Executive Leadership Award


Launched in 2020, the Executive Leadership Award recognizes the chief executive officer, executive director, or managing director of an ACSO member organization for extraordinary leadership in the classical music field by advancing the mission of their organization, creating a vision that inspires others, creating strategies to overcome challenges, and uniting a team to meet the demands of the changing world of classical music performance.

This leader has built an organizational culture and strategy that causes the institution to be an indispensable member of its community and has led their organization to evolve as its audience diversifies, changes, and grows. Throughout their leadership experience, this individual has encouraged innovation and creative independence among employees, enabling them to do their best work, and has demonstrated a special ability to identify and foster future leaders for the sector. This person effectively aligns artistic and administrative goals and uses their position to ensure that the organization is a reflection of and is in service to its unique, diverse, and evolving community.

Throughout their career, this person has been the embodiment of ACSO’s vision that the classical music landscape of California and the region is vibrant, healthy, diverse, and connected to the communities it serves.


  • Nominee’s organization must be a current member of ACSO
  • Must be the CEO, executive director, or managing director of their organization
  • Nominee must be a paid employee (part time or full time) at an organization of any budget size
  • Nominee must have strengthened and transformed the organization that he/she leads (specific examples of the individual’s impact must be provided)

ACSO promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion values and principles. As such, we strongly encourage nominators to consider submitting diverse candidates who meet the award criteria.

Nominator may be a member of the board of directors, a member of the organization’s senior leadership, music director, musician, a peer, or may be a self-nomination

Deadline and How to Apply

The Nominator must complete and submit the online application by Tuesday, July 19, 2022. (Once you begin the nomination, you will need to complete it in its entirety, as the portal will not allow you to save partially completed information or edit your response once it is complete. You can preview the questions here but you must complete the final nomination online.)

Executive Leadership Award Nomination

The ACSO Awards Committee will complete its review and selection process and the winner will be notified by late June and the public announcement will be made in August 2022. ACSO will provide the awardee’s organization with a press release that can be customized to send to local media.

The award will be presented at ACSO’s virtual Annual Meeting in August 2022 (date TBD).

Questions? Contact ACSO at [email protected] or 800-495-2276 x3.