Grand Rapids Symphony hires president and CEO


Mary Tuuk. Photo via

The Grand Rapids Symphony has found its next leader.

The symphony said today it hired Mary Tuuk as president and CEO.

She will assume the leadership responsibilities in early 2019 from Peter Perez, who's retiring.

Tuuk is currently the chief compliance officer and SVP of properties and real estate for Walker-based Meijer.

She is also a member of the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, and she serves on the Grand Rapids Symphony board. She will be stepping down from her board post.

“By naming Mary as its president, the Grand Rapids Symphony is setting a truly inspired course for its future, and I could not be more pleased with the decision,” said Marcelo Lehninger, music director, Grand Rapids Symphony.

“Mary’s unique leadership abilities and insights in both business and music will ensure our current momentum continues for years to come. I look forward to working with her to create the next great chapter in this orchestra’s story.”

Tuuk has also performed with the West Michigan Symphony, Chamber Choir of Grand Rapids, West Michigan Camerata Singers and Cincinnati Vocal Arts Ensemble. Her performances have included Mendelssohn's “Hymn of Praise,” Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” Faure's' “Requiem” and Handel’s “Messiah.”

“Mary Tuuk is well-known and highly respected by the musicians of the Grand Rapids Symphony,” said Paul Austin, a Grand Rapids Symphony horn player and one of the three musician representatives on the search committee.

“Her business and financial background, combined with her musical training uniquely qualify her to lead the organization. The musicians couldn't be happier with this decision.”

She holds a B.A. in business and music from Calvin College and a J.D. and M.B.A. from Indiana University, where she studied the organ with Larry Smith and voice with Diane Triplett and Stanley Kolk.

“The Grand Rapids Symphony has a tremendous legacy of enriching our community with soaring artistic experiences that uplift our souls,” Tuuk said.

“My heart is humbled by this opportunity to convert my life-long passion for music into a new career working with an outstanding team of musicians, board members, office members, volunteers and donors. Together, we will envision dynamic possibilities and create captivating artistic pinnacles for all that propel the vibrancy of our community and industry.”

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