Gary Hanson reflects on Cleveland Orchestra tenure and impending retirement

Posted on: October 20, 2015

“The Cleveland Orchestra may be a pillar of Northeast Ohio. But it is far from static,” writes Zachary Lewis in Friday’s (10/15) Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH). “On the eve of his retirement Nov. 30, longtime executive director Gary Hanson likens his departure to jumping off a moving train. For all their enormous impact, he says, his accomplishments weren’t his alone. Neither will the organization fall apart without him…. ‘I’m proud to have had a role,’ says Hanson, 62…. Under executive director Gary Hanson, the Cleveland Orchestra: Lowered the average age of its audience, survived a recession, grew its endowment, developed Cleveland Orchestra Miami, brought back staged opera and ballet, instituted the ‘Fridays@7’ series, established neighborhood residencies, launched ‘Under 18s Free.’… ‘So many great things happened under his watch,’ says music director Franz Welser-Möst…. The massive but also exceedingly delicate [Severance Hall renovation] was completed without controversy, on time and on budget…. ‘What I feel really good about is how the institution has changed and the openness to change the institution now has. My responsibility has been to do everything I can to relate the institution to the audience,’ Hanson says.”

Posted October 20, 2015