Obituary: Long-time Boston Symphony administrator Mary Hunting Smith, 88

Posted on: August 27, 2010

In Thursday’s (8/26) Boston Globe, Gloria Negri writes, “In 1956, when the Boston Symphony Orchestra was about to become the first Western orchestra to perform in the Soviet Union, a major glitch surfaced. No tickets, no Russia, the Russian airline Aeroflot told BSO members waiting in Stockholm, where the orchestra, on a European tour, was to take off for the Soviet Union, a visit sponsored by the US State Department. The BSO’s London management office had mailed the 120 Aeroflot tickets for members via surface mail, and they had not arrived. But Mary Hunting Smith, the symphony’s beloved artistic administrator, had.” Smith happened to have brought emergency cash on the trip and paid for new tickets with American dollars. “Ms. Smith, whose outreach for the BSO touched the lives of world renowned conductors and the newest BSO players, as well as its worldwide audience, died of cancer Aug. 12 at her home in Lenox. She was 88. … In the 1960s, she worked as assistant to composer William Schuman in the developing years of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and later as registrar at the Juilliard School of Music, where she mentored many young musicians.’ ”

Posted August 27, 2010