Gary Hanson is a veteran leader in the classical music industry. Most recently, he served as Interim CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Prior to his engagement in Toronto, he stepped in as Interim President of the Cleveland Institute of Music for a period of six months.
He is appointed to serve through March 31, 2021.
At the end of 2015, Gary Hanson retired from The Cleveland Orchestra after a 28-year tenure in a variety of senior positions. From 2004 until his retirement he served as the Orchestra’s eighth Executive Director during which time the Orchestra expanded its activities internationally as well as at home in service to the community.
Under Mr. Hanson’s leadership, the Orchestra launched new audience development programs, developed new concert series, and established a neighborhood residency program that takes the ensemble 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, subsequently completing his education in Germany. Returning to Canada in 1974, he worked as an administrator and performer in regional orchestras before moving to the United States to become Director of Marketing for the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
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 Cleveland as well as state-wide, Mr. Hanson has been recognized for his leadership and achievements. In 2016 he received the Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio for Arts Administration. He was subsequently appointed to the Board of the Ohio Arts Council by Governor John Kasich.
Gary Hanson was a member of the 2001 class of Leadership Cleveland, and he is a recipient of The Cleveland Orchestra’s Distinguished Service Award to honor exemplary service. Internationally, Mr. Hanson is a member of the jury of the Salzburg Festival Young Conductor Award.
Gary Hanson and his wife, Barbara Klante, are naturalized U.S. citizens residing in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.