Principal Librarian

The Principal Librarian is responsible for the purchase, rental and preparation of scores and parts for all performances. S/he works with the music director and conductors in selecting performing editions and in marking bowings, cuts or other editing, then distributes parts to musicians. S/he maintains library of music holdings, records repertoire performance data, and assesses long-range acquisition needs. A hybrid position, the Principal Librarian reports to the Director of Artistic Planning and is subject to the policies of the NJSO Administrative Staff Handbook but must be a member of the American Federation of Musicians and is governed by the NJSO CBA in matters regarding compensation, pension, and grievances.

Library Management

  • Catalogue and file music purchased for the library, maintain and improve accuracy of collection database and performance records. Regularly assess and maintains/repairs the orchestra’s collection of scores, parts, and folders. Track all borrowed materials from the library including scores, individual parts, and full sets.
  • Prepare annual reports for Performing Right’s Organizations such as ASCAP and BMI
  • Prepare the annual music and library supply budget including all costs and fees for staffing, music acquisition, equipment and supplies. Provide projected expense figures for all planned repertoire.
  • Manage preparation of audition musical materials and assist in the process as requested.
  • Supervise Library Assistants and Interns.
  • Administer musical elements of NJSO’s OPAS database. Ensure that all repertoire, instrumentation details (including auxiliary and doubling needs), and other special needs are accurately noted and input. Highlight any unusual requirements proactively to Artistic Operations and Personnel.
  • Attend all Production and NJSO Staff Meetings.
  • Establish and maintain contacts and good working relationships with publishers, orchestra industry colleagues and other resources.

Music Procurement

  • Acquire music for all concerts, in consultation with the Director of Artistic Planning. Negotiate rental or purchasing costs where applicable.
  • Secure rights for local, regional and national broadcasts and/or other licenses.
  • Assist artistic staff in obtaining needed perusal scores and piano reductions.
  • Check all incoming and outgoing sets of music for quality and completeness. Maintain accurate shipping records. Ensure prompt return of rented or borrowed materials in adherence to publisher agreements.

Music Preparation

  • Oversee all aspects of music preparation for all services of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. Preparation includes but is not limited to editing, proofreading, fixing page turns, distributing and marking of all string parts.
  • Oversee all string part bowing in coordination with Concertmaster and other string principals.
  • Work with the Music Director, conducting staff, soloists, and principals to prepare music according to their requirements.
  • Ensure that bowings, rehearsal letter/numbers and measure numbers are compatible between the conductor’s score and the distributed parts.
  • Note and communicate auxiliary instrumentation and doubling needs with Personnel manager.
  • Take necessary steps to correct any problems with materials that could be potentially disruptive to rehearsals and performances before parts are distributed (errata, page turns etc.)
  • Ensure that all music is available for distribution at least 2 weeks prior to the first rehearsal.
  • Facilitate music distribution to contracted and substitute players, including mailing, scanning, creation of practice parts, and uploading parts to secure web portal.
  • Ensure that back-up materials are available at all services in the event of emergency.

Concert/Rehearsal Duties

  • Arrive one hour prior to service for assigned rehearsals and performances; track performance timings, and archive those timings in OPAS.
  • Distribute and collect all music at concerts and rehearsals; assist conductor and musicians with needs relating to printed music. Ensure that folders are placed on the stands 30-45 minutes prior to the start of the service.
  • Set and change scores in accordance with the conductor’s needs.
  • Follow up at every rehearsal with the conductor and principal players for any bowing changes or other needs.
  • Ensure that music trunks are appropriately packed for runout venues. Communicate music transportation needs with Artistic Operations and Stage Technicians.


Educational and Musical Qualifications

  • Degree in music or equivalent musical knowledge.
  • Prior Music Librarian experience (minimum 2 years encouraged)
  • 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.
  • First-rate music preparation, copying and score-reading skills.
  • Experience performing as a professional musician encouraged

Administrative and Managerial Qualifications:

  • Ability to interact effectively and productively with the Music Director, guest conductors, musicians, stage crew and staff.
  • Familiarity with developing and managing budgets.
  • Excellent computer skills, including working knowledge of Microsoft Office and music notation software; 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
  • Excellent time management skills; ability to multi-task and prioritize.
  •  Poise; grace under pressure.
  •  Common sense, along with a sense of humor.

To Apply

All applicants should e-mail their résumé by April 1 to Patrick Chamberlain, NJSO Director of Artistic Planning at [email protected].

The New Jersey Symphony Orchestra is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes and values diversity, inclusion and equity in all forms