Executive Musical Chairs in Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Minnesota
Tony Woodcock, president of the Oregon Symphony for the past five years, will become president of the Minnesota Orchestra, effective October 6. He will succeed David Hyslop, who announced his retirement earlier this year. In an August 13 statement announcing the appointment, search committee chair Ronald Lund remarked that Woodcock's "musical knowledge, extensive background in the industry, and reputation among musicians for open communication will serve our organization well." A native of England, Woodcock has also served as executive director of Britain's Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Bournemouth Sinfonietta, and of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. His arrival in Minneapolis will coincide with the first season of new Minnesota Orchestra Music Director Osmo Vänskä and the orchestra's 100th anniversary concert, scheduled for November 5.
A quiet transition is underway at The Cleveland Orchestra, where Executive Director Thomas Morris has announced that he will retire next March after seventeen years in his current position. He will be succeeded by Gary Hanson, the orchestra's associate executive director. Morris has presided over The Cleveland Orchestra since 1987. Among other accomplishments, his tenure in Cleveland has seen the restoration of Severance Hall and the recent redevelopment of the orchestra's summer home, the Blossom Music Center; a 75th anniversary celebration and the release of rare archival recordings; and the appointment of the orchestra's new music director, Franz Welser-Möst. In 2004, Morris will become artistic director of the Ojai Music Festival in California, and will pursue various consulting, writing, and teaching projects while continuing to live in Cleveland.
"Tom's invaluable guidance and constant pursuit of excellence have inspired me every day for fifteen years," commented Hanson on his appointment as executive director, effective March 1, 2004. Hanson has also served as The Cleveland Orchestra's director of marketing and public relations. As associate executive director, Hanson currently oversees Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center, marketing, community relations, and electronic media activities.
The end of the 2002-03 concert season also brought the end of an era in Pittsburgh. Gideon Toeplitz stepped down as managing director of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra after fifteen years. His tenure spanned the music directorships of Lorin Maazel and Mariss Jansons, whose own tenure winds up at the end of the 2003-04 season. Toeplitz leaves the orchestra after having secured it a new summer home at the Mountain Laurel Performing Arts Center in Northeastern Pennsylvania, and with incoming Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch. No successor had been announced at press time.