New Executive Director: Adrien Finlay will succeed Stasia B. Hovenesian

June 19, 2012

New Executive Director for Music Worcester, Inc.

WORCESTER —  Adrien C. Finlay, who has built a career as a performing arts executive, most recently with the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, will be the new executive director of Music Worcester Inc. effective August 1, 2012.

He will succeed Stasia B. Hovenesian, who has led Music Worcester for more than 38 years but earlier this year announced her intention to step down from the position. The Music Worcester board of directors subsequently conducted a nationwide search for a successor, and interviewed six candidates, said Dr. Joel Popkin, president of Music Worcester.

Mr. Finlay, who is originally from Smithfield, R.I., was named executive director of the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in Alexandria, Va., during its 2007-08 season.

He had joined the orchestra in 2006 as its general manager, having previously held positions as orchestra manager at American University (Washington, D.C.) and music administrator of Glimmerglasss Opera (Cooperstown, N.Y.), as well as working for organizations including The Newport Music Festival and Portland (Maine) Chamber Music Festival.

At Music Worcester, Mr. Finlay's tasks will include overseeing the Worcester Music Festival, coming up on its 153rd season this fall and the longest continuous running music festival of its kind in the country.

In a statement released Monday, Mr. Finlay said, "Music Worcester has a storied history that is utterly fascinating and speaks to its amazing potential. I am deeply humbled by the support of the board and so very appreciative of the great care that has surrounded the impending leadership transition to ensure a seamless switch. Stasia Hovenesian's legendary expertise and programming brilliance will be difficult to match, but I am excited to become part of the greater Worcester community and pursue future opportunities for the organization."

At Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Finlay has been credited with overseeing program expansion to include repeat concerts and non-classical music events, formation of a high school musician mentoring program, and achieving a 45 percent increase in special event fundraising revenue and an increase of over 100 percent in single ticket sale income.

"His staff in Alexandria praise him to the skies," Dr. Popkin said during an interview with Richard Duckett of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette Monday, June 18th.

"He's exceptionally pleasant and well-spoken. He knows his way around the classical world and beyond that. He's dynamic and thoughtful and has fresh thoughts about stepping up our marketing and finding new audiences," Dr. Popkin said.

Mr. Finlay was a joint music and French major at Harvard University and received a master's degree from American University's arts management program.

(story taken from Worcester Telegram & Gazette interview by Richard Duckett 6-19-2012)