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The Changing Face of the Orchestra

Important First Players in the Orchestra

When the orchestra was founded in 1881, the ensemble was exclusively male and predominantly Western European (though many players were immigrants to the U.S.). Here are the stories of a few of the orchestra's important first players who have helped to shape the future face of the orchestra.

A collage of two orchestra portraits: on top is a black and white print of the orchestra in 1914 and below is a color image of the orchestra in 2019

Then and Now: The BSO in 1914 and in 2019

(Photographer unknown - upper portrait; Marco Borggreve - lower portrait)