The Tucson Symphony Orchestra has named Paul Meecham as its president and CEO. Meecham is a nationally-known symphony executive who has served as the CEO of the Utah Symphony & Opera (2016 – 2019), CEO of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (2006 – 2016) and executive director of the Seattle Symphony (2004 – 2006).
In each of these positions, Meecham was a major force in generating new and younger audiences, increasing financial support for both operating use and for endowments, and developing and expanding educational programs and community outreach.
“I am very excited to be joining the Tucson Symphony Orchestra at this pivotal moment,” said Meecham. “José Luis Gomez is an exciting, innovative Maestro with whom I share a passion for engaging larger and more diverse audiences for music-making at the highest level. And I look forward to working with the entire TSO family – the dedicated board, hard-working staff and the fabulous musicians of the orchestra – to lead this vitally important Tucson community institution as we emerge from the challenges of the last year.”
The Tucson Symphony Orchestra, which is 92 years old, has over 60 musicians and conducts extensive music education programs in Southern Arizona. While its planned 2020-2021 season had to be postponed due to the pandemic, the symphony has been offering music, interviews and educational programming on its website digital stage and recently launched a mobile stage for small-scale live performances.
Beginning this September, the symphony returns to the stage for an exciting season of live performances. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.
“The TSO and the Tucson community are very lucky to have someone as talented and experienced as Paul Meecham join our family,” said Jim Lindheim, chair of the Board of Trustees of TSO. “We have been weathering the pandemic well, but now, with vaccines, we can see that these dark days will end. And there is no one better than Paul Meecham to help the TSO determine how best to re-emerge into the coming post-pandemic era and head for our centennial.”
“I am thrilled to have Paul Meecham as my partner and colleague at the TSO,” said José Luis Gomez, maestro and music director of the symphony. “We already have had conversation about new ways that the TSO can fulfil its mission of transforming lives through music. Paul is both a musician and an educator, as well as an experienced artistic administrator. And he shares with me a dream of transforming TSO into an even more dynamic and creative force in the lives of the diverse communities of Southern Arizona.”
Meecham and his wife, Laura Leach, both born in the UK, are committed to the American West after their time in Seattle and Salt Lake City. “Our exposure to Tucson has only been brief,” said Meecham. “But the people we have met have shown a special warmth and openness. After talking to many people involved with the TSO, I am very excited to have the opportunity to become part of this community.”