Minnesota Orchestra chief to step down

- 21 March 2014

Michael Henson has announced his resignation as president and chief executive of the Minnesota Orchestra. He will step down after seven years in the post on August 31 following a period that brought the 111-year-old orchestra to the brink of closure.

Although Henson’s tenure in Minnesota saw fundraising swell to $110m (£66.7m) and a $50m (£30.3m) renovation of the orchestra’s Minneapolis concert hall home, those achievements are likely to be overshadowed by a record deficit of $6m (£3.8m) in 2012 and by the 16-month dispute over pay and conditions that saw its musicians locked out from Orchestra Hall and the resignation of music director Osmo Vänskä.

Gordon M Sprenger, chair of the orchestra’s board, said: ‘It is never easy to be an agent of change, but Michael leaves the Minnesota Orchestra secure, on more solid financial footing and established in a beautifully renovated venue that will meet the needs of our organization, audiences and community for decades to come.’

A former chief executive of the Ulster and Bournemouth Symphony orchestras, Henson will continue to serve as an advisor to Minnesota’s Board ‘as needed’.

The orchestra gave its first public performance in Orchestra Hall since being locked out in October 2012 on February 8 this year.

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