Intermission feature: Gary Hanson

Courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra
Courtesy of The Cleveland Orchestra
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Gary Hanson is the outgoing Executive Director of The Cleveland Orchestra, having served the institution for more than 27 years, with almost 12 years in his current position. He spoke with WCLV's Robert Conrad in an interview that aired during Saturday night's live broadcast of Handel's Messiah

Gary Hanson became the eighth Executive Director of The Cleveland Orchestra in 2004. Under his leadership, the Orchestra is expanding its activities both at home and internationally.

With The Cleveland Orchestra’s Music Director Franz Welser-Möst, Mr. Hanson led the establishment of continuing residencies for The Cleveland Orchestra in Vienna, Lucerne, Miami and a new multi-year relationship with the Lincoln Center Festival in New York. In Cleveland, they have overseen the return of staged opera at Severance Hall, ballet at the Orchestra’s summer Blossom Festival, and taking Cleveland Orchestra back into the public schools.

New audience development programs were launched with the formation of the Orchestra’s Center for Future Audiences, which is on track toward developed the youngest audience for any symphony orchestra. New concert series have been launched (including Fridays@7 and Summers@Severance), and a neighborhood residency program begun that has taken the Orchestra into Northeast Ohio communities for an intensive presentation of education programs and performances in traditional and unexpected venues.

Mr. Hanson was born in Toronto and studied music in Canada, completing his studies at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Gary Hanson joined the staff of The Cleveland Orchestra in 1988 as Director of Marketing and Public Relations. From 1997 to 2004, he served as The Cleveland Orchestra’s Associate Executive Director. In that role, he managed the renovation and restoration of Severance Hall and the redevelopment of Blossom Music Center. In recent years, Mr. Hanson has worked to reestablish The Cleveland Orchestra’s presence in electronic media with a series of recordings on Deutsche Grammophon, international television broadcasts, DVD releases, and the return of national radio broadcasting.

Gary Hanson was a member of the 2001 class of Leadership Cleveland, he is a recipient of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Distinguished Service Award to honor exemplary service, and he also serves on the boards of University Circle Incorporated and Global Cleveland. Mr. Hanson is a member of the jury of the Nestle and Salzburg Festival Young Conductor Award.

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