Could new BSO music director be named in the spring?

The Boston Symphony Orchestra has been tight-lipped about who might succeed James Levine, whose declining health forced his resignation last year. But in a report on WBUR early this morning, managing director Mark Volpe told reporter Andrea Shea that it was likely a decision on the BSO’s 15th music director might be announced next March or April. Shea asked Volpe if one of the many guest conductors employed in recent years – there will be 18 this season alone – will likely lead the orchestra.

“Yes, I think it’s safe to say that,” Volpe told her, without stating a name.

This morning, in a follow-up conversation with the Globe, Volpe again declined to name names but said he’s feeling pressure to find a new artistic leader.


“Not pressure from the orchestra or audience,” he said. “I just think its time. Institutionally, we should move ahead with our artistic leadership.”

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Even if a hire is announced in the spring, Volpe said it’s unlikely a new BSO leader will be able to commit to a regular schedule – 11 to 12 weeks in Symphony Hall and summer work in Tanglewood – for some time.

“It entirely depends on who it is and what their schedule is,” he said. “Our hope is that when we name someone they have some immediate presence but recognizing that they have some other obligations they have to honor.”

Geoff Edgers can be reached at