Anne Parsons, longtime Detroit Symphony president and CEO, has died

Posted on: March 29, 2022

Anne Parsons at Orchestra Hall, home of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Photo by Todd McInturf/Detroit News

“Anne Parsons, the former president and chief executive officer of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra who led the organization through a series of extraordinary challenges over nearly two decades while also pushing it onto the world stage, has died. She was 64,” writes Maureen Feighan in Tuesday’s (3/29) Detroit News. “Parsons’s death late Monday night comes after a long battle with lung cancer. She’d returned from a long medical leave … in 2021 before switching to an emeritus role in late December to focus on her health.” Erik Rönmark succeeded Parsons as president and CEO. “Parsons … maneuvered the organization through the Great Recession that started in 2008, a bitter 6-month musicians’ strike that ended in 2011, Detroit’s bankruptcy, and the COVID-19 pandemic. But through it all, Parsons pushed the DSO forward, boosting ticket sales, expanding its streaming capabilities and recording balanced budgets for nine consecutive years…. She also pushed the DSO to diversify its programming. More recently, the orchestra launched a new Detroit Strategy, which included a …. Detroit Neighborhood Initiative [and] Detroit Harmony, [which provides] instruments and music education to any child who wants to learn to play…. Parsons … was previously the general manager for the New York City Ballet. She also held management positions with the Boston Symphony and … the Hollywood Bowl,” and was in the first class of the League of American Orchestras’ Orchestra Management Fellowship Program. “Parsons is survived by her husband, Donald Dietz, and her daughter, Cara Dietz.”