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THE SCOOP | Toronto Symphony Names Mark Williams As CEO

By Michael Vincent on January 12, 2022

Mark Williams (Photo: Russell Lee)
Mark Williams (Photo: Russell Lee)

After a three-month search, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra has announced Mark Williams as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Williams will succeed CEO Matthew Loden, who stepped down from the role on September 22, 2021. Williams will join the TSO’s newish Music Director, Gimeno Gustavo, who began his leadership this early this season.
Williams will begin as CEO in April 2022.

What they’re saying

  • “On behalf of the musicians, and the TSO’s artistic community, I want to extend a very warm welcome to Mark,” said Gimeno. “I have worked with Mark for many years, and I am really thrilled that he will be leading our great orchestra.”
  • In a statement from Williams, he described “a palpable chemistry” when first meeting with the orchestra, board, and staff members. He also said he looks forward to moving to Toronto, “one of the world’s greatest cities,” with his husband.
  • According to Cathy Beck, Chair of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) Board of Directors, “Mark’s strategic acuity, in-depth producing and programming skills, and bold, creative thinking shone through during a very extensive international search.” […] “Mark will build on our momentum and bring his extensive leadership skills to steer the TSO towards even more successes.”

Background

  • Born in Ohio, USA. Williams’ holds a bachelor of music degree in horn performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University
  • He started his career as an artist manager with Columbia Artists Management and later with IMG Artists. He has worked with Cecilia Bartoli, Alan Gilbert, Susan Graham, and Dawn Upshaw.
  • Took as role as Artistic Administrator at the San Francisco Symphony (2009 to 2012)
  • Current role as Chief Artistic and Operations Officer at The Cleveland Orchestra

New Dream Team?

As New York Yankee great — and American poet — Yogi Berra said: “It is difficult to make predictions, especially about the future.”

While we will need to wait and see how Williams does in his first-ever CEO role, the good news is that this provides the TSO with stability. It also gives his artistic counterpart a new powerful ally as a potential future leadership dream team.

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Michael Vincent
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Michael Vincent
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