The Portland Symphony Orchestra is looking for new leadership after executive director Lisa Dixon announced her resignation effective in the fall.

Dixon, 34, is in her fifth season. She is moving to Nashville to accommodate her husband’s promotion.

“The PSO is such a special organization, and it’s going to be hard to walk away from all the people involved,” Dixon said. “I’m so proud of what we have been able to accomplish in these five seasons.”

Sam Parkhill, the orchestra’s board president, said a search would begin immediately. Dixon informed the board of her decision late Monday afternoon.

She assumed the orchestra’s leadership as it was coming out of financial recession and budget deficits. Her tenure has been marked by a thorough internal and community review, which has resulted in stronger finances and more community-based programming.

Robert Moody, the orchestra’s music director, is under contract through the 2017 season. Moody will participate in the search for Dixon’s replacement.

Parkhill hopes to find a replacement around the time Dixon departs and expects to choose from a strong pool of candidates.

“I would think this would be an appealing position for someone coming in,” he said. “Thanks to Lisa and many, many other people, the orchestra is in strong shape. We have been executing a strategic plan for most of the past five years that gives us a guide about where we want to go and what we want to undertake.”

Bob Keyes can be contacted at 791-6457 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: pphbkeyes