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BSO taps musician with deep local ties to run Tanglewood Music Center

Violist Ed Gazouleas will head the summer music academy as interim director during a tumultuous time for the orchestra

Ed Gazouleas, interim director of the Tanglewood Music Center for summer 2023.BSO

Ed Gazouleas, a violist with deep ties to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, will lead the Tanglewood Music Center during the 2023 season, the symphony announced Thursday.

In hiring Gazouleas — on an interim basis, effective immediately — the BSO is calling upon a known quantity to head its summer music academy: Not only did Gazouleas play as a BSO violist for nearly a quarter century, but he has also worked on TMC’s faculty for 18 summers. Gazouleas currently serves as provost at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music; going forward, he plans to split his time between the two organizations.

“Ed’s deep familiarity with the Tanglewood Music Center and Boston Symphony Orchestra and absolute commitment to training the next generation of preeminent vocalists and instrumentalists have generated much excitement,” Jeffrey D. Dunn, the BSO’s interim president and chief executive, said in a statement. “We look forward to Ed’s leadership and guidance of the Tanglewood Music Center, as it continues its legacy of training the next generation of the country’s finest musicians.”

His appointment comes at a tumultuous time for the orchestra: In December, BSO president and CEO Gail Samuel announced her sudden resignation after just 18 months on the job. Her departure coincided with the equally abrupt exit of Asadour Santourian, a longtime associate of hers who was brought on in January 2022 as vice president for Tanglewood Music Center & Learning, a newly created position that was part of a broader reorganization within the organization.


The BSO has remained largely silent on the departures, capstones to a tumultuous 14-month stretch that has seen 10 top administrators leave the organization. Some of those departures, including an interim position and retirements, were long-planned. Today, just two members of the eight-person executive team — Lynn G. Larsen, vice president, orchestras and production; and Anthony Fogg, vice president, artistic planning — have been with the BSO more than 18 months.


While at the BSO, Gazouleas chaired the players’ artistic advisory committee. He was also active in orchestra governance and served on the search committee that selected Andris Nelsons to become the orchestra’s music director.

“Ed is thoughtful, forward-thinking, with an amazing knowledge of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Tanglewood Music Center,” Nelsons said in a statement. He added that as “someone who has attained one of the highest positions in the field of advanced music education,” Gazouleas “is the ideal person to lead the TMC this summer.”

Gazouleas, who retired from the BSO in 2014, has taught at a number of schools, including Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music, the Boston University College of Fine Arts, and Wellesley College, among others.

At Tanglewood he will oversee TMC schedule of rehearsals, classes, and performances throughout the season. He called Tanglewood, a bucolic summer festival nestled in the Berkshire hills, “a dream of art and nature.”

“Every summer fine young musicians arrive seeking instruction and inspiration and I am looking forward to welcoming them once again,” he said in a statement. “I am thrilled and honored to return.”

Malcolm Gay can be reached at malcolm.gay@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @malcolmgay.