The Phoenix Symphony Selects Suzanne Wilson as New President & CEO

Suzanne Wilson

Suzanne Wilson has joined The Phoenix Symphony as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer.

Wilson will succeed Jim Ward, who is retiring from the symphony to pursue work in the private sector.

Wilson previously served as the Executive Director of the Midori Foundation, a preeminent provider of high-quality music education to New York City public school students in underserved communities. She also served as Chief of Staff for the New England Conservatory in Boston, one of the nation’s premiere music institutions.

Previously, Wilson worked as Director of the Office of External Affairs and Partnerships for the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as Vice President of Education and Community Engagement for the Celebrity Series of Boston.

“I am incredibly excited and proud to join an organization with the kind of impact and reputation The Phoenix Symphony enjoys,” Wilson said. “It is my honor to collaborate with Tito, the talented musicians, dedicated Board of Directors, committed staff and the entire Valley community to advance this treasured musical institution. Together, The Phoenix Symphony will continue to create the highest quality music experiences, bolster economies and educate the next generation of musicians and audiences.”

Dr. Oliver Harper, Board Chairman for The Phoenix Symphony, said that Wilson’s background in arts and education combined with her energetic and creative approach to her work made her an ideal candidate for the position.

“We are very pleased to welcome Suzanne to the Valley and to The Phoenix Symphony,” he said. “She brings an extensive amount of experience in the performing arts to our organization, but just as importantly, she understands the importance of educating future generations of performers and patrons of the arts, something that is an integral part of our mission.”

Wilson was selected after the Symphony engaged Arts Consulting Group to assist the Board of Directors in a national search for the new CEO.

Tito Muñoz, Virginia G. Piper Music Director of The Phoenix Symphony, welcomed Wilson and said he is confident she will succeed in her new role.

“It is exciting to see someone with a background in both performing arts and education join the Symphony in this role,” Muñoz said. “Her energy and expertise will be a great asset to the organization moving forward, and I am confident she will help further the artistic vision of The Phoenix Symphony and the positive contributions our musicians are having on the arts and the community at large.”

Molly DeFilippis succeeded Harper as Board Chair on January 1 and is the second woman to Chair the Symphony’s Board of Directors in its 73 years, with Jeanne Herberger being the first.

“As we begin a new decade, we are excited about Suzanne’s leadership and what it will bring to the organization,” DeFilippis said. “We are also grateful to Jim who has kept music alive in this community during his tenure, as well as Ollie’s heartfelt passion, support and guidance as Chairman of the Board of Directors over the past few years as well. We thank them for their contributions to the Symphony’s past, present and future.”

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