Boston Symphony Orchestra

In 1881, Henry Higginson called upon 19 members of the New England Conservatory faculty to serve as section leaders in his new Boston Symphony Orchestra. The connection persists—today half of the BSO is composed of Conservatory faculty and alumni, including a number of recent graduates. NEC students routinely follow up a lesson or practice session by crossing the street to hear their teacher perform in Symphony Hall, week after week, at little or no ticket cost.

Each year during the spring semester, NEC celebrates its BSO brass faculty and their students at a Brass Bash concert and at the Preparatory School's all-day brass workshop and ongoing Brass Masters series.

BSO veterans routinely coach NEC orchestra sectionals, coach chamber music, and teach string orchestral repertoire classes.

Guest artists performing at BSO concerts frequently give masterclasses at NEC during their time in Boston, under the auspices of NEC's Richard P. and Claire W. Morse Visiting Artist Fund.

Through selection by competition, NEC Preparatory and College students have been concerto soloists in Boston Pops spring concerts in Symphony Hall each year for many years. Preparatory students frequently perform in the BSO's fall Family Concerts. NEC ensembles routinely perform in Symphony Hall open-house events. NEC's orchestral conducting students also conduct portions of Boston Pops concerts.

Since the 1990s, BSO assistant conductors have been frequent guests at NEC, leading concerts by student orchestras. NEC orchestras have also been invited on several occasions to be part of the BSO's assistant conductor audition process, serving as one of the orchestras for applicants. BSO guest conductors have also visited NEC for impromptu reading sessions.

Since 2013, NEC has taken part in the BSO "Insights" series, a program of concerts that provide supplementary content to enrich the understanding of listeners attending a featured BSO program. NEC is also working with the BSO to present Prelude concerts that precede the premieres of new works by the BSO. Somewhat whimsically titled "Do You Hear What I Hear?," the programs are curated by the BSO composers, who are asked to choose music that has been an important influence on them. More on this.

NEC representation in the BSO


Bonnie Bewick, NEC Preparatory faculty
Jason Horowitz '93, '96 A.D., NEC College and Preparatory faculty
Sophie Wang, ’18 M.M. ’20 G.D.
Haldan Martinson '97 M.M.
Julianne Lee '07 G.D., ’08 M.M., NEC Preparatory and Continuing Education faculty
Valeria Vilker Kuchment, NEC College and Preparatory faculty
Glen Cherry '95
Jung-Eun (Jenny) Ahn ’11 M.M.


Rebecca Gitter, NEC College faculty
Rachel Fagerburg, ‘81
Daniel Getz, ’11, NEC Preparatory faculty
Mary Ferrillo ’13 M.M.
Steven O. Laraia, ’13, ’15 M.M.


Blaise Déjardin, BSO Principal, '07 M.M., '08 G.D., NEC College and Preparatory faculty
Mickey Katz '03, NEC College and Preparatory faculty
Jonah Ellsworth, ’17, ’19 G.D., ’20 M.M.

Double Bass

Edwin Barker '76
Lawrence Wolfe '70, NEC Preparatory faculty
Benjamin Levy '02
Dennis Roy '89
Todd Seeber, NEC College faculty
John Stovall '83
Thomas Van Dyck, NEC College faculty


Cynthia Meyers, piccolo, NEC College faculty


John Ferrillo, BSO Principal, NEC College faculty
Mark McEwen, NEC College faculty
Keisuke Wakao, NEC College faculty


William R. Hudgins, BSO Principal, NEC College faculty
Thomas Martin, NEC College faculty

Bass Clarinet

Andrew Sandwick, NEC College faculty


Richard Svoboda, BSO Principal, NEC College faculty
Suzanne Nelsen, NEC College faculty


Richard Sebring ’77, NEC College faculty
Rachel Childers, NEC College faculty
Michael Winter ’07, NEC College faculty
Jason Snider, NEC College faculty


Thomas Siders, NEC College faculty
Benjamin Wright, NEC College faculty


Toby Oft, BSO Principal, NEC College faculty
Stephen Lange, NEC College faculty
James Markey, bass trombone with BSO; NEC College and Preparatory faculty


Mike Roylance, BSO Principal, NEC College faculty


J. William Hudgins, NEC College faculty
Daniel Bauch, NEC College and Preparatory faculty
Matthew McKay '09, NEC College and Preparatory faculty


Jessica Zhou, BSO Principal, NEC College faculty


Past BSO members with NEC affiliation

This is a partial list that will grow based on additional research.

Kelly Barr, violin, NEC Preparatory faculty
Marylou Speaker Churchill '67, violin, former NEC College and Preparatory faculty
Harry Ellis Dickson '29 DP, '30 DP, '87 hon. D.M., violin
Max Hobart, violin, NEC Preparatory faculty
Louis Krasner, violin, former NEC faculty

George Norwood Humphrey '29, viola
Eugene Lehner, viola, former NEC faculty

Jules Eskin, principal cello, former NEC faculty
Ronald Feldman, cello, NEC College faculty
Carol Procter '63, '65 M.M., cello

Fenwick Smith, flute, former NEC College faculty

Ralph Gomberg, oboe, former NEC faculty
Wayne Rapier, oboe, former NEC faculty

Scott Andrews '94, clarinet

Matthew Ruggiero, assistant principal bassoon, former NEC faculty

Daniel Katzen, horn, former NEC faculty
Richard Mackey '50, horn, former NEC College faculty
David Ohanian '67, horn, former NEC College faculty
Jay Wadenpfuhl, horn, former NEC College faculty

Peter Chapman, trumpet, former NEC College faculty
Steve Emery, trumpet, NEC College faculty
Gerard Goguen '51 DP, trumpet, former NEC faculty
Charles Schlueter, trumpet, NEC College faculty
Roger Voisin '30, '91 hon. D.M., principal trumpet, former NEC faculty

Ronald Barron, principal trombone, former NEC College faculty
Norman Bolter '77, trombone, NEC College faculty
William Gibson, principal trombone, former NEC faculty
Douglas Yeo, bass trombone, former NEC College faculty

Frank Epstein '69 M.M., percussion, NEC College and Preparatory faculty
Everett "Vic" Firth '52, '92 hon. D.M., timpani

Louise Langford (Came) Pappoutsakis '37, harp, former NEC faculty
Ann Hobson Pilot, principal harp, former NEC College and Preparatory faculty