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The newly announced interim president of the Dallas Symphony Association says he was hired to bring “stability” to an orchestra that’s recently been through several leaders.

Dallas Symphony Taps Former Minnesota Orchestra CEO As Interim President

The newly announced interim president of the Dallas Symphony Association says he was hired to bring “stability” to an orchestra that’s recently been through several leaders. Minneapolis-based David J. Hyslop, 68, will take over as interim president of the symphony starting next Wednesday, the organization announced today.

That’s less than a month after Bill Lively abruptly announced his resignation as the orchestra’s president and CEO–before he even began full-time. Lively succeeded an interim manager and Doug Adams, who was hired as president and CEO in 2008 but left last year.

“They want some stability,” Hyslop said of the symphony in an interview this morning. “They want me to share my experience about what works and what won’t work, so that whoever comes after me will inherit” a good situation.

A 43-year veteran of the orchestra industry, Hyslop spent more than 30 of those years as CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra (from 1991-2003), the Saint Louis Symphony (1978-1991) and the Oregon Symphony (1972-1978). Since 2004 he’s worked as a consultant to arts organizations.

As a consultant he was involved in a successful executive search for the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, for example. He also helped the Santa Fe Opera with strategic planning and served as an “executive coach” for the Houston Symphony.

A 1965 graduate of Ithaca College (New York) with a B.S. in music education, Hyslop is no stranger to the role of interim president, having filled the interim position with the West Virginia and Tulsa symphony orchestras. “I’ve done it before,” Hyslop said of the temporary role. “You take all the best information you have and give it your best shot. The goal is … to set it up for the next person to come in.”

Hyslop said he doesn’t know much yet about the financial picture of the DSO, which has been plagued by multimillion-dollar budget deficits lately. “I don’t know where they are with the economy and with the [musician’s] union and so on,” he said. “But, what business doesn’t have challenges right now? The [Dallas] symphony also has great resources.”

The Dallas Symphony said Hyslop would remain as interim here until a permanent president is found under the leadership of Cece Smith. Smith, who chaired the interim search committee, will expand that committee and start the search for a permanent leader immediately.

Would Hyslop–who predicted a six-month stint in the interim role here—be interested in the permanent position himself? “No,” he replied. “I’ve been doing this for so long. [In addition,] my wife has a 90-year-old mother here, and as long as ‘mama’ is alive, we’re here” in Minnesota.

Here’s the full release:

Dallas Symphony Orchestra Announces

David Hyslop as Interim President

Orchestra industry veteran to lead until permanent president named

DALLAS, TX (May 20, 2011)-  The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced today that David Hyslop, 43-year orchestra industry veteran and former CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Louis Symphony and Oregon Symphony, was engaged as interim President of the DSA, beginning Wednesday, May 25.

“On behalf of the Dallas Symphony, we are pleased with David’s appointment.  He brings a wealth of valuable experience in the orchestra industry, and we look forward to his guidance and availing ourselves of his proven leadership,” said Ronald J. Gafford, Board Chair of the DSO.

Since 2004, Hyslop has consulted arts organizations around the country, specializing in strategic planning, fundraising, executive coaching, and endowment and capital campaigns.  In addition to his leadership roles at three orchestras, Hyslop has previously served in two interim President positions, with both the West Virginia and Tulsa Symphony Orchestras.

“I am deeply honored and privileged to have been asked to serve as interim President

of the Dallas Symphony Association,” said Hyslop.  “It is my hope that my long career as CEO of three major American orchestras and my work in the arts and fundraising consulting field over the last seven years will be of value to the DSA as it moves forward during this critical moment in its history.”

“I am most excited about David’s success in fundraising and strategic planning,” said Blaine Nelson, Board Chair Elect of the DSO.  “The Dallas Symphony is at an all-time high artistically and we can utilize his expertise to more effectively take advantage of all of the many opportunities.

Hyslop will remain as interim until a permanent President is appointed.  Cece Smith, who chaired the interim President search committee, will expand that committee and immediately begin a search for the DSA’s permanent leader.

Biography- David Hyslop

David Hyslop’s 43-year career in arts management includes 32 years serving as Chief Executive Officer for three of the nation’s top symphony orchestras—Minnesota Orchestra (1991-2003), St. Louis Symphony (1978-1991), and Oregon Symphony (1972-1978).

During his long tenures in Minnesota and St. Louis, Hyslop was also responsible for the operation of Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis and Powell Hall in St. Louis.

Since 2004, Hyslop has spearheaded consulting projects throughout the country, drawing on his vast experience in the arts to help clients achieve their goals. His many consulting projects have included successful executive searches for the Canton Symphony, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, strategic planning for the Santa Fe Opera and the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra, executive coaching for the Houston Symphony, and development feasibility studies for the West Virginia Symphony Orchestra endowment campaign and the Wheaton Grand Theater (Illinois) redevelopment and business planning project.

Hyslop has served on the boards of the Greater Minneapolis Convention and Visitors Association, Minneapolis Downtown Council, League of American Orchestras, and the Minnesota State Fair Foundation.  He has also been brought in as an “expert in the field” on consulting projects with CH Johnson Consulting in Chicago, Illinois, and WolfBrown in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Hyslop’s illustrious career has brought him many honors. Among these, a Minnesota Orchestra Subscription Concert was dedicated to him in his final season with the Orchestra. The David J. Hyslop Trumpet Chair was Endowed in Perpetuity by the St.  Louis Symphony in 1991. Fanfare for D.H. was composed for Mr. Hyslop’s 10th Anniversary with the Symphony by Pulitzer-winning composer Joseph Schwantner. He was awarded the Martha Baird Rockefeller Grant by the League of American Orchestras in 1966.

Hyslop received his B.S. in Music Education from Ithaca College.