Michelle Miller Burns (credit: Josh Kohanek)

Dallas Symphony Orchestra names Michelle Miller Burns as President & CEO

EarRelevant Staff | 3 JUL 2024

DALLAS, Texas— The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Cece Smith, Chair of the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors, have announced Michelle Miller Burns as the next Ross Perot President & Chief Executive Officer. Currently serving as President and CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra, Burns will assume her new role on September 23, 2024.

Since joining the Minnesota Orchestra in 2018, Burns has been instrumental in driving substantial growth initiatives. Her leadership saw the implementation of a strategic revenue growth plan to bolster both contributed and earned revenue. Additionally, she introduced innovative programming such as “This Is Minnesota Orchestra,” a multi-channel series recognized with an Upper Midwest Emmy Award in 2022. Burns also played a pivotal role in negotiating a contract extension with orchestra musicians through 2026 and appointing Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård as Music Director in 2023.


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Burns brings a wealth of experience to her return to Dallas, having previously served as Interim President & CEO of the DSO. Her tenure in Minnesota has solidified her reputation as a transformative leader within the orchestra community.

“I am delighted to return to Dallas to lead this incredible organization,” said Burns. “The DSO holds a special place in my heart, and I am eager to build upon its legacy of artistic excellence and community engagement. Together with the board, staff, and supporters, I look forward to expanding the DSO’s impact both locally and globally.”


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Cece Smith expressed enthusiasm about Burns’ appointment, highlighting her proven track record and deep connections within the Dallas community. “Michelle’s return to the DSO marks a significant milestone for our organization. Her leadership will undoubtedly propel the DSO to new heights.”

Fabio Luisi, the current Music Director of the DSO, also voiced optimism about Burns’ appointment, foreseeing enhanced collaboration and growth opportunities. “Michelle will be a great partner in advancing our mission and expanding our reach,” said Luisi.


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Under Luisi’s artistic direction, the DSO remains committed to delivering over 150 orchestral concerts annually at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, renowned for its acoustic excellence. The orchestra’s extensive community outreach includes hundreds of performances and educational programs throughout Dallas.

Founded in 1900, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra is a cornerstone of Downtown Dallas’s vibrant Arts District. Through its diverse programming and educational initiatives, the orchestra enriches the cultural landscape of the Southwest.

For more information about the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, visit DallasSymphony.org.

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