The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

RBEL Students Discuss Leadership Organizational Strategies with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra

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Who thought that a chamber orchestra could be the model for a successful business organization? The Rockefeller Business and Entrepreneurial Leadership (RBEL) Student Discussion Group was proud to invite members of the Grammy-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for a lunch discussion regarding the similarities between leadership in an orchestra and leadership in any business organization.

Jonathan Spitz plays the cello.

The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra is unique in the sense that it is a self-conducting orchestra. Yes, you heard correctly: a self-conducting orchestra.  Instead of following a conventional conductor, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra becomes an active team that rotates conducting duties. The leadership rotates and allows for greater participation and decision making from the entire group. According to -- and ---, players in the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, this has two effects. The first effect is that everyone has a sense of ownership. The players need otk now everyone else's parts in addition to their own.   The second is to help modulate everyone's personalities depending on the roles needed to play. The rotation allows everyone to give their opinion in an organized manner, but it also fosters creativity and diversity.

This model ultimately creates the opportunity to share experiences with one another in the group. Rehearsals become teaching sessions, with a passion for growth and evolution.  Jonathan Spitz (cello) and Ronnie Bauch (violin) hope this model of a "group consciousness" can influence other types of leadership organizations, whether it be a corporation or a hospital.  Ronnie  remarked, "In any organization in any industry, the quality of leadership can be improved."

Later that evening, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra performed with Gabriel Kahane at the Hopkins Center for Arts, debuting Gabriel’s Guide to the 48 States.

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences