Friday (2/19) on the Houston Chronicle blog Peep , Tara Dooley reports, “The board of directors of the Houston Symphony announced today that it will bring a young orchestra executive from Milwaukee to take over the front office of one of the Bayou City’s main arts institutions. Mark C. Hanson, executive director and president of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, will become executive director and CEO of the Houston Symphony on May 1 at a time of financial struggles for many arts organizations. … Hanson, 36, comes to Houston after six years at the helm of an orchestra with 88 players and an annual budget of about $17 million. The Houston orchestra is about the same size as the one in Milwaukee. Instead of a 40-week concert season, the Houston orchestra runs all year and has an operating budget of about $24 million. Before working in Milwaukee, Hanson served as the executive director of the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra. … Hanson replaces Matthew VanBesien, who left Houston at the end of 2009 for a position with Australia’s Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In the interim, Richard Hoffert has led the orchestra’s administrative staff.”

Posted February 22, 2010