Orchestra Librarian


The Orchestra Librarian is responsible for all aspects of music preparation, including proofreading, editing, and distributing all of the music needed for performances, while maintaining the orchestra’s inventory of scores and parts.


This is a full-time position starting in the Summer of 2017.


Music Procurement

  • Arrange for the purchase and/or rental of orchestral materials.
  • Produce score and parts for newly commissioned works, as required.
  • Ship, receive, and track music while maintaining accurate shipping records. Ensure prompt return and payment to the copyright owner/publisher for rented and/or borrowed materials.
  • Check all incoming and outgoing performance materials for condition and completeness.

Music Preparation

  • Work with conductors and soloists to prepare music according to their specific requirements (e.g. cuts, edition).
  • Review all music to ensure that there is a sufficient number of parts and to determine if orchestra parts meet acceptable performance standards. Correct any problems that could disrupt rehearsals.
  • Ensure that bowings, rehearsal letters/numbers, and measure numbers are compatible between the conductor’s score and the players’ parts.
  • Provide music in advance to the Concertmaster and other string principals so that they can create bowing masters. Upon their return, use them to mark other string parts cleanly and accurately.
  • To save time in rehearsal, consult existing errata lists and make corrections in the score and parts before distributing the music.
  • Assemble music in folders in concert order and make them available to musicians at least two weeks prior to the first rehearsal.
  • As needed, generate and email parts to extra musicians who are coming from away.
  • When employing a reduced orchestra, ensure that each player’s part is prepared so that they do not have to use more than one part, or play off a part not written for their instrument.

Rehearsal/Concert Duties

  • Attend or designate an artistic staff to attend every orchestra service. This includes morning, afternoon, evening, and weekend services.
  • For rehearsals and concerts, arrive one hour early to distribute music and execute any changes in bowing or stage set-up. Ensure that all musicians have music and, if not, provide alternate parts.
  • Follow up at every rehearsal with the conductor and string principals for bowing changes, note corrections, bad page turns, etc. Assist conductor and musicians with any other needs related to printed music.
  • Set conductor’s scores on the podium 15 minutes before the performance and following the intermission (or at an agreed upon time).
  • Collect and store all music at the conclusion of each service, as required.

Orchestra Library Maintenance

  • Catalogue and file music owned by the orchestra library, maintain an accurate inventory, and ensure adequate safety and security.
  • Track all items borrowed from the library (i.e. scores, parts, reference materials), and ensure their timely return.
  • Repair and maintain music, storage binders, and rehearsal folders.
  • Catalogue and maintain the Howard Cable Library; create usable parts and scores as required; develop rental policies and procedures.
  • Assist with administration of the Maria Anna Mozart composition contest, ensuring primarily that all performance materials and applicant records are tracked and filed appropriately.


  • Provide program listings, instrumentation requirements, and other information to staff.
  • Maintain accurate orchestra performance records, including performance timings.
  • Review and process all payments for music, supplies, and library assistants.
  • Report to all appropriate performance licensing organizations all music performed on all concert series; pay fees as required.
  • Prepare the annual library budget. During the budget process, confirm the required instrumentation and provide projected expense figures for planned repertoire. Request quotes for rental materials for the next season as soon as the programs are confirmed.
  • Ensure adherence to all copyright laws.

Other Tasks

  • Maintain up-to-date files of publisher catalogues or websites.
  • Prepare music for all audition books.
  • Assist artistic staff with obtaining scores and other materials.
  • Any other duties assigned by conductor and management.

Pre-requisite Skills and Requirements

  • Familiarity with orchestra music and parts, instrumentation, ranges, transpositions, and foreign language terms.
  • Ability to copy orchestra parts cleanly and legibly using manuscript paper and/or computer assisted software.
  • Knowledge of binding and photocopier equipment.
  • A working knowledge of Canadian and international copyright law.
  • Ability to work independently, prioritize tasks, and exercise good judgment and take initiative, as well as work as part of a team.
  • Knowledge of computerized information systems and their applications, including Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and Office.
  • Ability to adapt to a fast paced, rapidly changing environment.
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills including the ability to interact with all staff in a professional, confidential, timely, and tactful manner.
  • Ability to lift up to 25 pounds regularly.
  • Ability to work flexible and late hours and to travel with the orchestra, including airline travel.
  • Ability to perform the functions of the position in a safe manner.

The successful candidate will have excellent English-language skills, an extensive knowledge of orchestral repertoire and music publishers, and the ability to read scores and copy and transpose parts. The ideal candidate will have a degree in music and professional experience as an orchestral player and librarian. Familiarity with OPAS will be considered an asset.

How to apply

If interested, please submit your resume and letter of interest no later than May 31, 2017 to: Eric Mathis, Director of Operations, operations@symphonyns.ca.

Symphony Nova Scotia would like to thank all applicants for their interest; however, only those who are selected for an interview will be contacted.

Applicants shall be either Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.