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BSO concertmaster sidelined by head injury

Boston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Malcolm LoweStu Rosner

Boston Symphony Orchestra concertgoers have puzzled for months over the unexplained absence of one of the symphony’s most recognizable talents: concertmaster Malcolm Lowe, who has not performed with the orchestra in nearly a year.

In response to a query from the Globe, BSO spokesperson Bernadette Horgan said Lowe, 65, has been recuperating from a concussion that the violinist suffered last March while avoiding a cyclist.

“All of us at the BSO are wishing him the very best in his continuing recovery,” said Horgan via e-mail.

She added that first associate concertmaster Tamara Smirnova has been serving as acting concertmaster in his absence.


As concertmaster, Lowe serves as the primary liaison between the orchestra and conductor, performing frequent violin solos and appearing with other principal musicians in the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Lowe, who joined the BSO as concertmaster 35 years ago, is just the third person to hold the title in nearly a century.

Born in Canada, the violinist has also taught at the Tanglewood Music Center, the New England Conservatory, and Boston University.

Horgan declined to say when the BSO expects Lowe to return.

Malcolm Gay can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @malcolmgay