Creative LGBTQ Management of Symphony Orchestras

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The LGBTQ community is active in the classical music field. This includes the management of professional orchestras. While there’s no shortage of brilliant figures working to embrace queer visibility on the orchestral stage, LGBTQ individuals are also active as conductors, Music and Artistic Directors, Chief Executive Officers, marketing professionals, and more.

Music has an ability to communicate with individuals and society, breaking through any artificial and discriminatory barriers. Classical music is no exception, and the goal of management of classical music groups is to utilize this characteristic to embrace and communicate with a wider audience.

Symphony Orchestras themselves have taken note of the LGBTQ audience. For example, the League of American Orchestras has specific LGBTQ resources and outreach programs. There is a push for sexual diversity throughout the classical music programming circle, including performers, the music itself, overcoming social marginalization, and welcoming a diverse audience into performances by breaking down barriers.

Many local gay community orchestras have been founded recently to tap into the interests of their constituents. These are often entirely staffed by members of the local LGBTQ community.

We have found many notable LGBTQ individuals in management positions at professional orchestras. Simply click on their name to read their fascinating biographies.


  • Emma Dunch, Chief Executive Officer - Sydney Symphony Orchestra


  • Daniel Bartholomew-Poyser, conductor
  • Andrew Crust, conductor
  • Yannick Nezet-Seguin, Music Director - Orchestre Métropolitain, Metropolitan Opera, and of the Philadelphia Orchestra; conductor - Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Mark Williams, Chief Executive Officer - Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Chief Artistic and Operations Officer - Cleveland Orchestra; Artistic Administrator - San Francisco Symphony Orchestra



Great Britain


  • Dimitri Mitropoulos, conductor - Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic Orchestra


New Zealand


The Netherlands

United States

  • Byron Adams, conductor
  • Sebrina Maria Alfonso, Music Director - South Florida Symphony; conductor - National Orchestra of Cuba
  • Marin Alsop, Chief conductor - Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, São Paulo Symphony Orchestra
  • Leonard Bernstein, Music Director - New York Philharmonic Orchestra
  • David Bohnett, Chair - Los Angeles Philharmonic Association
  • Deborah Borda, CEO - New York Philharmonic
  • Aaron Copland
  • Nico Muhly, conductor
  • Matthew Olshefski, Concertmaster - Kansas City Ballet Orchestra
  • Jennifer Pritzker, Director - Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association
  • David Ogden Stiers, conductor - Newport Symphony Orchestra, Ernest Bloch Music Festival
  • Michael Tilson Thomas, Music Director - San Francisco Symphony Orchestra; conductor - The Boston Symphony, London Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Buffalo Philharmonic, and Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestras.
  • Jory Vinikour, conductor - Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, the Korean Chamber Orchestra, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Juilliard415, Musica Angelica Baroque Orchestra
  • Gabrielle Wolohojian, Director - Boston Civic Symphony Orchestra

See Also

Further Reading/Research

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