The Santa Monica Symphony has named Tom O’Connor as its first full-time executive director in its 67-year history.

O’Connor was appointed following a nationwide search.

“Among the many outstanding candidates for this position, Tom O’Connor stood out as the one whose experience and vision are best suited to continue the development of the symphony as a major cultural and educational resource for the city of Santa Monica and the Westside,” said Carl Selkin, president of the Santa Monica Symphony Association.

O’Connor most recently served as executive director of the Pasadena Symphony and the California Philharmonic. He previously served as director of administrative services at the New York Philharmonic and as associate director of marketing for the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

“The idea of building audiences for the music I love through free concerts attracted me to this position,” said O’Connor. “By removing the barriers of cost and accessibility, the Santa Monica Symphony opens a welcoming door to new audiences, to families and to people on fixed incomes.

“It is a tribute to Santa Monica that the community supports this wonderful orchestra and its mission.”

The symphony presents four concerts in the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium and one concert, in commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. at Soka Gakkai International Auditorium each season. In addition, the Santa Monica Symphony Woodwind Quintet offers eight concerts in Santa Monica area schools in support of arts education.