups such as choruses, dancers, bands, etc., including the hiring of directors and other creative personnel needed for staged productions.
Identify important new and/or young artists and arrangers.
Plan Lollipops programs, with Pops Conductor and guest conductors, along with involvement of Vice President of Marketing, General Manager and Director of Education & Community Engagement, as needed.
Communicate internally the programming for all Pops programs, both locally and on tour, in a timely manner to maximize marketing and promotional opportunities.
Recognize and respond to evolving industry trends and help the Pops Conductor and senior management team to create popular orchestral entertainment at the forefront of the industry.
Along with General Manager and Director of Education & Community Engagement, plays a leading role in managing and planning collaborations with other institutions, and integrating these activities with the Pops' overall artistic profile.
Facilitate guest performer contract servicing, including rider mark-ups and distribution.
Participates with the General Manager, Director of Operations and Director of Orchestra Personnel in development of detailed season schedules.
Develop new commercial opportunities, i.e. packaged shows, recordings for hire, music rentals, publishing, etc.
With Education & Community Engagement and Marketing, identify opportunities for Pops Conductor and Pops brand to become more visible in the community and globally.
General responsibility, in collaboration with the General Manager, Marketing, Communications and Education & Community Engagement teams, as appropriate, for ensuring the artistic integrity of audience engagement initiatives, including pre-concert activities, original video productions, concert image magnification, surtitles, and other activities.
Attend Pops performances to assess quality of concert presentation in order to provide timely and impactful feedback to Pops Conductor and Production staff, and to inform future artistic planning.
Serve as a staff representative, supplementing the efforts/appearances of the Pops Conductor in his/her absence, for the organization at donor/community functions such as fundraising receptions and subscriber events; contributes written materials and participates in public speaking engagements, as required.
Assist in surfacing and addressing all music licensing issues affecting the Pops, serving as a leader in the field and participating on national task forces, as appropriate.
Other duties, as assigned.
Reporting Relationship: The Director of Artistic Planning, Pops reports to the Vice President & General Manager.
Bachelor’s Degree in related area required.
3-5 years of experience in arts management/programming, including budgeting, negotiation, engagement management/booking and marketing.
Proficient in Excel, Word, Outlook and PowerPoint.
Excellent interpersonal skills and detailed writing skills.
Understanding of contracts; some facility in preparation of contracts.
Comfortable working in an open-office environment.
Nights and weekend work required.
Travel required, both with the Pops and individually.
Compensation and Benefits: Director of Artistic Planning, Pops position garners a competitive salary. The CSO offers generous benefits including; medical, dental, long term disability, life insurance, health savings account contribution, 403(b) participation with employer contribution, up to 12 weeks paid maternity leave, flex time and the opportunity to work for an artistically thriving and financially stable nonprofit organization.
A Commitment We Value
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s commitment to inclusion is fundamental to who we are as an organization. Reflecting our community and the world around at every level – on stage, behind-the-scenes, and in neighborhoods throughout the region — is essential to the CSO’s present and future and makes us a stronger ensemble and institution. We encourage underrepresented candidates to apply.
Please send cover letter and resume to:
Please put “Director of Artistic Planning” in the subject line.