Dr. Ayden Adler

Greencastle, Indiana
Eastern Time Zone (UTC​−05:00)

I coach via videoconference. Let’s work out a mutually suitable time!

With nearly three decades of experience as an arts administrator, performer, teacher, and author, I am a nationally recognized leader and sought-after speaker and advisor on best practices in arts administration and leadership. My vision is to sustain the arts through robust inclusivity and diversity, superlative artistry, and innovative approaches to audience engagement and retention. My forthcoming book, Orchestrating Whiteness: Arthur Fiedler, Serge Koussevitzky, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, addresses the historical roots of systemic racism in classical music, and emerged from my experience performing and programming concerts, engaging donors, building audiences, and negotiating strategic community partnerships at four major American orchestras. I am a Chief Executive Global Fellow of National Arts Strategies, a Grammy voter, and a research affiliate of the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project.

As a leadership coach, I call upon my creative arts background to inspire and support leaders who envision meaningful personal and organizational impact and who seek to serve as change agents cultivating diverse and inclusive cultures.

My goal as a coach is to provide a powerful and safe space to encourage reflection, learning, and growth. I am an experienced and empathetic thought-partner; I provide unwavering support, guidance, and accountability as my clients progress toward their goals. Through honest conversation and respectful inquiry—and a dose of good humor—coaching provides an opportunity for my clients to gain new perspectives, embody their own, authentic leadership, and drive change. My client list includes small and large nonprofit organizations as well as individual employees, board members, artists, academics, and entrepreneurs—at every level of experience. In addition to leadership coaching, I provide expertise in strategic planning and execution, project/program development, social justice and equity, resource acquisition, assessment, and accreditation.

I currently serve as Professor of Music, History, and Arts Management at DePauw University where I teach courses in arts patronage, audience engagement, and nonprofit management. I hold degrees from Princeton University (B.A.), the Juilliard School (M.M.), and the Eastman School of Music (M.A., D.M.A., Ph.D.). Highlights of my career include performing for ten years as a tenured member of the Rochester (NY) Philharmonic Orchestra while teaching at the Eastman School of Music; serving as Executive Director of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra after leading the Education and Community Partnerships departments at the Atlanta and Philadelphia Orchestras; and serving as Dean of the Conservatory at Michael Tilson Thomas’ New World Symphony and as Dean of the School of Music at DePauw University.

I would love the opportunity to work with you!

Sample Testimonials:

“I can’t say enough good things about my experience working with Ayden as a leadership coach. Ayden is a lovely combination of no-nonsense clarity and compassionate, kind, and experienced counseling. I had an overall excellent experience at a very trying time during the COVID pandemic. Ayden was instrumental in helping me to gain perspective on the many challenges our company and I was facing. She became a partner in problem-solving under the trying conditions.”
– Christopher V. Edwards, Artistic Director, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Boston, MA

“Ayden helped me cull places where I was stuck and was using my “busy-ness” to avoid addressing personnel challenges. Of particular note, Ayden made me more effective as a manager, by providing a methodical and memorable approach to conflict management. I continue to use this knowledge today with great success. Thanks Ayden!”
– Shannon Forsell, CEO, The Cabaret, Indianapolis, IN