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BSO Names New Horn Player

The Boston Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Andris Nelsons are pleased to announce the appointment of Austin Ruff as the orchestra’s newest horn player. Originally from Richardson, Texas, Ruff joins the BSO from the Omaha Symphony, where he is associate principal horn. He has also performed with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Kansas City Symphony, the Rochester Philharmonic, the New World Symphony, and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Last summer, Ruff was a fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center

Ruff will join the BSO as assistant principal/utility horn, covering multiple horn parts within the section as needed, a position that demands immense skill and versatility. He fills the vacancy left by Jonathan Menkis, who retired from the BSO after 34 seasons in 2018. 

Ruff will be one of four new musicians in the BSO’s 2024–25 season, joining principal flute Lorna McGhee, associate principal bassoon Josh Baker, and section percussionist Toby Grace, whose appointments were announced in April. The newly appointed players will first perform with the BSO during the Opening Weekend concerts at Symphony Hall (Sept. 19–21), which include a fundraising gala celebrating Andris Nelsons’ tenth anniversary season and a world premiere by Composer Chair Carlos Simon, a Boston Pops Cirque de Symphonie performance conducted by Keith Lockhart, and a free Concert for the City jointly led by Nelsons, Lockhart, and Thomas Wilkins and featuring guest artists from the community. 

Statement from BSO Music Director Andris Nelsons:

“We are pleased to welcome the newest member of the horn section, Austin Ruff, to the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I first conducted Austin in the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra last summer, and it is always a joy to get to continue making music with the alumni of this wonderful program, from which so many BSO musicians (including three out of the four new players this season) have graduated. As we prepare for a busy season of performances, culminating in our 2025 appearance at Shostakovich Festival Leipzig, Austin’s skill and musicality will be a wonderful addition to the beautiful sound of our orchestra.”

Statement from Austin Ruff: 

“I am so thrilled to be joining the horn section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra! I was fortunate to be able to work and study with the section last summer at the Tanglewood Music Center and to join such a supportive and collaborative group is an honor. I am beyond excited to make music with my new colleagues and Maestro Nelsons in Boston this fall!”  

For more information, download the complete release.

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