Former Minnesota Opera president Kevin Smith will take over as interim CEO of the Minnesota Orchestra, the orchestra's board said Thursday.
Dianne Brennan, formerly director of development for the Guthrie Theater, will also join the orchestra's management as vice president of advancement.
Smith will replace President and CEO Michael Henson, who steps down Aug. 31. Henson was a source of contention throughout the 16-month musician lockout.
Smith led the Minnesota Opera for 25 years before retiring in 2011.
As the orchestra rebuilds after a bruising labor dispute, Smith said his first task there will be to make sure the different parts of the organization are working together.
"It's not to say that they aren't," he said. "But it's a big organization and with the past labor dispute, there tends to be divisions within the organization, within, lets say, even within the staff, among players, even within groups."
Smith said he is also eager to work with audience members and build on the passion for the orchestra displayed during the 16-months musicians were locked out.
He'll serve as chief executive until a permanent successor is found. Smith said he is not seeking that job.
This story was originally published on the MPR News website.