Detroit Symphony’s longtime president and CEO, Anne Parsons, to retire next year

Posted on: April 21, 2021

“Anne Parsons, the longest-serving leader in the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s modern era, will step down next year,” writes Brian McCollum in Wednesday’s (4/21) Detroit Free Press. “Parsons, the DSO’s president and CEO, plans to retire by November 2022, when she’ll mark her 65th birthday. Parsons faced a financially embattled DSO when she took the reins in 2004, followed by grueling labor strife several years later. She ultimately helped guide the organization to fiscal stability, along with global acclaim for a series of pioneering digital initiatives. Parsons also oversaw the appointment of two music directors, Leonard Slatkin in 2007 and Jader Bignamini in 2020…. Parsons said she has been planning for an eventual departure since … 2015. Three years later, she was diagnosed with lung cancer, continuing to work while undergoing treatment…. The DSO has enjoyed operating surpluses annually since 2013, including last year, when the orchestra navigated the pandemic with swift budget moves, online programming and small-scale outdoor performances…. Parsons … said she expects to retain a presence in the arts world, perhaps as a consultant…. And she looks forward to being a DSO patron.”