Dallas Symphony Orchestra Names Michelle Miller Burns Ross Perot President and CEO

June 28, 2024 (Dallas, Texas) – The Dallas Symphony Orchestra (DSO) and Cece Smith, Chair of the Dallas Symphony Association Board of Governors, announce Michelle Miller Burns as the Ross Perot President & Chief Executive Officer. Burns will begin her tenure at the DSO on September 23, 2024.

Michelle Miller Burns has been President and CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra since 2018. Under her leadership, the Minnesota Orchestra launched a multi-year revenue growth plan to increase both contributed and earned revenue for the organization; unveiled a new leadership model for its long-running summer festival and launched This Is Minnesota Orchestra, a multi-channel series bringing the Orchestra to audiences via TV, livestream and radio that was honored with an Upper Midwest Emmy Award in 2022. During her tenure, the Minnesota Orchestra developed a visionary strategic plan that reimagines the role of an orchestra in its community. In 2022 Burns negotiated a new agreement with Orchestra musicians that extends until 2026 and, following an extensive search, announced Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård as the Orchestra’s 11th music director in September 2023. Prior to her tenure in Minnesota, Burns was the DSO’s Interim President & CEO and the Executive Vice President for Institutional Advancement and Chief Operating Officer.

“I am delighted to return to Dallas to lead this incredible organization,” said Burns. “The DSO is where I first stepped into a senior leadership role in the orchestra field, and this is an organization and a community that I love. The Dallas Symphony is on an exciting trajectory – actively building on its commitment to artistic excellence and community engagement. The work that is being done on stage with the orchestra and Music Director Fabio Luisi is being recognized around the world, and I look forward to working with musicians, artistic leadership, Board, staff, volunteers, fans and supporters to continue to strengthen the DSO’s impact in Dallas and beyond.”

“During her time with the DSO, Michelle established strong relationships throughout the organization, and we are thrilled that she is re-joining the DSO as its next President & CEO,” said Smith. “We know that with her depth of experience in the orchestra field, her very successful tenure with the Minnesota Orchestra and her deep ties within the Dallas community, Michelle will continue the momentum of the DSO.”

“I am so proud of the work that we have done here in Dallas, in our performances and within our community,” said Fabio Luisi, Louise W. & Edmund J. Kahn Music Director. “I am confident that Michelle will be a great partner to build upon our strengths and bring even more audiences and attention to the Dallas Symphony, further developing our activities for our community and internationally.”


About the Dallas Symphony Orchestra
The Dallas Symphony Orchestra, under the leadership of Music Director Fabio Luisi, presents more than 150 orchestra concerts annually at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, one of the world’s top-rated concert halls. As the largest performing arts organization in the Southwest, the DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pops concerts and innovative multi-media presentations. As part of its commitment to the community, the orchestra reaches hundreds of thousands of adults and children annually through performances, educational programs and community outreach initiatives. The orchestra also offers more than 200 concerts in neighborhoods throughout Dallas each year, as well as music lessons to more than 1200 students as part of its Young Strings and Kim Noltemy Young Musicians programs. The DSO has a tradition dating back to 1900 and is a cornerstone of the unique, 118-acre Arts District in Downtown Dallas that is home to multiple performing arts venues, museums and parks – the largest district of its kind in the nation. The DSO is supported, in part, by funds from the Office of Arts & Culture, City of Dallas. Visit DallasSymphony.org for more information.

Media Contacts:

Chelsey Norris, Director of Communications

Denise McGovern, Vice President of Communications and Media