Monday, May 4, 2015


For Immediate Release:
May 4, 2015


PITTSBURGH—The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra announced today the appointment of Melia Peters Tourangeau as its new president and CEO. Tourangeau comes to Pittsburgh from Salt Lake City, Utah, where she has served as president and chief executive officer of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera (USUO) for the last seven years.
Tourangeau, 43, will join the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in August of this year. She succeeds James A. Wilkinson, who is retiring.
“Throughout her tenures at orchestras in Utah and Michigan, Melia Tourangeau has shown herself to be a creative, collaborative and strong leader,” said Richard P. Simmons, chair of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Board of Trustees. “We are confident she is the right person to support and grow the world-class artistic excellence for which the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra has always been known.”
The search committee spent about eight months conducting a national search for Wilkinson’s replacement. Tom Todd, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra trustee and chair of the search committee, said that Tourangeau met all of the committee’s demanding criteria.
“We were looking for someone with not only proven leadership skills, a passion for orchestral music and a track record of increased earned and contributed revenues, but also a leader who believes in our great Orchestra’s commitment to becoming an increasingly vital part of the fabric of our community and has the capability to effectively communicate our strong case for support to all our diverse constituencies,” said Todd. “Melia fits that bill in all respects.”
In 2008, Tourangeau became the head of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the only combined 52-week orchestra and opera organization in the United States. Under her leadership, USUO, which has an $19-million operating budget and 85 contracted musicians, increased ticket revenue by more than $1 million, returned its Annual Fund to pre-recession levels and secured millions in bridge funding over a four-year period while holding expense increases to a 6% increase over six years.
Prior to joining USUO, Tourangeau was president and CEO of the Grand Rapids Symphony in Michigan, where she was responsible for the overall financial, operational and administrative management of the organization. She joined that symphony in 1997 as education director and moved through ranks to director of operations and vice president and general manager before being named president. She began her administrative career with the Akron Symphony Orchestra as education coordinator.
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome Melia Tourangeau as our next president and CEO,” said Manfred Honeck, music director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.  “I am very excited about the future of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra given her sure-handed leadership, commitment and strategic vision. Melia's deep love and passion for music is obvious and I look forward to working closely together with her.”
Tourangeau received her Bachelor of Music degree in 1994 from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a major in piano performance and a minor in musicology. In 2007, she earned a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on nonprofit leadership from Grand Valley State University.
“Having a president and CEO who has experience as both a musician and administrator and has shown a real commitment to open lines of communication with all constituencies is an exciting development for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra,” said Micah Howard, chair of the Orchestra Committee and member of the Search Committee. "The musicians are looking forward to working with a leader who has shown such dedication to advancing symphonic music." 

“The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is one of the finest ensembles in the world and it is an honor and privilege to be chosen as their new president and CEO,” said Tourangeau.  “I am thrilled to work with Maestro Honeck, the musicians, the staff and the Board in continuing to foster the international reputation of this exceptional orchestra, sharing our core work and building strong relationships with our current and future audiences, as well as creating new opportunities to have the orchestra engage in meaningful ways with the greater Pittsburgh community and beyond.”
Tourangeau will move to Pittsburgh this summer with her husband, Mike, and two children, Olivia, 10, and Zacharie, 7.

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