Boston Symphony Orchestra Names New Concertmaster

By Francisco Salazar

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Andris Nelsons have announced the appointment of violinist Nathan Cole as the orchestra’s new concertmaster.

Cole will take the Charles Munch chair at the start of the BSO’s 2024 Tanglewood season in July, becoming the orchestra’s 11th concertmaster since its founding in 1881. He will succeed Malcolm Lowe, who retired in 2019 after serving for 35 years.

In regards to his new position the violinist said, “This opportunity to be the BSO’s next concertmaster feels like something that I’ve been waiting for my whole life. When I auditioned with the BSO back in January, for me it was an immediate, warm feeling both from my colleagues in the orchestra and Andris on the podium. I loved the way that Andris spoke in terms of imagery and was really clear about the sound that he wanted. I felt that he left it to us and our creativity to decide how to get those sounds, but at the same time, he was very specific and persistent about what he wanted, and I loved that. I also felt great support from the orchestra, especially from my fellow violins.”

Over the years, Cole has been the first associate concertmaster with the Los Angeles Philharmonic since 2011 and previously was a member of the Chicago Symphony and principal second violin of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has also been a guest with orchestras in Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Houston, Ottawa, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon.

In a statement, Nelsons said, “The BSO and I are very happy to warmly welcome Nathan Cole as the next concertmaster of our great orchestra. We had immense pleasure collaborating with Nathan last January on Shostakovich’s ‘Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk,’ and we look forward to embracing his leadership within the orchestra, exploring our joint musical values, and partnering on our artistic journey together to serve the great music both within and beyond our Boston community.”

Cole will make his first appearances this summer at Tanglewood, where he will be featured in Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Scheherazade” and will lead the orchestra in diverse repertoire over several programs.