Executive Leadership Award


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 his/her 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 his/her 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 his/her position to ensure that the organization is a reflection of and is in service to its unique, diverse, and evolving community.

Throughout his/her 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 his/her 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)

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

Applications are now closed.

The ACSO Awards Committee will complete its review and selection process and the winner will be notified by September 25 at the latest and the public announcement will be made in late September. ACSO will provide the awardee’s organization with a press release that can be customized to send to local media.

Because there is no in-person conference in 2020, the awardee will be invited to be recognized at ACSO’s Annual Conference at the Mission Inn in Riverside in August 2021.

Once you begin the application, 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 report online.

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