Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s Brian Prechtl Selected for League of American Orchestras’ Emerging Leaders Program



Selected for League of American Orchestras’ Emerging Leaders Program

 Competitive Eight-Month Program Develops Participants’ Leadership Capacities while Identifying the Orchestra Field’s Future Leaders

Baltimore, MD (October 31, 2019) – Brian Prechtl is one of only twelve orchestra professionals participating in the League of American Orchestras’ Emerging Leaders Program, the field’s prime source for identifying and cultivating the leadership potential of talented orchestra professionals.

The competitive eight-month program begins this week with a three-day meeting in New York City and also includes one-to-one coaching, in-depth seminars led by leadership experts, visits with leaders in cultural and performing arts institutions, virtual convenings, and a capstone project culminating at the League’s 2020 National Conference in Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN (June 10-12, 2019). The curriculum develops participants’ individual leadership capabilities and advances strategic thinking, resiliency, and innovation throughout the orchestra field.

““I am incredibly excited to begin this new journey of discovery through the Emerging Leaders Program,” says Brian Prechtl. “This will be an opportunity to gain new skills that I can apply to my work as an orchestral musician, educator, advocate for social change through music and as an overall leader at the BSO. I am grateful for the support of Peter Kjome and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in this endeavor and I look forward to becoming even more of an asset to our organization through the process.”

“The League of American Orchestras provides vital opportunities to foster leaders to advance the field of orchestra music,” says BSO President and CEO Peter T. Kjome. “The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is delighted that Brian Prechtl has been selected to participate in the League’s Emerging Leaders program. In addition to Brian’s many contributions as a member of the BSO, he serves as Co-chair of the Players Committee and works as an educator and mentor with our OrchKids program. The BSO greatly appreciates the League’s continued commitment to leadership development.”

“These twelve professionals are stewards of our field’s future,” said President and CEO Jesse Rosen. “They will hone their leadership skills and strategic vision through this flagship League of American Orchestras’ leadership development program, while building a cohort of colleagues they can learn from in years to come.”

Launched in 2014, the Emerging Leaders Program is the newest chapter in the League’s history of developing orchestral leaders. Along with its previous iteration, the Orchestra Management Fellowship Program, the Emerging Leaders Program has advanced the development of more than 200 alumni—now executive directors and senior executives of orchestras.

Additional League leadership and professional development programs have included the Executive Leadership Programs, Institutional Vision and Critical Issues programs, American Conducting Fellowship Program, and Essentials of Orchestra Management.

About the 2019-20 Emerging Leaders Program:

The current cohort is comprised of orchestra executive directors, a professional orchestral musician, and managers in a cross-section of orchestra departments, including education and community engagement, development, marketing, personnel, public relations, operations, programming.

The participants were selected through a competitive application process; the League sought individuals who bring the imagination, drive, and commitment to grow as leaders in their own orchestras and serve as champions for the field.

A trio themes underpin the curriculum for this intensive program:

Fostering a Vibrant Orchestra – Understanding and assessing organizational culture and developing the foundational knowledge to be able to build a thriving and effective organization with a healthy, diverse, and inclusive culture.

Taking Responsibility for Personal Development – Building reflective practice as a means of increasing self-awareness and self-management in ways that sustain a career of increasing responsibility, influence, and professional growth in the orchestra field.

Leading with a Unified Vision – Developing a unifying strategic direction, working across traditional boundaries to bring people together in support of shared purpose.

The League’s Emerging Leaders Program is guided by renowned leadership expert John McCann as the lead faculty and facilitator. One-to-one leadership coaching is provided throughout the course by leadership development specialists Craig Coble and Mary Parish. Additional faculty—including Ama Codjoe, arts and social justice educator, and guest speakers from inside and outside the orchestra field—provide ELP participants with diverse perspectives and multifaceted learning experience. See faculty bios on our website;

The 2019-20 Emerging Leaders Program participants are:

  • Karina Bharne, Executive Director, Symphony Tacoma
  • Robin Freeman, Director of Public Relations, San Francisco Symphony
  • JT Kane, Dean of Visiting Faculty and Orchestra Manager, New World Symphony
  • Giuliano Kornberg, Chief Development Officer, Sacramento Philharmonic and Opera
  • Rachel Lappen, Senior Director of Development, The Cleveland Orchestra
  • Monica Meyer, Vice President of Marketing, Sales and Public Relations Virginia Symphony Orchestra
  • Brian Prechtl, Percussion, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • Andrew Roitstein, Director of Education and Community Engagement, Orchestra of St. Luke’s
  • Ignacio Barron Viela, Executive Director, Billings Symphony Orchestra and Chorale
  • Sarah Whitling, Manager of Strategic Initiatives, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
  • Leah Wilson-Velasco, CEO, Walla Walla Symphony
  • Michelle Zwi, Associate Personnel Manager, The Philadelphia Orchestra

Cohort bios and photos are linked on our website:

Read bios of previous program participants on our website: Class of 2018-19; Class of 2017-18; Class of 2016-17; and Class of 2015-16.

The Emerging Leaders Program is made possible by generous grants from American Express, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.




About Brian Prechtl

Percussionist Brian Prechtl has been a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2003. Before joining the BSO, he was a member of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic in Fort Wayne, IN for 14 seasons. Previous to that appointment, he held Principal Percussion positions in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra and the Toledo Symphony Orchestra. Prechtl spends his summers in Jackson Hole, WY as a performer in the Grand Teton Music Festival where he has been a member of the percussion section since 1992.


He graduated with high distinction from the University of Michigan in 1984 with a Bachelor of Music degree and went on to earn his Master of Music degree from Temple University in 1986. There he studied with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra and performed as a substitute player in Philadelphia.


Education has been a major focus for Prechtl. He has been a leader in the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s outreach program, OrchKids since its inception 11 years ago. He teaches percussion and has piloted a “bucket band” program that has served as a model for El Sistema programs across the country. He recently published Bucket Band Basics– a primer for teaching artists. In 2016 he was awarded with a Ford Award for Excellence in Community Service from the League of American Orchestras for his work in the OrchKids Program.


An active composer, Prechtl has had world premiere performances at the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Eastman School of Music, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra and throughout Baltimore. He has won composition prizes from the Percussive Arts Society and the College Music Society. He also serves as the composer in residence for the Community Concerts at Second Chamber Music Series since 2011. He recently produced a CD of his compositions for music and the spoken word, which are settings of Walt Whitman’s Poetry from Leaves of Grass.


Brian has been very active in orchestra governance. He currently serves as co-chair of the Baltimore Symphony Musicians Players’ Committee and has been pivotal in leading throughout the recent lockout and the ensuing resolution, which have allowed the Baltimore Symphony Musicians to return to the stage. Prechtl also serves as union steward and ICSOM Delegate.


Brian Lives in Ellicott City with his husband Tad and their Pit Bull, Clarence. All three of them can be found hiking and camping when they have the opportunity to be in the great outdoors, either in Grand Teton National Park or in Patapsco State Park in Maryland.


About the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra

For over a century, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO) has been recognized as one of America’s leading orchestras and one of Maryland’s most significant cultural institutions. Under the direction of Music Director Marin Alsop, the orchestra is internationally renowned and locally admired for its innovation, performances, recordings and educational outreach initiatives including OrchKids.


The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra performs annually for more than 350,000 people throughout the State of Maryland. Since 1982, the BSO has performed at the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore, and since 2005, with the opening of The Music Center at Strathmore in North Bethesda, MD, the BSO became the nation’s first orchestra performing its full season of classical and pops concerts in two metropolitan areas. More information about the BSO can be found at


The League of American Orchestras leads, supports, and champions America’s orchestras and the vitality of the music they perform. Its diverse membership of more than 2,000 organizations and individuals across North America runs the gamut from world-renowned orchestras to community groups, from summer festivals to student and youth ensembles, from conservatories to libraries, from businesses serving orchestras to individuals who love symphonic music. The only national organization dedicated solely to the orchestral experience, the League is a nexus of knowledge and innovation, advocacy, and leadership advancement. Its conferences and events, award-winning Symphony magazine, website, and other publications inform people around the world about orchestral activity and developments. Founded in 1942 and chartered by Congress in 1962, the League links a national network of thousands of instrumentalists, conductors, managers and administrators, board members, volunteers, and business partners. Visit