Toronto, April 24, 2014 - Today, the Board of Directors of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra announced the appointment of Jeff Melanson as President and CEO of the TSO, with a start date of November 1, 2014.
“In our search for a new CEO, our primary focus was to find an accomplished leader in the arts with a strong strategic vision and a track record of successful fundraising,” explained TSO Chairman of the Board Christopher J. Hodgson. “With Jeff, we have a bold change-agent recognized in Canada, and internationally, as a top cultural executive with passion and creativity, and the ability to build a clear recognized brand.”
Jeff Melanson holds a bachelor of music from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where he studied opera, Russian art song, and choral conducting. Melanson also pursued vocal studies at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and holds an MBA from Wilfrid Laurier University.
From 1998 to 2000, Melanson was the director of development for Opera Ontario. In March 2000, Melanson was appointed assistant dean of the Community School at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, and was promoted to dean by the end of 2001. In 2006, Melanson was appointed executive director and co-chief executive officer of Canada’s National Ballet School; and in October 2011, he was appointed president of The Banff Centre.
“Jeff has an extremely charismatic personality and I find the idea of working together very energizing,” said TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian. “I look forward to forging our partnership and leading the excellent musicians of the TSO, together, to a position of significant international stature.”
Melanson is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and a trustee with the National Guild for Community Arts Education (US). He is a frequent guest lecturer on arts management and in 2009 was the first arts leader to be appointed one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40™. In 2010, Melanson was named Wilfrid Laurier University’s MBA Alumnus of the Year, in November 2010, Melanson was appointed special advisor on arts and culture to the mayor of Toronto and has also just been appointed a Senior Resident at Massey College in the University of Toronto.
“It is an honour to be asked to serve this wonderful organization in the role of President and CEO. I look forward to working with the musicians, staff, Peter and the board to take the Toronto Symphony Orchestra to an international leadership position,” said Jeff Melanson. “I am confident that the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is poised for great things and I am looking forward to a period of renewal, collaboration and creativity ahead.”
About the TSO: Founded in 1922, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is one of Canada’s most important cultural institutions recognized internationally as an outstanding orchestra. Currently celebrating his 10th season as Music Director, Peter Oundjian continues to lead the Orchestra with a commitment to innovative programming and audience development with performances that showcase the exceptional talents of the Orchestra along with a roster of distinguished guest artists and conductors. In addition to the concert season, the TSO serves the larger community with TSOUNDCHECK, the original under-35 ticket programme, the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra, and through music education and outreach programmes which connect students with acclaimed curriculum-based programming.