Boston has a new principal cello

Blaise DéJardin, of the Boston Symphony’s cello section, won yesterday’s audition for principal cello. He has been a member of the orchestra since 2008.

Boston likes to promote from within.

photo: Marco Borggreve

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  • Did you ever think that maybe Blaise played the best yesterday? Or is it not possible because he’s already in the BSO?

    [redacted: abusive peripheria]

  • Sometimes it did not happens, like with Sant’Ambrogio that moved to St. Louis after the day he almost destroyed the Boston Symphony.

    • Hi,
      I read your comment about the new Principal cellist of the BSO…did you read my book?
      Ha.
      John Sant’ Ambrogio

  • Glad to see that some orchestras promote from within and trust that a section player can move into a leadership role.

    It helps with long term morale of the orchestra, it shows that the audition process in the orchestra works, and it allows for an ambitious musician to continue to improve on their skills knowing that should an opportunity to advance occurs, they will be in the running if they are qualified.

    Here in Chicago, Solti was of the same mind set. But most orchestras have come to the new model where everyone wants to court the LeBron James of the instrument. It only encourages chair hopping with the elite set who have no vested interest in the long term culture of the orchestra they are sitting in.

    We don’t need more orchestras like the Cleveland Cavaliers. We need more orchestras like the San Antonio Spurs.

    Bravo to the BSO and their audition process!

    • Not sure I follow how someone from the section winning an audition to be principal “shows the audition process in the orchestra works” – could you explain? How do you know it doesn’t show that the audition process allows local favorites (of conductor or audition committee) can be rewarded?

      It is true that a number of orchestras give candidates from the orchestra an automatic bye for the first round. This practice seems reasonable to me. The candidate has already proven themselves able to play in the group at a high level, and the bye encourages section members to take a shot and that provides motivation to continually refine one’s skills, motivation which may otherwise be lessened once tenure is achieved.

  • i believe that the late Joseph Silverstein was promoted to concertmaster of the BSO by Erich Leinsdorf after several years in the first violin section.

  • To your point about the BSO “likes to promote from within”—perhaps you could consider that a section player might have a legitimate “home-team advantage” in this sort of situation, given that the player would know what type of sound or style fits his orchestra better than an outsider would. It’s no conspiracy from the BSO, just a fact of life—the player already knows the orchestra from within. And besides, this was a blind audition through the end.

    The BSO is a pristine orchestra full of pristine players; how could anyone be surprised to see that one of their own could be so deserving of this success? I don’t see why this article doesn’t speak about Blaise’s actual professional accolades, and instead backhandedly diminishes what was a very rightfully earned win?

  • I just heard BDJ play the cello feature in Brahms’s 2nd Piano Concerto. His playing was gorgeous — no complaints with the selection here!

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