The Minnesota Orchestra has announced that Michael Henson, president and chief executive since 2007, is to step down from both roles in August. A statement from the orchestra’s board said that Henson would remain to ‘lead the organisation through a transition period over the next five months’ and that the search for his successor would be launched in April.

The announcement comes two months after the orchestra musicians agreed to a new contract, finally ending the 15-month lockout that began on 1 October 2012. During this time, conductor Osmo Vänskä resigned from his post as the orchestra’s music director and several musicians, including assistant concertmaster Stephanie Arado, left to take up other roles. In the autumn of 2012, the musicians issued a vote of no confidence in Henson.

However, during his seven-year tenure, Henson also led the orchestra’s fundraising campaign, raising $110 million, established a new endowment, and oversaw the renovation of Orchestra Hall (pictured).

‘It has always been my aim to do what is right for the organisation, however great the challenges, and I’m proud of our accomplishments,’ said Henson in a statement. ‘The right thing now is for me to work to ensure continuity during this transition to the next phase in the life of the Minnesota Orchestra.’

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Photo: Greg Helgeson