And the news keeps coming in today. This latest flash comes from Minnesota, but it deals with a change at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) administrative offices. Dallas Symphony Association (DSA) Executive VP for Institutional Advancement/ COO Michelle Miller Burns has been named president/CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra replacing Kevin Smith, who will be retiring on Friday, August 31.
Michelle arrived in Dallas in 2015 as VP of Development, later serving as executive VP of Development as well. After the resignation of former DSA President/ CEO Jonathan Martin in September, Michelle took on the role of DSA interim president/ CEO. Since the naming of Kim Noltemy as DSA president/ CEO in November, Michelle has been working with Kim and Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors Chair Sanjiv Yajnik “to ensure a smooth transition.”
The move up north will be like returning home for Michelle, who “was born in Iowa and grew up largely in the Chicago area, playing violin in the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra.”
According to Minnesota Board Chair Marilyn Carlson Nelson, “Michelle Miller Burns absolutely stood out in our search as an orchestra leader who is committed to collaboration and distinguished herself as a natural match for our highly cooperative governance model. Michelle has a deep knowledge of music, and a highly strategic business sense, as well as significant experience leading major fundraising initiatives and building relationships. She is the right person for Kevin Smith to pass leadership of the organization on to at this point in the Minnesota Orchestra’s history.”
While her official duties do not begin until Saturday, September 1, Michelle will join the Orchestra in August when it goes on tour in South Africa.