BOSTON (CelebrityAccess) — In a surprise move, Boston Symphony Orchestra President and Chief Executive Officer Gail Samuel announced her resignation from the post after just 18 months in the leadership role.
Samuel joined the BSO in June 2021 as the organization was ramping up for their return after the COVID-19 shutdown and she worked with the board to implement re-opening campaigns for each of the BSO’s venues, including Tanglewood and Symphony Hall.
“Gail came to the BSO as we were beginning to chart a critical course through the very consequential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Barbara Hostetter, Chair, Board of Trustees, Boston Symphony Orchestra. “At a time when stabilizing the institution was of paramount priority, Gail was a steadying force. She also led the BSO through a vital turning point of generational change, setting in motion a creative vision that reflects the BSO’s commitment to diversity. As a result of her expertise, broad lens and hard work, the BSO is well positioned to continue with this important progress. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I express my gratitude to Gail and our entire executive team.”
“It was an honor to lead the Boston Symphony Orchestra, one of the world’s most celebrated orchestras, particularly during such a significant time in history,” Samuel said. “When I arrived at the BSO, I was dedicated to re-opening Tanglewood and Symphony Hall, and to increasing creativity at the BSO by welcoming artists to our stages more broadly representing the rich diversity that exists in our city. After navigating the profoundly complicated re-opening matters and having successfully laid the groundwork for continued evolution at the BSO, I have decided to step down,” Samuel said.
“The end of the season and Holiday Pops performances offer a natural time with limited disruption. I hold great pride in all that was accomplished during such a challenging time for the arts and culture sector. I am confident that the work I have done and the tools we put in place will enable future growth and diversity and enrich the BSO’s rich legacy of artistry. I am grateful to the Board of Trustees, the Boston arts and cultural community, and the BSO’s players and staff for the opportunity to positively impact this wonderful institution,” Samuel added.
Her last official day at the helm of the BSO will be January 3rd but will provide “transition assistance” following her departure. Neither Samuel or the Symphony shared any details about the reason for her abrupt exit.
The Board of Trustees of the Boston Symphony Orchestra announced that Jeffrey D. Dunn, a current member of the BSO’s Board of Advisors and the organization’s Finance Committee, will serve as interim President and Chief Executive Officer, starting January 4, 2023.
“Jeff Dunn is a much-admired executive, recognized across industries for an innate ability to lead complex organizations with sound judgment and innovative ideas,” said Barbara Hostetter, Chair, Board of Trustees, Boston Symphony Orchestra. “We especially hold immense respect for Jeff’s experience in guiding organizations in times of change and are grateful to have him help us continue our forward momentum.”