The Search for our next Artistic Director

Guelph Symphony Orchestra, a semi-professional orchestra based in Southwestern Ontario, is searching for a new Artistic Director.

In recent years, Guelph Symphony has enjoyed a period of artistic growth under the leadership of Maestro Judith Yan. As Maestro Yan’s successor, GSO’s new Music Director will share a commitment to maintain and grow the orchestra’s ongoing success and relevance within its community. Beginning in the 2021/22 concert season, the new Director will serve as the artistic leader and community ambassador.

The role of Guelph Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director is threefold:

  • Artistic: In consultation with the General Manager, Board, and Artistic Committee, the Artistic Director drives the orchestra’s artistic decisions and activities, including programming, guest artist selection, and special projects. The Artistic Director also serves as principal conductor, conducting rehearsals, concerts, and community events.
  • Administrative: The Artistic Director works closely with the General Manager to lead the Guelph Symphony Orchestra. Both report directly to the Board of Directors. The Artistic Director makes artistic decisions within a set financial framework and provides regular support to marketing and fundraising initiatives.
  • Community: The Artistic Director participates actively, frequently, and directly in community engagement and outreach initiatives, embracing the cultivation and stewardship of patrons, media, funders, and community members. The Artistic Director is committed to raising the profile of the orchestra, expanding its audience, and ensuring its ongoing sustainability.


 Exceptional musicality

Relevant education and experience; an advanced degree in music and appropriate experience as a conductor.

An ability to lead and collaborate with musicians to ensure that Guelph Symphony continues to maintain and increase its level of artistic excellence.

Audience engagement. You are a passionate and compelling musical communicator and interpreter, willing and able to engage publicly and personally with audiences.

A commitment to diverse, exciting programming; deep knowledge of artists and repertoire, and a strong proponent of Canadian composers and performers. You are comfortable working collaboratively with the Artistic Advisory Committee to create programming that will balance risk-taking and audience preferences within a tight financial framework and the requirements of granting agencies.

A willingness to work collaboratively for organizational sustainability and growth. You will work closely with the GM, Board, and staff in refining our business model and strategic plans. You will work closely with the GM to build and manage appropriate annual budgets. In collaboration with Board and staff, you will be an active part of our orchestra’s fundraising and stewardship activities, using your position to build meaningful relationships with patrons, funders, partners, and donors. You are willing and able to participate actively in the orchestra’s communications, marketing, and fundraising activities, and possess strong interpersonal skills including public speaking, the use of conventional and social media, and face-to-face contact with individuals and groups.

A commitment to the community. You will maintain an ongoing presence in Guelph, building a prominent public profile, and participating in musical and other aspects of community life.

Qualified applicants are asked to please submit: a letter of interest, an artistic résumé, links to videos of conducting two contrasting work, a sample program from the past two years of concerts in which you served as conductor. Nominations from third parties are also welcome.

Applications should be submitted electronically to

Semi-finalists will be invited for an interview in late February. Up to six finalists will then be selected to each conduct one concert in the GSO’s 2020-21 season.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: midnight February 12, 2020. All applicants should indicate their status as a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. The Guelph Symphony Orchestra is committed to the principles of employment equity in the workplace.


GSO provides performances of major symphonic repertoire to audiences in the City of Guelph and surrounding area. Comprised of musicians from the city and region, the orchestra performs regularly in the superb Mainstage Concert Hall of Guelph’s River Run Centre.

The orchestra is a strong supporter of Canadian Artists and has developed creative partnerships with Canadian performing arts organizations, and within our community. GSO regularly engages in Community outreach and has an extensive set of youth outreach programs. For more information please visit