Maria Kanakis Yang photo Maria Kanakis Yang photo

Maria Kanakis Yang

Organization: Seattle Symphony
Title: Chief Development and Project Officer, Seattle Symphony
Program Graduation: BM, ALP Certificate 2009
Musical Studies: Violin
Musical Specialties: Large Ensemble
Non-Musical Specialties: Fundraising, Leadership, Marketing, Operations


Maria Kanakis Yang has worked at the Seattle Symphony for over three years, currently holding the Chief Development and Project Officer position, overseeing all fundraising efforts for the Symphony and Benaroya Hall in addition to implementation of the strategic plan. Prior to working at the Symphony, Yang was most recently Director of Advancement at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, part of the Smithsonian Institution. At the Hirshhorn, Yang led a fundraising initiative that increased awareness of the museum beyond its Washington, D.C. home. Prior to that, Yang was Director of Strategic Initiatives at Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, where her efforts resulted in growth of support, visibility, and audiences. Yang previously led the membership program at the New York Philharmonic, where she developed methods to engage the orchestra’s dedicated supporters as well as newer and younger audiences. Yang earned a Bachelor of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music in violin performance. She received a secondary degree in Graphic Design from the Parsons School of Design and certification in management studies for marketing from the University of Rochester.