Assistant Librarian

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on print

Job Description

REPORTS TO: Principal Librarian


Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO)


Works under the direction and supervision of the Principal Librarian, participating in all orchestra library functions such as: cataloguing and preservation of music; acquisition and preparation of music for rehearsals and performances; supplying music for all Boston Symphony Orchestra, Inc. functions including, but not limited to, orchestra rehearsals, performances, and auditions, serving as source of musical reference and assistance to members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and its staff, as well as the Boston Symphony Chamber Players (BSCP).


Boston Pops Orchestra (BPO) includingBoston Pops Esplanade Orchestra (BPEO)


Under the supervision of the Principal Librarian, the Assistant works closely with the Conductor of Pops (and guest conductors), arrangers and staff in matters of resources, music acquisition and preparation, cataloguing and maintenance of Pops musical materials and library records.  In addition to music preparation, this may include distributing performance information, cataloguing Pops music, recording and maintaining performance history, and some financial processing and record keeping.  Availability for additional run-outs and/or tours required.


Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra (TMC)


The TMC library is a teaching library and the Assistant Librarian will serve as mentor and teacher to two Library Fellows each summer, patiently spending time to teach and refine their library skills as well as manage their work schedule.  Much of the TMC work is independent of the BSO library at Tanglewood, and strong leadership skills are required.


All librarians are required to take up residence for 8 or 9 weeks every summer at Tanglewood (in Lenox, MA) for which a per diem for housing is provided.


Music Procurement

For TMC and Pops, under the supervision of the Principal Librarian, determine what musical materials (scores and parts) are to be ordered or purchased and acquire them in a timely manner. Negotiate favorable purchase and rental fees.

As directed by Principal Librarian, negotiate fees with copyright owners related to broadcasts, internet streaming and downloads, recordings, grand rights and any other applicable copyright-related issues.

Take delivery of and track incoming music, pack and ship outgoing music, and maintain shipping records.

Check all incoming and outgoing performance materials for condition and completeness.

Ensure prompt return of rented or borrowed materials and adherence to publisher agreements.

Music Preparation

Determine from Conductors and Principal Players what preparation is required prior to each service and supervise librarians in the execution of such preparation.

Review all music to determine if orchestra parts meet acceptable standards, i.e. that they are legible, and contain adequate rehearsal letters, numbers, and measure numbers. Take the necessary steps to correct problems that could potentially disrupt rehearsals.

Provide parts sufficiently in advance to the Concertmaster and other designated string principals for bowings, and to all musicians for pre-rehearsal practice.

Ensure that bowings, rehearsal letters/numbers and measure numbers are compatible between conductors’ scores and players’ parts. Assemble and arrange music in orchestra folders.

Concert/Rehearsal Duties

For assigned rehearsals and concerts, arrive one hour early to execute any changes in bowing, stage set-up, etc. Ensure that all musicians have music and, if not, provide alternative.

Set conductor’s scores and batons; collect and store all scores at conclusion of service.

Distribute and collect music at concerts and rehearsals; assist conductors and musicians with needs related to printed music.

Follow up at every rehearsal with the conductor and string principals for possible bowing changes, mistakes to be corrected in the parts, bad page turns, etc.

Orchestra Library Maintenance

Maintain the orchestra’s collection of scores and parts in good condition; repair and maintain music and folders as needed.

Catalogue and file all music in the orchestra library, maintain accurate inventory, and ensure adequate security.

Track all items borrowed from the library (e.g., individual parts, scores, reference materials) and ensure their timely return.


Educational and Musical Qualifications

Degree in music or equivalent musical knowledge.

Comprehensive knowledge of orchestral repertoire, music theory, foreign terms, musical terms/signs, transposition and notation.

Knowledge of current score editions and reference sources.

Experience with and knowledge of orchestral pops repertoire and music sources.

Knowledge of U.S. and international copyright laws and knowledge/familiarity with music licensing agencies.

 Administrative and Managerial Qualifications:

Ability to provide leadership and supervision as needed to musicians and staff (in absence of other librarians)

Ability to interact effectively and productively with the Music Director, guest conductors, musicians, stage crew and staff.

Familiarity with managing budgets.

Excellent computer skills, including working knowledge of Microsoft Office and music notation software (Finale or Sibelius); familiarity with or receptivity to working with OPAS.

Personal Characteristics:

Excellent communication skills and the ability to interact with a number of diverse constituencies.

Exceptional organizational skills and attention to details.

Ability to work independently as well as to lead and manage others; a team leader.

Excellent time management skills; ability to multi-task.

Poise; grace under pressure.

Common sense, along with a sense of humor.

How to Apply

The full announcement is at:

Highly qualified applicants: Please send a one-page résumé in Word or PDF format, including email address and telephone number, to: (highly preferred)
Lynn G. Larsen, Orchestra Personnel Manager
Symphony Hall • 301 Massachusetts Avenue • Boston, MA 02115

Résumés due on or before: January 31, 2016.

JOb Categories

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/musiclib/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/caldera-easy-pods/classes/caldera-forms.php on line 389

Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/musiclib/public_html/blog/wp-content/plugins/caldera-easy-pods/classes/caldera-forms.php on line 389