Coleman Lew Canny Bowen

Vice President of Artistic Operations and General Manager

Charlotte Symphony Orchestra

One of the premier music organizations in the southeastern United States and the oldest continually operating symphony orchestra in the Carolinas, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra (CSO) connects with more than 100,000 music lovers each year through its lively season of concerts, broadcasts, community events, and robust educational programs. The CSO has a demonstrated commitment to its mission of uplifting, entertaining, and educating the diverse communities of Charlotte-Mecklenburg and beyond through exceptional music experiences. The CSO’s vision is to reach out through the transformative power of live music to be a civic leader, reflecting and uniting its region.

The CSO employs a professional full-time orchestra of 65 musicians and four conductors, supports three youth orchestras, and offers an extensive array of educational and audience engagement programs. The CSO performs in a variety of venues in Charlotte-Mecklenburg and surrounding counties in the Charlotte region, principally at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center’s Belk Theater, the Levine Center for the Arts’ Knight Theater, and Symphony Park at SouthPark Mall. The CSO’s extensive community engagement activities bring music to a variety of churches, breweries, community centers, schools, and senior care centers. Now, with the introduction of its new mobile stage, CSO Roadshow, the Symphony is reaching new audiences across the region.

The 2024-2025 season features an exciting and eclectic range of concerts across the Classical, Pops, Movie, and Family series. Highlights include Kwamé Ryan’s inaugural concerts as Music Director; the return of two former Music Directors: Christopher Warren-Green and Christof Perick; performances of audience favorites like Debussy’s La Mer, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, and Brahms’s A German Requiem; and a diverse lineup of composers and guest artists – including works by Coleridge-Taylor, Anna Clyne, and Jennifer Higdon; and performances by Afro-Cuban band Mambo Kings, violinist Amaryn Olmeda, and clarinetist Anthony McGill.

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The Vice President of Artistic Operations and General Manager will report directly to and work in close partnership with the President and Chief Executive Officer, will be a member of the senior leadership team, and will work closely with the orchestra’s Music Director, leading and mentoring a team of seven professionals within the following functions: Artistic Planning, Library, Operations, and Personnel. This position will have two direct reports: Director of Operations and Senior Director of Artistic Planning.

The individual who occupies this position is a highly skilled and experienced arts professional who will provide leadership and oversight to all aspects of the orchestra’s operation and will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the orchestra, ensuring smooth and efficient performances, rehearsals, and events. The individual will collaborate with the Music Director, artistic planning committee, resident/guest conductors, musicians, and administrative staff to maintain high standards of performance and operational excellence and will create budgets and manage a multi-year plan that supports and implements the priorities of the CSO 2025 Strategic Plan.

Specific duties will include, but not necessarily be limited to:

Artistic Planning

  • Partner with the President and CEO and Music Director to develop the annual season plan, considering repertoire, guest conductors and artists, and special concerts.
  • Work closely with individual conductors on programs focusing on the overall artistic vision of the season and implement the CSO Music Director’s artistic vision for the organization.
  • Oversee the experience of guest artists and conductors ensuring there is a welcoming and fruitful interaction at the CSO.
  • Keep abreast of industry trends, emerging artistic talent, and repertoire.
  • Participate actively or collaborate with national organizations such as the League of American Orchestras, the American Federation of Musicians, and the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians to stay informed of trends and general activities in the orchestra and performing arts sector.

Management and Operations

  • Oversee the centralized rehearsal and performance schedule, coordinating with orchestra and production teams; communicate plans, programs, and schedules to all relevant CSO departments; ensure smooth implementation of all concerts, rehearsals, and events.
  • Attend concerts, rehearsals, and events to ensure smooth production, providing hands-on support and guidance to the team when needed; gather additional insight into the performance of the orchestra and guest musicians, sharing perspectives and observations with the President and CEO and Music Director.
  • Identify creative strategies and problem-solving to maximize the use of orchestra services, alternative revenue streams, and innovative program design to capture new and emerging audiences.
  • Manage the CSO’s relationship with performance venues such as Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, Levine Center for the Arts, and others to ensure long-term positive partnerships that enhance the orchestra and audience’s experience in the venue; oversee the implementation of CSO Roadshow, mobile stage venue.
  • Create and monitor departmental and project-based budgets for artistic planning, concert productions, orchestra maintenance, and stage crews.
  • Guide the Director of Operations and orchestra Personnel Manager on sensitive matters that impact programs and the ongoing operation.
  • Provide advice and support to the President and CEO in the CSO’s collective bargaining process with Local 342 of the American Federation of Musicians, ensuring productive negotiations that advance the mission, vision, and goals of the organization and maintain a harmonious relationship with the musicians and union leaders.

Strategic Planning

  • Execute the long-range artistic plan for all artistic programming at CSO guided by the vision for Artistic Vitality & Growth of the 2025 Strategic Plan, closely collaborating with the President and CEO and Music Director.
  • Partner with Vice Presidents of Learning and Community Engagement, Marketing, and Development to develop concepts and implement innovative audience development programs, attain new and diverse audiences, and nurture new initiatives and collaborations that enhance CSO’s impact on the community at large.


  • The Vice President of Artistic Operations and General Manager will be a collaborative and dedicated leader with strong analytical and problem-solving abilities.
  • A people-oriented leader and excellent communicator, the individual will be comfortable interacting with multiple constituencies including staff, musicians, musician committees, board members, and venue partners.
  • Resourceful and flexible, the individual will possess excellent organizational and project management skills, efficiently manage time and focus, thoughtfully prioritize tasks and resources, be able to adapt to change, and demonstrate a commitment to advancing the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion.


  • A minimum of seven years of experience in a senior-level position with a music or performing arts organization is required.
  • Demonstrated understanding of classical music, awareness of current trends and best practices in orchestra management, and a keen interest in collaborating with musicians, composers, and artists.
  • Experience leading and supervising a team, working with a professional orchestra, and developing a trust-based relationship with the Music Director.
  • Experience successfully managing in a fast-paced, complex organization with multiple programs, venues, events, and partners.
  • Forward thinking and the ability to anticipate obstacles and design solutions that meet the organization’s goals.
  • Proven ability to communicate effectively and collaborate across a broad group of stakeholders including members of the leadership team, staff, musicians, Board of Directors, Music Director, and orchestra leadership.
  • Strong business acumen and the ability to understand and communicate complex financial and negotiated agreements.
  • An undergraduate degree in music, arts administration, or a related field is expected.

Compensation will be commensurate with experience including a competitive base salary, bonus opportunity, and competitive benefits package.

Robin Bagby, Senior Associate
[email protected]