TSO board chair replaced, others out in abrupt leadership change

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has undergone an abrupt, major change in leadership – with the departure of several board members and a new board chair now in place.

The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has undergone an abrupt, major change in leadership – with the departure of several board members and a new board chair now in place.

Late Friday, the TSO announced that Richard Phillips, chair of the board for the past year, and a member for the past six, was no longer with the organization. Four of the other five members of the board’s executive committee have also left, including Sonia Baxendale, who stepped in as acting chief executive officer after the premature departure last March of Jeff Melanson, only 20 months into his tenure.

Catherine Beck, who joined the TSO Board just this past year, is the newly elected chair.

The changes at the top of the TSO come at a time when it is still regaining its feet after the departure of Mr. Melanson and a potentially crippling deficit.

The organization is seeking both a new permanent CEO and a new music director. Although the TSO is stressing continuity in its announcement of its new chair, it seems that the turmoil at the organization is not yet over.

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