Apollo's Fire, the Cleveland Baroque Orchestra

Job Website: https://apollosfire.org/
Position Type: Full-Time

Managing Director

Position Opening: Managing Director


About Apollo’s Fire

GRAMMY award-winning ensemble Apollo’s Fire is one of the world’s leading period-instrument baroque orchestras and is based in Cleveland, Ohio. Currently in its 27th season, the ensemble is led by its founding Artistic Director, conductor-harpsichordist Jeannette Sorrell.

Apollo’s Fire is one of the few American ensembles that maintains (a)a significant subscription series at home (30-34 subscription performances of 6-7 programs in multiple venues); (b) an active touring schedule averaging 12-18 engagements per year;(c) a significant CD recording and video presence (over 2.5 million views for YouTube videos, and 26 commercial recordings of which 8 have been Billboard Classical best-sellers); and (d) an extensive outreach/educational program including 14-20 events per year in Northeast Ohio.

Apollo’s Fire tours under the auspices of Columbia Artists Management. The orchestra has performed five international tours, including such venues as Carnegie Hall, the BBC Proms (London), the Royal Theatre of Madrid, London’s Wigmore Hall, the Tanglewood, Ravinia, and Aspen Music Festivals, the Boston Early Music Festival series, the Library of Congress, the Metropolitan Museum of Art (NYC), and many others. Apollo’s Fire is also a leader in innovative outreach, having launched its Community Access Initiative in 2017. This bold initiative breaks down financial and geographic barriers to attendance, and has brought in over 3500 new attenders in the past two years.

Apollo’s Fire has an annual budget of around $2 million, a Board of 25, and a staff of approximately 5 full-time and 7 part-time employees. The office suite is located in the historic Rockefeller Building in Cleveland Heights. The organization operates debt-free and maintains a modest cash reserve.


Managing Director

Apollo’s Fire seeks a dynamic, successful, experienced, visionary leader, who can take the organization to the next level in terms of fundraising, strategy development, and board and staff development. This is a full-time position, reporting to the Board of Directors.

The Managing Director (MD) develops, leads, and works within an administrative structure that supports and reflects the artistic excellence of an ensemble performing at the international level. He/she collaborates closely with the Artistic Director (AD) to support AF’s artistic mission.

The MD is directly responsible for Contributed Income, and oversees the General Manager (GM) who is responsible for Earned Income. Along with the Artistic Director, he/she is the public face of the organization, focusing on donor and funder relationships in particular and community relations in general. The MD works closely with the AD to communicate to donors and funders the AD’s artistic vision as approved by the Board, and works closely with the Board in the areas of fundraising and Board recruitment. He/she works with the CFO (part-time) to ensure the organization’s fiscal health.

Through the MD’s own “hands-on” work and through his/her guidance and mentorship of AF’s staff, he/she will build on AF’s untapped potential in the contributed-income area.The successful candidate will be someone who (1)brings confidence and leadership to the job, while also being open to learning new things quickly; (2) quickly grasps the organization’s artistic priorities and helps Board members find their niche within that trajectory; (3) is comfortable working in the international field, collaborating with AF’s European agents, publicists and record label; (4) understands that national funding from outside Cleveland will be essential to increasing AF’s contributed income overall; and (5) understands that a baroque orchestra is by nature artistically driven.

The MD enjoys the support of a strong and efficient staff, including a highly experienced General Manager (GM), who is responsible for artistic operations and earned income, and a part-time Chief Financial Officer (CFO), who manages Apollo’s Fire’s finances, including cash flow, the budgeting process and payables. It is expected that the MD will spend approximately 80% of his/her time on fundraising and related matters, and approximately 20% of his/her time on staff oversight and other duties as described below.

Key areas of responsibility are:


  • Contributed Income –collaborate with individual Board members and the Ambassadors Council to help set and meet the organization’s fundraising goals, including individual donations, major gifts, corporate sponsorships, concert sponsorships, strategic media sponsorships (CD recordings and videos), and tour sponsorships;
  • Financial Health –continue to develop AF’s financial sustainability through an expanded Planned Giving program by nurturing long-term relationships with donors,to achieve the goal of increasing AF’s existing Cash Reserve to the equivalent of three months of operating funds;
  • Foundation Relations –oversee the Grant-writing process (primarily implemented by the General Manager and Development Manager); provide input,participate in Grants team meetings with staff; attend meetings with foundation officers and maintain close funder relationships; seek out and build relationships with new philanthropic sources of support;
  • Annual Fund–collaborate with the Board President, AD, GM and Development Manager to write AF’s semi-annual solicitation letters; oversee the process for mailing letters, receiving and tracking donations, and sending acknowledgments, all of which is primarily implemented by the Development Manager.

Board Relations

  • Attend Board meetings and spearhead Board recruitment (in collaboration with Governance Committee);
  • Ensure that agendas, minutes and other Board materials are prepared and sent to the Board on a timely basis;
  • Collaborate with Committee Chairs to ensure that all Committees are successfully contributing to AF’s goals as defined by the Board;
  • Lead fundraising strategies in collaboration with the Development Committee;
  • Lead strategic planning in collaboration with the Board, Artistic Director and the General Manager;


  • Staff supervision –supervise the Development Manager,GM, and CFO(other staff report to the GM).Lead staff meetings in collaboration with the GM and hold annual staff performance reviews in collaboration with the GM and AD;
  • Human Resources–advise and support the GM in overseeing company policies, including vacation, comp time, sick leave, maternity policies, payroll, health insurance, etc.;
  • Budgeting and Finance –supervise and help prepare the overall budget each year in a timely manner, and specifically prepare the Development and Special Events budgets; collaborate with the GM, AD, and CFO to prepare the full institutional budget each year; together with the GM, attend meetings with the CFO and the Finance Committee; these meetings are led by the CFO and the Board Treasurer;
  • Musician Relations –serve as a visible and supportive presence to AF’s musicians; collaborate with the GM to arrange post-concert celebrations and other activities to enhance the collegiality of the musicians’ community;
  • Marketing –review marketing materials and advise on branding; collaborate with the AD, GM, and Marketing Manager to design strategic marketing initiatives that effectively communicate the AD’s artistic vision for programming.

Special Events/Community Engagement

  • Special Events and Gala Benefit –provide strong and effective leadership for the annual Gala and any other major fundraising events; recruit the Gala committee and select the venue in collaboration with the AD and GM; oversee all other cultivation events, which are implemented by the Development Manager;
  • Attend community nonprofit/arts meetings and events, as representative of Apollo’s Fire, as appropriate, for example: local public funding agency Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC), the regional advocacy and research organization Arts Cleveland, the Cleveland Arts Education Consortium (CAEC), Cleveland Foundation annual board meetings, etc.;
  • Concert Attendance –attend 80% of concerts, including receptions; deliver curtain speeches when needed; maintain a visible presence at concerts;


Compensation: Commensurate with experience. Benefits include health insurance and optional 403B plan.



  • A proven track record of success in the following areas: 

non-profit fundraising, preferably in the arts

special-event planning and execution, preferably including “gala” style events

financial management, including development of annual budgets

strategic planning, addressing the comprehensive long and short-term goals of an institution

staff management

  • Demonstrated passion for the arts; preference for a background in orchestral music
  • Bachelors’ Degree required; Master’s degree (in any field) preferred
  • 3 years’ professional experience on the staff of a performing arts organization, preferably an orchestra or professional chorus
  • 2 years’ management experience (non-profit preferred)
  • Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills
  • Excellent writing skills; proficiency with Microsoft Word and Excel
  • A passion for classical music and attending classical concerts
  • A strong collaborative attitude and a “can do” approach with a goal of superior results on each and every task
  • An automobile and a valid driver’s license are required


To Apply:

Please send cover letter, resumé, and at least 3 references, via email to search@apollosfire.org.

This position is open until filled.

Questions about Membership or this application? Please contact Vincent Covatto, organizational membership manager, at VCovatto@operaamerica.org or by calling 646.699.5237.
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