BSO Director of Community Engagement Nicholas Cohen To Participate in League of American Orchestras’ Newly Launched Emerging Leaders Program

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Intensive, Two-Year Program Combines On-The-Job Learning with Strong Mentoring and Peer Network-Building Opportunities

I am thrilled that Nicholas has been recognized by the League’s new program through selection for this inaugural class and look forward to supporting his development as a leader in this field. -Paul Meecham, BSO president & CEO

Nicholas Cohen, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s director of community engagement, is just one of seven orchestra administrators between the ages of 25 and 35 selected to participate in the League of American Orchestras’ newly created, two-year Emerging Leaders Program. The program participants were chosen based on their potential to significantly impact the orchestra field as future leaders.    

In launching the Emerging Leaders Program, the League of American Orchestras has created a program aligned with the expectations and realities of current work force needs. Identifying and developing potential leaders remains a core value of the League, and the new program gives participants an intensive learning and mentoring experience while enabling them to remain employed by their home orchestras.

Paul Meecham, the BSO’s president & CEO commented, “I am thrilled that Nicholas has been recognized by the League’s new program through selection for this inaugural class and look forward to supporting his development as a leader in this field.”

“Leadership challenges remain high during this period of rapid change,” commented League of American Orchestras President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “With this program, the League is cultivating young leaders with vision, helping to equip them with the knowledge, experience, and perspective they will need to keep orchestras vibrant and flourishing into the future.”

Facilitated by John McCann, a national expert in executive training, the Emerging Leaders Program will offer strong peer network-building opportunities, including frequent in-person meetings at the League’s New York City offices; the chance to jointly curate content at the League’s National Conference; and a group visit to other organizations. In addition, participants will work with designated mentors both at their home orchestras and outside the field, and also receive financial resources to address personalized professional development needs.

The curriculum will address developing participants’ leadership capacity in high-stress environments, balancing priorities, conflict resolution, internal and external relations, governance practice, the evolving art form, and cross-cultural competency.

The participants were selected based on their overall leadership potential, and for their perceived capacity to make an even greater contribution to the organizations they currently serve, and those they will serve in the future. They work in all areas of orchestra administration, including artistic, development, education and community engagement, and operations.

The inaugural Emerging Leaders Program participants are:

  •     Caleb Bailey, Orchestra Manager, Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra (Lincoln, NE)
  •     Jennifer Barton, Individual Giving Manager, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (Jacksonville, FL)
  •     Nicholas Cohen, Director of Community Engagement, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  •     Bradley Evans, Assistant Orchestra Personnel Manager, San Francisco Symphony
  •     Yoo-Jin Hong, Director of Civic Orchestra and Training Programs, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
  •     Michael Reichman, General Manager, Symphony Nova (Boston, MA)
  •     Rebecca Zabinski, Artistic Associate, Houston Symphony

The Emerging Leaders Program is the next chapter in the League’s history of distinguished executive leadership programs for American orchestras. These programs have included the Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, the Executive Leadership Programs, Institutional Vision and Critical Issues programs, and Essentials of Orchestra Management, among others, as well the League’s National Conference, and a host of career development, learning, and grant opportunities for composers, conductors, board development and governance, orchestra volunteers, and all other League member constituents.

The Emerging Leaders Program is made possible by generous grants from American Express Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

The Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) is internationally recognized as having achieved a preeminent place among the world's most important orchestras. Acclaimed for its enduring pursuit of artistic excellence, the BSO has attracted a devoted national and international following while maintaining deep bonds throughout Maryland with innovative education and community outreach initiatives.

The BSO made musical history in September 2007, when Maestra Marin Alsop led her inaugural concerts as the Orchestra’s 12th music director, making her the first woman to head a major American orchestra. With her highly praised artistic vision, her dynamic musicianship and her commitment to accessibility in classical music, Maestra Alsop’s leadership has ushered in a new era for the BSO and its audiences.

In addition to the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the BSO is a founding partner and the resident orchestra at the state-of-the-art Music Center at Strathmore, just outside of Washington, D.C. With the opening of Strathmore in February 2005, the BSO became the nation’s only major orchestra with year-round venues in two metropolitan areas.

The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of approximately 800 orchestras across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned symphonies to community orchestras, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement for managers, musicians, volunteers, and boards. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform music lovers around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit to learn more.

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Alyssa Porambo
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