President and CEO
Paul Meecham joined Utah Symphony | Utah Opera as President and CEO in July 2016. A musician by training, he has occupied leadership positions in the classical music industry during the last 25 years in London, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, and Baltimore. As president and CEO of USUO, Mr. Meecham leads the largest arts organization in the Intermountain West. The Utah Symphony, one of fifteen 52-week orchestras in the United States, performs more than 185 concerts each season. In recent years it has released several acclaimed new recordings under music director Thierry Fischer, and in April 2016 performed at Carnegie Hall as part of the orchestra’s 75th anniversary celebrations. Utah Opera, which celebrated its 40th anniversary season in 2017-18, mounts four full-scale opera productions each year in addition to creating sets and costumes for companies throughout North America at its state-of-the-art production studios in Salt Lake City. The organization also produces the summer Deer Valley® Music Festival in Park City, Utah and boasts an extensive state-wide music education program that is considered one of the most robust in the nation. A focus under his leadership is expanding the engagement of USUO with the community through more diverse offerings, with an emphasis on attracting families.
During his decade as President and CEO of Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (2006-2016) Mr. Meecham led the BSO, in partnership with Music Director Marin Alsop, in pursuing innovative strategies to redefine the role of the American orchestra in the 21st century, combining an entrepreneurial spirit with fiscal responsibility. Initiatives increased the BSO’s relevance within the community, including the ground-breaking inner-city schools program OrchKids, adult amateur participation programs including ‘Rusty Musicians’ and the BSO Academy, and affordable ticket pricing based on a highly successful $25 subscription pricing model that has increased access and attendance. During his tenure, the BSO enjoyed a regular presence at Carnegie Hall, resumed touring in the 2011-12 season with a West Coast tour, and issued several commercial recordings to acclaim.
As executive director for the Seattle Symphony Orchestra (2003-2006), Mr. Meecham launched the first-ever Seattle Symphony national radio broadcast series and a series of commercial recordings of American music on the Naxos label. He increased the Symphony’s commitment to family programming and community outreach, and worked closely with Maestro Gerard Schwarz on the two highly-acclaimed Made in America festivals.
Mr. Meecham was general manager of the New York Philharmonic (1999-2003) and San Francisco Symphony (1997-1999). While in New York he managed a busy national and international touring program, and secured the safe return of the Philharmonic to New York, after the orchestra was stranded in Germany on September 11, 2001. In San Francisco, he was a key figure in the ground-breaking six-year labor agreement with the players, following an 11-week work stoppage in 1996.
As managing director of the London Sinfonietta for six years beginning in 1991, Mr. Meecham restored the ensemble’s position as the preeminent European 20th-century music orchestra, increasing international demand for concerts, touring and recording. He commissioned works by leading composers including John Adams and Steve Reich, and created a festival of new American music. During his tenure, the London Sinfonietta was the 1997 winner of the London Evening Standard award for outstanding ensemble.
A pianist and violinist, Paul Meecham graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music. After a career in music publishing as head of publicity at the London firm of Boosey & Hawkes, he moved into orchestra management in 1988, as head of marketing at the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.