Minnesota Orchestra President & CEO to Step Down

By Francisco Salazar

The Minnesota Orchestra’s president and CEO Michelle Millar Burns is stepping down.

In a statement, the Minnesota Orchestra said that Burns is set to take charge of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where she held several leadership roles before coming to Minneapolis.

Burns added, “I feel like I’m following my heart back to a place that holds a lot of meaning for my husband and for me. It’s the place that feels like home.”

In a statement Board Chair Nancy Lindahl said, “Michelle has come to mean so much to this organization over the last six years. She has expertly navigated extremely challenging times, exemplifying collaborative leadership and demonstrating what it means to listen to colleagues and build and tend relationships with people. It has been my great pleasure to work alongside her in championing the Minnesota Orchestra and, on behalf of the entire organization, we share big congratulations and send her south to Dallas with our best wishes.”

Burns will start in September and the Minnesota Orchestra board will start a search for her successor.

In her time with the Minnesota Orchestra, Burns kept the orchestra playing during the pandemic and oversaw the orchestra during difficult financial times, posting several record-breaking deficits before pulling its budget into the black in the most recent fiscal year.

She also led to finding the new music director and conductor Thomas Søndergård.