Mark A. Blakeman was appointed President & CEO of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra (TSO) in August 2014 bringing more than eighteen years of performing arts and arts education experience to this leadership position. In his first year, he expanded the TSO’s community partnerships, broadened its appeal through the creation of a new Family Series for the 2015-16 season and joined his colleagues in the arts community to advocate for a bond issue that would, among many other benefits, improve the Tucson Music Hall where the orchestra performs.
Mark came to the TSO after more than fifteen years with the Nashville Symphony Orchestra (NSO). During his Nashville tenure, he served in a number of leadership roles most recently as Chief Operating Officer. Under his leadership, the Nashville Symphony achieved a 26% growth in ticket sales, an increase of nearly 70% in contributed income, and record-breaking earned revenues in ancillary businesses. 
Mark’s extensive experience in electronic media work includes overseeing more than 25 commercial recording projects, which garnered seven GRAMMY Awards®, and over ten national telecasts resulting in two regional Emmy nominations and one Emmy Award. 
Prior to Nashville, Mark worked at Oklahoma City University’s Bass School of Music as the Director of Student Services and as Director of the Performing Arts Academy, the school’s preparatory community music school. He served as an adjunct instructor at both Oklahoma City University and Middle Tennessee State University, teaching coursework in acoustics, survey of American popular music and orchestral music and management. He has served as a clinician at the Tennessee, Oklahoma and Texas all-state music conferences, lecturing on concert production and artist engagement.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Business from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) and a Master of Business Administration in Arts Administration from Oklahoma City University.  In 2008, he was recognized as a distinguished alumnus of MTSU’s College of Mass Communications.