BSO: Robert Bradford Newman chair, endowed in perpetuity
Wendy Putnam was born in Wisconsin and began her study of the violin at the age of three. She made her first appearance in the concert hall at nine when she was invited to perform as a soloist with the Green Bay Symphony. By 16 she enrolled at Louisiana State University under the guidance of Professor Sally O'Reilly, where she completed both her bachelor's and master's degrees.
Shortly thereafter, she joined the New World Symphony and served as concertmaster for two international tours and for a recording, which was later nominated for a Grammy award. She performed as soloist with the New World Symphony Chamber Players and collaborated with such artists as Sir Georg Solti, Josef Swensen, Phillipe Entremont, and Benjamin Pasternack in chamber concerts both in the U.S. and abroad. She worked under the direction of conductors Michael Tilson Thomas, Seiji Ozawa, Leonard Bernstein, Christoph Eschenbach, and Mstislav Rostropovich. During this time, Ms. Putnam also performed solo and chamber music recitals throughout Italy, Switzerland, and Japan.
In 1991 while working with Josef Gingold at Indiana University, Ms. Putnam won the concertmaster position of the New Orleans Symphony. Soon afterwards she was named concertmaster of the symphony's successor, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Ms. Putnam made several concerto appearances during her tenure with the Louisiana Philharmonic. Her performance of Tchaikovsky's violin concerto with Maxim Shostokovich was named "Best Classical Performance of the Year" in 1995 by the New Orleans Times-Picayune.
In addition to having earned fellowships to many of the world's most prestigious music festivals, Ms. Putnam has been the recipient of awards from numerous organizations, including the National Federation of Music Clubs and the Henry B. Cabot Foundation at Tanglewood.
In 1996 Ms. Putnam was awarded a position in the violin section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. She has continued to concertize and collaborate in chamber concerts with world-renowned musicians, as well as her colleagues in the BSO. Ms. Putnam is the founder and director of the Concord Chamber Music Society in Concord, Massachusetts, and serves on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center. Distinguished artists have not only recognized Ms. Putnam's ability as a highly accomplished violinist, but also commended her devotion to the arts and humanity.