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Arts / Performing Arts

Houston Symphony CEO Departs for San Francisco in a Major Music Shakeup

Search for Replacement Already Underway

BY // 07.07.17

After seven fruitful years as Houston Symphony executive director and CEO, the much-admired Mark Hanson has announced his departure at the end of July in preparation for taking the helm of the San Francisco Symphony as executive director. He begins his new tenure on September 1.

The resignation comes as no surprise to the symphony leadership which has already tapped the Catherine French Group to begin the process of finding a permanent executive director and CEO. The search committee is being chaired by symphony board member and Strategic Planning Committee chair David Pruner.

During the process, chief development officer David Chambers and chief of strategic initiatives Amanda T. Dinitz will serve as interim co-executive directors, working with music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, Houston Symphony Society board president Janet F. Clark and the board of trustees.

Arriving in May of 2010 Hanson led the much-needed movement toward sound relations between the orchestra, staff and board. The Houston Symphony is today recognized nationally for its healthy organizational culture. Hanson and his wife, Christina, went so far as to chair the recent symphony ball which garnered an enviable $1.6 million.

Financial acumen has been a hallmark of Mark Hanson’s leadership. During his tenure, the budget has grown from $25 million to $34 million and annual contributed revenue has doubled. Earned revenue has grown by more than 20 percent, total attendance has increased almost 20 percent, and the symphony has enjoyed six consecutive balanced budgets.

“Over the past seven years, I have had the privilege of working with a talented and dedicated team of administrators, musicians, board members and volunteers who have collectively accomplished so much at the Houston Symphony,” Hanson said in a statement. “Under the inspired leadership of Andrés, the Houston Symphony has never sounded better or meant more to the people of Houston.

“My wife Christina and I are indebted to the hundreds of Houston Symphony family members who have supported us and who will continue to support an institution that we will always admire.”

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