In a surprise announcement this morning, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) has appointed Matthew Loden as CEO, effective July 2018.
Loden will succeed Gary Hanson who stepped in as Interim CEO from the Cleveland Symphony Orchestra in to replace former CEO Jeff Melanson who resigned in a flurry of controversy stemming from allegations of improprieties involving his now ex-wife Eleanor McCain in March 2016.
“After conducting an international search for our next Chief Executive Officer, our committee was unanimous in selecting Matthew to lead the TSO into our next chapter,” said TSO Board Chair Catherine Beck. “He is keen to join us in Toronto, and his passion for music and deep knowledge of the orchestral world will prove invaluable.
Loden is a seasoned musician and holds degrees in violin performance from Oberlin Conservatory and the Eastman School of Music. He has performed with orchestras and ensembles around the world, including the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Carnegie Hall, as well as an violinist for numerous Broadway productions.
Loden served as President and CEO of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra from 2003 before first joining the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2012 as VP of Institutional Advancement. The role included his assisting in acquiring Yannick Nézet-Séguin as music director, increasing the annual orchestra fund, and ensuring balanced budgets throughout his tenure. He also served as Board Secretary and owner of the Academy of Music, which is now a National Historic Landmark. In addition, he was the executive liaison with the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts.
The 50-year-old arts administrator has been serving as interim co-president of the Philadelphia Orchestra alongside Ryan Fleur since January 2018.
In a press release statement, Loden described the position as the pinnacle of his career, and was “thrilled to be able to work with such exceptional musicians.”
“I know the artistic ideals of the TSO will set the direction for all that we will accomplish on stage and off, and I am eager to help encourage artistic and educational partnerships throughout the city wherever possible. I cannot wait to call Toronto home.”
His wife, Kristen B. Loden, will be leaving her role as the senior vice president of advancement at the Curtis Institute of Music, to follow her husband from Philadelphia to Toronto this summer.
The search committee was comprised of board, musicians, and staff working with the Caldwell search firm.