TSO Statement on Leadership Change

March 30, 2016

TORONTO, ON - The Board of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Jeff Melanson, President & CEO of the TSO, have mutually decided that it is in the best interests of both parties that he resign from his employment with the TSO. The TSO has accepted Mr. Melanson’s resignation effective March 29, 2016.

Richard Phillips, Chair of the Board of Directors of the TSO, thanked Mr. Melanson for the many positive contributions he has made to the TSO. Mr. Melanson has been instrumental in developing a new strategic plan, which has delivered on the following priorities:

  1. Artistic Excellence – The TSO created Canada Mosaic, selected by the Government of Canada as a Signature Initiative for Canada’s Sesquicentennial. This funding announcement marks the largest investment for the TSO in its history.
  2. Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra – In April 2015, the TSO moved ahead with a new strategy to make the TSYO tuition free. This important initiative has resulted in a 50% increase in applications and a much more diverse and accessible TSYO.
  3. Education and Community Engagement – The TSO has developed a plan for a city-wide music education programme with the aim of serving 345,000 students by 2020. This plan will remain a major priority of the TSO.
  4. Innovation – Mr. Melanson and his team created Sunday Night With The TSO, a weekly radio show on Classical 96.3 FM that serves over 44,000 listeners each week, developed new partnerships with the Polaris Music Prize, TIFF, SickKids among others, and have recently launched new initiatives to engage much more of the diversity of Toronto in the artistic planning of the TSO.

The TSO is proud of these initiatives and accomplishments and looks forward to building on them. To that end, the TSO Board of Directors has formed an executive search committee to identify a new CEO. In the meantime, Sonia Baxendale has agreed to accept the position of Interim CEO. As an experienced leader in industry and philanthropy, and a TSO Board member, Sonia has the in-depth knowledge of the organization and skill set to continue to execute and build on the strategy in place. She will step aside from her position on the Board and begin immediately as interim President & CEO until a new leader is appointed.

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