Executive Director of the Cleveland Orchestra, Gary Hanson has served the institution for nearly 28 years of which eleven years have been in his current position. Recently, Mr. Hanson has announced that he will be retiring in October of 2015.
In making the announcement, Gary Hanson said, “Leading our extraordinary staff in the service of this great Orchestra is a true privilege. I’m proud of our accomplishments together in a time of immense change and challenge for orchestras. At the same time, I look forward to turning over the reins late next year to the next executive leader who can pursue ever-greater institutional achievements.”
Mr. Hanson continued: “It is an honor for me to share in the stewardship of this remarkable Orchestra, which means so much to me, especially the opportunity to work side-by-side with Franz Welser-Möst, whose artistic and institutional impact is without peer in the world today. Likewise, I have been fortunate to serve the dedicated and generous Board of the Musical Arts Association under three visionary Presidents, James D Ireland III, Richard J. Bogomolny, and for the past five years, Dennis W. LaBarre.”
Commenting on Mr. Hanson’s forthcoming retirement, Music Director Franz Welser-Möst said: “I have enjoyed a great partnership and warm relationship with Gary for more than a decade. For me, the highlights of his many achievements are the innovations which he has pursued with incredible energy, wisdom, and intelligence. I look forward to our final year working together as we seek to evolve this great and storied institution to be ready for the future.”
Board President, Dennis LaBarre, noted that “Gary Hanson’s plan to retire at the end of his current contract follows our ongoing consideration of well-planned and orderly leadership transitions. I am very grateful that Gary is providing ample time for the Board to identify the next Executive Director and ensure a seamless succession. I also appreciate Gary’s ongoing tireless efforts on behalf of The Cleveland Orchestra and look forward to his continuing contributions to our progress over the coming year.”
Gary Hanson began his association with the Orchestra in 1988 as Director of Marketing and Public Relations which he held until 1997 when he was appointed Associate Executive Director. During the length of that tenure he oversaw the renovations of Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center. In 2004 he was chosen as the eighth Executive Director in the Orchestra’s history. While serving in this capacity the Orchestra has begun a variety of innovative programs which include an annual residency in Miami, the addition of opera and classical ballet to the Cleveland fine arts scene and the development of the nation’s youngest core audience. His partnership with Franz Welser-Möst has continued the expansion of the Orchestra’s international presence as well as an even higher commitment to education and community engagement.
Mr. Hanson plans to retire in Cleveland where he will devote time as a volunteer with civic organizations in addition to consulting in the music industry.