In The Plain Dealer (Cleveland) on Tuesday (11/4), Zachary Lewis writes, “On Tuesday, executive director Gary Hanson took many in the Cleveland arts community and the larger world of classical music by surprise in announcing plans to retire from the group he’s served nearly 28 years. Less than one year from now, in October 2015, Hanson said he’ll step down and cede responsibility to a new executive leader yet to be named. ‘I’ve had the privilege of an extraordinary tenure up to now,’ said Hanson, noting long-held plans to retire at age 62.” Lewis notes that Music Director Franz Welser-Möst recently “signed a contract extension, securing his presence four years beyond the orchestra’s centennial in 2018…. ‘The centennial needs to be about the future,’ Hanson explained. ‘I believe my successor needs to lead this institution through the centennial and beyond.’ ” Hanson “has spearheaded or had a hand in everything from renovations of Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center to the development of long-term relationships in Miami and Europe. Additionally, he has overseen the launch of much new programming, the transition to Welser-Möst from former music director Christophe von Dohnányi, a return to staging opera and ballet, and the establishment of local neighborhood residencies.”  

Posted November 5, 2014