Death – Obituary: Parsons died after a long battle with lung cancer March 28 at age 64 – From July 2004 until December 20, 2021, Anne Parsons, a longtime Grosse Pointe Farms resident, served as the DSO’s president and CEO for more than 17 years. She died on March 28th, at the age of 64, following a long fight with lung cancer.
“I am honored to have been appointed music director during Anne’s tenure as CEO and to have been able to become close with her, (her husband) Donald, and (her daughter) Cara,” Bignamini said in a statement. “I will never forget Anne’s smile, strength, professionalism, deep humility, and innate sensitivity. Her love for the orchestra and Detroit is our guide as we lead the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.”
According to candgnews.com, Parsons led the orchestra through the Great Recession and the COVID-19 outbreak during her tenure. The DSO expanded its viewership and donor base under her leadership, according to DSO officials, and maintained operational surpluses from 2013 to 2021. She also employed former Music Director Leonard Slatkin and current Music Director Jader Bignamini, and through webcasts and touring, she rebuilt the orchestra’s national and worldwide prestige.
Parsons had intended to retire on March 7, 2022, but she stepped aside in December due to health concerns. She told the DSO that she was diagnosed with cancer in November 2018 and that she had begun treatment at that time. She was designated president emeritus of the DSO after her retirement.
In December, Rönmark, who succeeded Parsons as president and CEO of the DSO, stated that the orchestra would stay committed to Parsons’ key ideals of excellence, diversity, innovation, resilience, and collaboration.