Melia P. Tourangeau
Following an extensive, eight-month-long national search for an executive to lead the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Melia P. Tourangeau was appointed president and chief executive officer in May 2015 and began her tenure in July 2015.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, known for its artistic excellence for more than 120 years, is credited with a rich history of the world’s finest conductors and musicians, and a strong commitment to the Pittsburgh region and its citizens. Throughout its history, the Pittsburgh Symphony championed new American works, giving the first performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah” in 1944 and John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine in 1986; shared its music through recordings and national radio broadcasts; and has toured nationally and internationally since 1900, including the Far East and South America. The Pittsburgh Symphony has an annual operating budget of approximately $32 million and employs 76 full-time administrative staff and 97 contracted musicians. Tourangeau strives to develop trust and communication throughout the organization and with its constituents.
Tourangeau came to the Pittsburgh Symphony from the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the only combined 52-week orchestra and opera organization in the United States. She served as president and CEO of the organization since April 2008. Under her leadership USUO increased ticket revenue over $1 million, returned the Annual Fund to pre-recession levels and secured over $6 million in bridge support between 2008 and 2012. Expense increases were held to 6% over a six-year period averaging a 1% increase annually between 2007 and 2013. Utah Symphony’s seventh music director, Thierry Fischer, was identified and contracted beginning in 2008.
Prior to joining the USUO, Tourangeau was appointed president of Grand Rapids Symphony in April 2005 after a year-long national search. As president, Tourangeau was responsible for the overall financial, operational and administrative management of the organization with an $8.5 million annual operating budget, an administrative staff of 33 and 75 contracted professional musicians. Under her leadership, GRS balanced the budget and increased community support.
Tourangeau joined the Grand Rapids Symphony as education director in January 1997 and was promoted to director of operations, then vice president and general manager. Prior to joining the Grand Rapids Symphony, she was the education coordinator at the Akron Symphony Orchestra where she held that position for two-and-a-half years. She 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 April 2007, she received a master’s degree in public administration with an emphasis on nonprofit leadership at Grand Valley State University and was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha, the honors society for public administrators. Tourangeau was on the Executive Committee and the Board of the Economic Club of Grand Rapids, was a member of the Grand Rapids Rotary Club, and on the Conservatory Committee of the Oberlin College Alumni Council.
She is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), the International Women’s Forum and the League of American Orchestras. She and her husband, Michael, and their two kids, Olivia and Zach, live in the northern suburbs of Pittsburgh, and are enjoying exploring their new hometown.