Executive Search for Not-for-Profit Cultural Institutions

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The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, New York, New York

The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Challenge

The Chamber Music Society, one of the key constituents of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc., was losing its outstanding director, whom Opportunity Resources had placed seven years before. She was young, vibrant, smart, and devoted herself to the organization seven days a week. The staff and Board adored her and wanted to clone her. The Search Committee needed an inspiring new leader who was steeped in the music world, would encourage and mentor a young staff and could work compatibly with the Artistic Director, David Shifrin, the musicians and a high-powered Board. The new director also needed the full complement of executive director skills – administrative, budgetary, fundraising, and organizational.

Solution

Opportunity Resources sent a broadcast letter out to all music or related organizations throughout the United States. Because chamber music organizations require experience leading in a “nonhierarchical” way, the pool of suitable candidates was fairly limited. Fortunately, Opportunity Resources had conducted the earlier search for The Chamber Music Society and we knew the field and potential candidates very well. With new recommendations from our rich and varied network we were able to put together a uniquely talented slate of candidates from all parts of the United States. The successful candidate, Norma Hurlburt, was from New York City, where she had run a small, virtuoso orchestra for many years. She was highly respected in the music community for her administrative savvy and well known and admired by the musicians. During Norma’s productive tenure the Chamber Music Society prospered and evolved to become one of New York City’s highest-profile cultural organizations.