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Director of Finance Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Seize the chance to work with the talented and passionate team at the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, providing key financial insights, strategies and support to an incredible organisation at the cutting edge of classical music performance, outreach and engagement work.

  • Location: Hybrid, Acland Burghley School, North London
  • Salary: £70,000 - £80,000
  • Closing date: CLOSED FOR APPLICATIONS

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) is seeking a skilled Director of Finance to support their next strategic phase of growth, innovation and creativity. The next Director of Finance will support OAE as they drive forward change and challenge convention of how classical music is performed, delivered and received.

Who we are

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) specialises in historically informed performance. They are governed by their players and works with their Principal Artists, who include Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Mark Elder, as well as soloists such as Nicola Benedetti, Roderick Williams and Gerald Finley. The OAE aims to bring the very best of the period music tradition to today’s audiences in performances characterised by artistry, integrity and adventure. The OAE is Resident Orchestra at Southbank Centre and Associate Orchestra at Glyndebourne Festival Opera. The orchestra tours globally and, through a wide range of education projects, engages with thousands of people across many parts of Britain. In 2020, they became the first orchestra in the UK to take up residence in a school. They are immensely proud of our embedded education partnership with Acland Burghley School, and that they can share the next chapter of the OAE story with the wider Camden community.

Learn more at our website

“I especially enjoyed the rich nuttiness of the bassoon, all charm and cheekiness.”

Bachtrack Oct 2022

About the role

The Director of Finance will provide outstanding financial and business partnering support, which will in turn enable the delivery of the OAE’s strategic goals. Versed in devising long-term strategic financial and operational planning as well as short-term financial management, they will be able to partner and support the CEO to ensure that the most impact is achieved.

A financial manager with scrupulously high standards, they will drive the quality and transparency of financial management and reporting. They will maintain high financial confidence across the OAE, both internally, and with its partners and at Board level. The next Director of Finance will maintain robust financial controls and uphold an already excellent framework around which the financial operation of the organisation sits.  They will have similarly strong knowledge around fraud resilience strategies and will ensure excellence in governance, tax compliance and company secretarial duties.

A team leader possessing high EQ and the skills required for collaborative vision leadership, they will work hard to cultivate a fulfilling working environment for Finance staff and all other members of the wider team.

Responsible for the oversight of the finance and accounting functions of the 4 OAE entities, they will also oversee:

  • OAE Trust
  • OAE Benevolent Fund
  • OAE Productions LTD

Responsible for the line management of the finance manager and the Accounts officer, they will contribute to and maintain a positive, engaging and driven working environment.

As Director of Finance, this role will play a significant part in steering this magnificent and truly unique organisation, supporting its mission to ensure that music and innovative music-making are at its heart is truly accessible for all.

“The mix of exactitude and exaltation was perfectly judged by Masaaki Suzuki and the Age of Enlightenment orchestra and singers in this outstanding rendition of the first three cantatas.”

Tim Ashley, The Guardian

Who we are looking for

The next Director of Finance for the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will have experience of working for a charity or organisation which has a variety of income streams.  As someone used to leading such an organisation in a senior finance role, and being ACA/ACCA/CIMA qualified, they will have experience of strategic financial management and of partnering with business support.

With an excellent working knowledge of Charity SORP accounting and tax issues, including experience in leading audits and the preparation of FRS 102 financial statement, they will collaborate on all matters with senior colleagues and lead their team of financial experts.

The ideal candidate will have had experience engaging with governance bodies and boards and will be comfortable in this regard, reporting and making the necessary preparations for such meetings.

A decisive but compassionate colleague, they will be able to manage conflicting priorities, for themselves and for their team and will be comfortable working in a fast-paced and agile environment.


For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

Alison Maxwell | alison@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07498 071852

If you would like to know more about this role please contact Rebekah Abbott

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Welcome from Crispin Woodhead, CEO of The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Nearly 40 years ago a group of musicians came together hoping to redefine how orchestras are run, putting the players at the very heart of the organisation.  It would have been impossible then to imagine how the world would change over the next four decades and the challenges we would be faced with in the orchestral sector and more broadly across the Arts.

One thing that has not changed, however, is the OAE’s dedication to its mission: to advance education through the promotion, support and encouragement of the art of music.  We continue to perform at the very highest level in the UK and around the world, bringing the joy of historically informed performance to audiences in concert halls, opera houses, festivals, pubs, schools and beyond.  Possibly the most significant moments in the Orchestra’s recent history has been its relocation from offices in Kings Cross to a state comprehensive school in North London.  This partnership with Acland Burghley School, which is now entering its fourth year, has redefined how Arts organisations can integrate with education.  Building on an enviable national reputation for music education outreach, the OAE has created a new blueprint for how a symbiosis can be formed between a school and an external organisation, promoting the message that classical music is for everyone and has the power to enrich the lives of individuals from any background.

The role of Director of Finance lies at the very heart of the day-to-day success and prosperity of the OAE.  The successful candidate will work very closely with the CEO and other members of the Senior Management Team to provide business partnering support which enable us to deliver against our charitable mission.  They will also be working with one of the most dedicated and experienced Boards in the sector, as well as the OAE Trust and OAE Benevolent Fund.

This is a unique opportunity to be part of an organisation that is addressing some of the most significant challenges head-on.  Working with a team of highly motivated and talented colleagues, we offer a warm and welcoming environment to make a truly meaningful contribution to the Arts whilst also enriching the lives of hundreds of young people at our home in North London.

Yours sincerely,

Crispin Woodhead
CEO

History of the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

The early years.

The Orchestra was founded in 1986. Then, a group of idealistic period instrument players was determined to free itself from the shackles of working under an all-powerful music director and take charge of their own destiny.

Their first concert was on Thursday 26 June at Oxford Town Hall with violinist Sigiswald Kuijken. A second followed the next day at Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. The programme included Telemann, Rameau and Haydn’s Symphony No. 83 La Poule.

From there, things happened very fast indeed. In 1987, they worked with Simon Rattle to bring a landmark production of Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro to Glyndebourne, and started planning their first full season of Southbank Centre concerts.

Growing up.

Pretty quickly, they became a prominent fixture on the UK classical music scene.  In 1993, they formalised their relationship with Southbank Centre and became an official Resident Orchestra, an association they’re proud to have had ever since. They returned annually to Glyndebourne, specialising in Baroque and Classical opera by composers including Handel and Mozart. In 1994, Simon Rattle took them on their first European there. This mammoth jaunt featured 12 concerts in 9 cities across the UK, France, Germany, Austria, Italy and the Netherlands.

The present day.

The OAE turned 30 in 2016. While that means they’ve grown up in many ways, they’re still young at heart and adventurous in spirit.  In 2006 they launched The Night Shift, a pioneering series of late-night classical music gigs. Billed as ‘classical music, minus the rules’, these gigs are aimed at audiences under 35 who aren’t attending conventional concerts. They have evolved from large scale events at The Roundhouse and Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall to intimate chamber gigs in pubs. Now, they’re taking what they’ve learnt from The Night Shift and are bringing it back to the concert hall.

In 2017 the OAE blasted off on a journey of exploration, when their Sunday morning music and science series, Bach, the Universe and Everything, was launched.  2017 also saw the start of Six Chapters of the Enlightenment; six special seasons exploring the era that gave their Orchestra its name.

In 2020, they became the very first orchestra in the UK to take up residence in a school. They are immensely proud of their embedded education partnership with Acland Burghley School, and that they can share the next chapter of the OAE story with the wider Camden community.

Acland Burghley School

In summer 2020, the OAE moved into Acland Burghley School in Camden, North London. The residency – a first for a British orchestra – allows us to live, work and play amongst the students of the school. Three offices have been adapted for their administration team, alongside a recording studio and library. The Grade II listed school assembly hall is used as a rehearsal space so, for the first time, we are all in the in the same place: players, staff and library. The school is not just the OAE’s landlord or physical home, It offers the opportunity to build on twenty years of work in the borough through OAE’s long-standing partnership with Camden Music. This new move underpins the OAE’s core ‘enlightenment’ mission of reaching as wide an audience as possible: they have already worked in 18 of the Borough’s Primary Schools. The move was made possible with a leadership grant of £120,000 from The Linbury Trust, one of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts. Theirs and others’ support enables us to maintain their base at ABS and produce a year-round programme of work at the school.  “This imaginative partnership takes collaboration between professional artists and the public education system into new and exciting territory in which creativity has a part to play in all aspects of the curriculum.” Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England

“This imaginative partnership takes collaboration between professional artists and the public education system into new and exciting territory in which creativity has a part to play in all aspects of the curriculum.”

Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England

Learn more about the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment

Accessibility information

At the OAE we are dedicated to fostering an inclusive and accessible workplace for all. We believe that diversity is a source of strength and that everyone, regardless of abilities or disabilities, should have the opportunity to contribute and thrive within our organisation.

In line with this commitment, and with the support of our partners at Acland Burghley School, we strive to make our workplace and processes as accessible as possible.

Moreover, we actively seek input from our employees to identify areas for improvement and welcome suggestions for enhancing accessibility. We understand that promoting accessibility is an ongoing journey, and we are dedicated to learning, adapting, and evolving our practices to better meet the diverse needs of our workforce.

Our goal is to foster an inclusive culture that values the unique perspectives and talents of each individual. Some examples of measures we can take include:

  • Accessibility dogs are welcome.
  • Papers and materials can be presented in different formats.
  • A sign language interpreter can be accessed for interviews.
  • Working patterns and locations can be adjusted.

Applicants with a disability are invited to contact us in confidence at any point during the recruitment process to discuss steps that could be taken to overcome operational difficulties presented by the role, or if any adjustments or support are required regarding the recruitment process.

To arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

Alison Maxwell | alison@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07498 071852

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    Please ensure that your application is emailed to response@peridotpartners.co.uk inserting “Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment – Director of Finance” into the subject field.

    For further information about the role, or to arrange a confidential discussion, please contact our advising consultants at Peridot Partners:

    Rebekah Abbott | rebekah@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07538 270749

    Alison Maxwell | alison@peridotpartners.co.uk | 07498 071852

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    Timetable

    Closing date: 9 a.m. Monday 5th February 2024
    Candidates informed of outcome: Tuesday 13th February 2024
    First stage interviews: Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th February
    Final stage interviews: Wednesday 28th February


    Equal Opportunities Monitoring

    Peridot and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment are committed to promoting equality and diversity. To help us raise awareness and support a culture that is diverse and recognises and develops the potential of all, we need to appreciate the profile of candidates who apply for positions. We will send you an equality monitoring survey at the point of receiving your application, in the interview phase and at the time of placement. This ensures that our processes remain inclusive and equitable throughout, and provides us with important data to help us showcase our impact. The information will be treated confidentially and anonymously and will help us to support our commitment to fair recruitment practice. All information provided will be held in the strictest confidence and will not be shared with anyone, in line with the new Data Protection Act 2018 launched on 25 May 2018. The information provided does not form part of the decision-making process and will not affect your application.


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