John Mangum is the Executive Director/CEO, Margaret Alkek Williams Chair, of the Houston Symphony. He works with the Music Director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, the members of the orchestra, the Board of Directors, the staff, and other key stakeholders to further its mission of accessibility, relevance, and excellence.
Mangum previously served as the President and Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Society of Orange County, a nationally and internationally recognized music presenter based in Southern California. Prior to that, he held senior artistic planning roles at the San Francisco Symphony, the New York Philharmonic, and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He started his career in 1999 at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, where he worked as the staff program annotator and later as Artistic Administrator, developing the Orchestra’s programs at the Hollywood Bowl as well as a variety of concerts and projects at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Mangum holds a Ph.D. in history with a field in musicology, in addition to master’s and bachelor’s degrees in history, all from the University of California, Los Angeles. His scholarly work looks at the intersection of music and power in 18th-century German-speaking Central Europe. As a freelance writer, he has written notes and articles for a variety of record labels, orchestras, presenters, and festivals, including regular contributions to the program books of the Salzburg Festival.
Mangum enjoys hiking, travel (especially visits to national parks, where he gets to combine the two), and food.