Boston Symph swells its exec team

Boston Symph swells its exec team


norman lebrecht

January 09, 2022

BSO president Gail Samuel has hired Maureen Flores as Chief Development Officer and Asadour Santourian as Vice President of Tanglewood. Both jobs start immediately.

Flores is a fundraiser from Bentley University. Santurian is an artistfixer from Aspen.

BSO sorely lacks a concertmaster.


  • dalet says:

    It’s not a well oiled machine unless there are 2 suits for every musician.

  • Amos says:

    First, I’m not sure on what basis you have concluded that the orchestra sorely lacks a concertmaster. In the performances reviewed since Malcolm Lowe’s retirement I don’t recall hearing or reading about a serious issue with the section or the orchestra. Second, first associate concertmaster Smirnova is regarded as an excellent musician who has occupied the chair on numerous occasions to wide acclaim locally. Third, auditions for a permanent replacement for are ongoing and aren’t being impeded by any administrative changes. Fourth, I’m not clear as to what an artistfixer is but you make it sound somewhat sordid and/or superfluous. Fifth, as with any well run organization I have every confidence that artistic and administrative issues can be addressed simultaneously. If you are aware of a problem(s) with the BSO why not let everyone know?

  • Mark says:

    Cleveland orchestra lacks a concertmaster too. Both Cleveland and Boston held auditions a few months ago. Haven’t heard of any decisions or speculations.

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    No respectable major orchestra has fewer admin bods than players nowadays.

  • NYMike says:

    The exec team has nothing to do with the BSO’s concertmaster vacancy. The musical team’s inability to hold auditions during the time of COVID has a lot more to do with it.

  • Herr Doktor says:

    The BSO does NOT sorely lack a concertmaster. Tamara Smirovna is both the acting and de fact concertmaster. I would imagine the words “de facto” will soon be removed. She’s a wonderful violinist and the BSO is known to generally prefer to hire from within.

    • NYMike says:

      Silverstein was hired for the back of the violin section with the EXPECTATION he’d replace Burgin on Burgin’s retirement. Malcolm Lowe was hired from without the same season he won a place in the NY Phil’s violin section.

    • Been Here Before says:

      Exactly. Smirnova is an excellent musician and I heard her first time with the BSO back in 2002.

  • George says:

    Correction: They’re not swelling their team- they are restructuring. Once again, Norman’s headline is not accurate in the title. Also, Asadour has been the VP of Artistic Admin and Advisor for Aspen for over 15 years Good luck to them and lucky Boston!

  • Michael B. says:

    When are American orchestras going to learn? They have become bloated bureaucracies that are filled with redundant positions whose occupants do not play, sing, or conduct a single note.

  • Mason says:

    He is an extraordinarily nasty, obnoxious, and petty person in my experience. I witnessed him make very offensive remarks in Minnesota. I will refrain from repeating them. There must be a lack of competent artistic administrators in the USA.

  • Gerry Feinsteen says:

    The BSo lacks a lot of things: concertmaster is one of them, the other, I believe, is an ethical audition process.
    I may be just an architect, but I am well aware of the tremendous time-wasting going ons in their auditions. They spend countless hours managing auditions only to ultimately choose no one; it’s a sad kind of distinction where each subsequent audition cycle for the same position entices a lower level player because, understandably: Why should anyone of the highest stature or skill waste their own time with an audition committee that think its got the keys to heaven? Like the princess who turns down every suitor because she can, only to end up middle-aged with only a satisfactory partner.

    Now, how about Cleveland? They need a concertmaster too. Pittsburgh?

  • Michel Lemieux says:

    The concertmaster auditions took place in November. I wonder why a concertmaster hasn’t been named.

  • La plus belle voix says:

    Here is an interesting link:

    Er, quite a lot of people . . . (and that is without a plethora of advisors and trustees).

  • CA says:

    Well at least we aren’t reading about yet another DEI hire.

    • Pianofortissimo says:

      Don’t be sure. What is the assignment directive for the ‘Chief Development Officer’?

      Paranoidally yours,


      • Tiredofitall says:

        It’s a director of development whose ego wouldn’t accept a director title. Fundraising. Period. An absolute necessity for US nonprofits, but over-promoted.

      • Minnesota says:

        “Development officer” is a U.S. term for fund raiser.

  • Clevelander says:

    Asadour Santourian is a very complicated person who is one of the most gifted impresarios in the country. Curious to see how he does in Boston and hope he can indeed help find someone for the concertmaster role. He has connections with many of the country’s top young violinists, and it seems that’s important as today’s top players are increasingly steering away from orchestral careers.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I don’t care about any of this, I just want the B.S.O. to someday finish recording Shostakovich symphonies with Andris Nelsons. I want that series in a box set.

  • Top 5 Admin says:

    It reflects poorly on the BSO to hire Asadour.