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Mark C. Hanson. Photo: Oliver Theil

Mark C. Hanson, executive director & CEO of the Houston Symphony, is going to San Francisco.

The Houston Symphony announced Friday that Hanson will step down from his Texas job  to become executive director of the San Francisco Symphony effective September 1.

“Over the past seven years, I have had the privilege of working with a talented and dedicated team of administrators, musicians, board members and volunteers who have collectively accomplished so much at the Houston Symphony,” said Hanson in a released statement. “Under the inspired leadership of Andrés, the Houston Symphony has never sounded better or meant more to the people of Houston. My wife Christina and I are indebted to the hundreds of Houston Symphony family members who have supported us and who will continue to support an institution that we will always admire.”

During his seven-years at the Houston Symphony, Hanson appointed music director Andrés Orozco-Estrada, and oversaw the release of multiple recordings, and a Centennial Season celebration that brought Renee Fleming, Yo-Yo Ma, Joshua Bell, John Williams, and Midori to Houston. Hanson has also forged deeper connections between the Houston Symphony and the Greater Houston community.

Since coming to Houston in 2010, the orchestra’s budget has grown from $25 million to $34 million, annual contributed revenue has more than doubled, earned revenue has grown by more than 20%, total attendance has increased almost 20%, and six consecutive balanced budgets have been achieved. 

The Houston Symphony will launch a national search for a permanent executive director and CEO this summer. The search committee will be chaired by board member David Pruner.



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