August 19, 2010

NEC Announces the Appointment of Suzanne Wilson as Chief of Staff

Will Work Closely with President Woodcock, Board Chair Stephen Friedlaender, Senior Management Team

Duties Include Supervising Implementation of Strategic Plan, Board Relations, Operations of President’s Office

New England Conservatory has announced the appointment of Suzanne Wilson to become Chief of Staff, succeeding Elaine Lawrence who is retiring.  Wilson, who has devoted most of her career to the arts and arts education, has served since 2007 as Director of the Office of External Affairs and Partnerships at the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).  Her appointment takes effect September 7.

Wilson is only the second person to serve as Chief of Staff, a senior management position that was created in 2008 to capitalize on Lawrence’s unique executive skills and experience. Wilson’s responsibilities will include overseeing the Office of President Tony Woodcock (to whom she reports), working closely with Board Chair Stephen Friedlaender and the Management team, overseeing the implementation of the 2008 Strategic Plan, monitoring and facilitating the work of the Boards of Trustees and Overseers, and ensuring that the entire team, including the President, is focused on the institution’s key priorities.

A resident of Wellesley, Wilson’s position with the DCR entailed the design and implementation of strategies that guide the agency’s interaction with the public, including more than 250 advocacy groups, press and media, other state agencies, hundreds of organizations and thousands of constituents across the Commonwealth. Annually, she oversaw the planning and execution of more than 1500 special events and public meetings and spearheaded volunteer activities throughout the state, including Park Serve Day.
Prior to the DCR, she dedicated 12 years to the Celebrity Series of Boston where she started as a subscription coordinator and rose to Vice President of Education and Community Relations. Suzanne established an award-winning arts and education program for school-aged children and the community. She created and launched AileyCamp Boston, Act 2, Dance Across the City Day and many other initiatives. Additionally, she developed residencies that connected the community to great artists such as Denyce Graves, Yo-Yo Ma, the Soweto Gospel Choir, Joshua Bell and Wynton Marsalis.

“I’m absolutely delighted that Suzanne will be joining us at NEC,” said President Woodcock noting that her background combines experience in the arts and arts education as well as in government “where she gleaned another important perspective on marketing, communications, community affairs, and partnership development. “

For further information, check the NEC Website.

(Robert Torres photo)


Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory offers rigorous training in an intimate, nurturing community to 720 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral music students from around the world.  Its faculty of 225 boasts internationally esteemed artist-teachers and scholars.  Its alumni go on to fill orchestra chairs, concert hall stages, jazz clubs, recording studios, and arts management positions worldwide.  Nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra is composed of NEC trained musicians and faculty.

The oldest independent school of music in the United States, NEC was founded in 1867 by Eben Tourjee. Its curriculum is remarkable for its wide range of styles and traditions.  On the college level, it features training in classical, jazz, Contemporary Improvisation, world and early music. Through its Preparatory School, School of Continuing Education, and Community Collaboration Programs, it provides training and performance opportunities for children, pre-college students, adults, and seniors.  Through its outreach projects, it allows young musicians to engage with non-traditional audiences in schools, hospitals, and nursing homes—thereby bringing pleasure to new listeners and enlarging the universe for classical music and jazz.

NEC presents more than 600 free concerts each year, many of them in Jordan Hall, its world- renowned, 106-year old, beautifully restored concert hall.  These programs range from solo recitals to chamber music to orchestral programs to jazz and opera scenes.  Every year, NEC’s opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston.

NEC is co-founder and educational partner of From the Top, a weekly radio program that celebrates outstanding young classical musicians from the entire country. With its broadcast home in Jordan Hall, the show is now carried by National Public Radio and is heard on 250 stations throughout the United States.

Contact: Ellen Pfeifer
Public Relations Manager
New England Conservatory
290 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA 02115