Offering trusted counsel from experienced arts executives to meet the needs of orchestra presidents.

We all need and crave a trusted, experienced person whose only agenda is our success. But rarely does it happen. If we’re brutally honest, it can be hard to find that support within the hierarchy of the organizations we lead. Over the years – and especially in 2020 – we have heard from orchestra leaders that they crave that sounding board, that confidential thought partner, that colleague with whom one has permission to think together about the challenges of leading a complex organization.

This is why Aspen Leadership Group is pleased to offer strategic executive counsel services specifically designed for orchestra presidents. Led by Frank Byrne, former Executive Director of the Kansas City Symphony and an orchestra leader for decades, this partnership is tailored to meet presidents’ needs and is built on firsthand knowledge of the difficulty of the job. It aspires to a relationship, not a formula. Not bumper-sticker slogans, but an ongoing conversation that leads to more productive outcomes. We approach this work with humility and the conviction that we can be helpful. Not perfect, not omniscient, but helpful in ways that are meaningful to our client partners.

We welcome the opportunity to learn how we might be helpful to you. Please contact Frank Byrne and Ron Schiller to discuss your needs.

About Frank Byrne

Frank_Byrne_AssociateFrank Byrne, Associate, is a recognized leader in the orchestra world. Following 27 highly successful years with the Marine Band, he served 19 years with the Kansas City Symphony as Executive Director. In that time, he helped transform KCS into one of the most efficient, responsive, and successful organizations of its kind. All metrics – sales, fundraising, and operational outcomes – grew dramatically. He led the organization through a music director search, the successful transition to a new concert hall, built a great staff, and broadened the range of programming and community relevance. He takes greatest pride in the transformed organizational culture, one where there is mutual trust and respect among musicians, staff, and board. Read Frank’s full bio.

Aspen Leadership Group has served as a trusted advisor to the country’s most prominent and respected orchestras and musical ensembles. We have been counsel to presidents, Boards, and teams and we are respected for our ability to help orchestras recruit, coach, and retain talented arts leaders. Our partners include:

  • Aspen Music Festival and School, Colorado
  • Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Georgia
  • Colburn School, California
  • Curtis Institute of Music, Pennsylvania
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Michigan
  • Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, Texas
  • Harmony Foundation International, Tennessee
  • Houston Symphony, Texas
  • Jazz Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
  • Kansas City Symphony, Missouri
  • La Jolla Music Society, California
  • League of American Orchestras, New York
  • Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, New York
  • Manhattan School of Music, New York
  • Metropolis Ensemble, New York
  • New World Symphony, Florida
  • New York Philharmonic, New York
  • Orchestra of St. Luke’s, New York
  • Oregon Symphony, Oregon
  • Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Pennsylvania
  • PostClassical Ensemble, District of Columbia
  • Seattle Symphony, Washington
  • SFJAZZ, California
  • Symphony of Northwest Arkansas, Arkansas
  • The Metropolitan Opera, New York
  • Tucson Symphony Orchestra, Arizona

What Our Partners Are Saying

The opportunity to have counsel from Frank Byrne has been a gift. His advice is founded from years of successful leadership and his style is discreet but direct. On several occasions, a well- placed word from Frank has meant the difference between a wrong move and a confident step forward. What's more, he's become a friend and professional confidante to depend on.Nathan Newbrough, President and CEO, Colorado Springs Philharmonic
Frank has demonstrated both strategic vision and tactical precision over his many years as an orchestra manager. He has led the Kansas City Symphony out of a period of great distress into a renaissance of community relevancy and artistic vitality. He is an outstanding colleague that has helped me think through difficult challenges and always inspires greater confidence in my own ability to manage and lead. I can think of few orchestra colleagues who have been more generous with their time, responsive, and thoughtful.John Forsyte, President and CEO, Pacific Symphony
Over the past two decades, in my work with Frank Byrne as a colleague in the arts leadership realm, I have experienced Frank's deep understanding of music, orchestras, and how organizations work in complex systems. This, coupled with his intelligence and consistent integrity, make him an effective guide and creator of long-lasting solutions.Jane Chu, Artist and Former Chairperson, National Endowment for the Arts
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.