Stasia Hovenesian

With winners of the Young Artist Competition, 2017.

A Tribute to Stasia B. Hovenesian

Former Executive Director of Music Worcester

Music Worcester has been led by a number of formidable individuals since its founding in 1858, none more so than Stasia B. Hovenesian, who served in a number of roles for over 40 years, including several decades as Executive Director, stepping down in 2012. Stasia passed away on June 2, 2024, leaving a remarkable legacy of keeping Music Worcester, and indeed Worcester, known internationally for its arts and culture.

During her tenure, she oversaw three major transformations: a return to Mechanics Hall in the late 1970s as the organization’s main venue, following a number of decades of the then Worcester Music Festival at the Worcester Auditorium; a transition from the week-long festival format to the current year-round schedule; and a merger of the Festival with International Artists Series and the MA Jazz Festival to create Music Worcester as we all know it today.

Stasia championed excellence in all ways, from the regular engagements of renowned internationally acclaimed orchestras, soloists, and jazz legends at Mechanics Hall and Tuckerman Hall, to bringing classical ballet companies from across the globe to The Hanover Theatre following its reopening in 2008. She led several Worcester Chorus director searches and attended their performances with great consistency. Her stories of dealing with surprises, crises, and singular opportunities were unsurpassed in their wit and humor, but also in their acknowledgement of barriers and obstacles she regularly had to overcome directing Music Worcester.

In the late 2000s the Music Worcester Board of Directors established the Stasia B. Hovenesian Endowed Concert Fund as part of the endowment to celebrate her leadership. The fund’s purpose is to support annual orchestral programming, perhaps the type of concert that Stasia loved the most.

Music Worcester wishes to thank Stasia’s children, Diane, Patrice, and Jay, for remaining active with the organization in recent years. We extend our deepest condolences to them and their families at this time as we honor, and reflect upon, Stasia’s lifelong engagement with music across Greater Worcester.

Adrien C. Finlay
Executive Director, Music Worcester
Endowed by the McDonough Charitable Foundation

In the Worcester Telegram: Obituary | 2012 Retirement

Please consider a donation in memory of Stasia Hovenesian. Please mark your gift “in memory of Stasia,” to ensure it is added to the Hovenesian Fund at Music Worcester.

Stasia B. Hovenesian

Former Executive Director

“I’ve learned that my vision of myself is my vision of the world. If I feel good about myself, it shows in my work and in my being able to handle certain situations.” [From an interview with Stasia Hovenesian by Joanna Zikos, October 1984.]