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Artistic Leadership

William Boughton
Music Director and Principal Conductor


William Boughton was born into a musical family: his grandfather (Rutland Boughton) was a composer, his father a professional viola player, and his mother a singer. After cello studies at the New England Conservatory (Boston), Guildhall School of Music (London), and Prague Academy, he entered the profession in London, playing with the Royal Philharmonic, BBS, and London Sinfonietta.


The experience of playing in orchestras led to a passion to pursue a career in conducting and he decided to return to studies first with George Hurst and then with Sir Colin Davis. In 1980, he formed the English Symphony Orchestra (ESO) and developed the ESO’s repertoire through the Baroque period to Viennese classics and into contemporary music. During his time with the ESO, he commissioned more than 20 works from such composers as Peter Sculthorpe, John Joubert, Anthony Powers, Michael Berkeley, John Metcalf, Stephen Roberts, and Adrian Williams. The depth of his partnership with the ESO was epitomized in 1985 when, as Artistic Director of the Malvern Festival, he collaborated with Sir Michael Tippett in presenting a musical celebration of the composer's eightieth birthday, which became the subject of a BBC "Omnibus" documentary.

With the ESO on Nimbus Records, he built a significant discography of internationally acclaimed recordings—predominantly of English music—a number of which reached the Top Ten on US charts.

During his final years with the ESO, Boughton successfully launched the first ESO Elgar Festival in Malvern and Worcester, and also celebrated the orchestra’s 25th Anniversary performing a complete Beethoven symphony cycle, in which he created a new series of pre-concert performances of British contemporary music, including works by Birtwistle, Knussen, Watkins, Woolrich, Holloway, and Turnage. He has participated in a number of high-profile arts programs for BBC Television, a radio program about Elgar that was broadcast in New York, Chicago, Washington, and Boston in 2006, and a series entitled 1st Eleven for Classic FM, during the 2006 Soccer World Cup. He has guest conducted major orchestras around the world, including the San Francisco, London, and Helsinki Symphony Orchestras.

In July 2007, he became the tenth Music Director of the NHSO, with whom he has instituted a Composer-in-Residence program and undertaken a major recording project of the works of William Walton; the first recording—Walton’s Violin Concerto and First Symphony—was released by Nimbus in 2010 and selected as a Critic’s Choice for 2010 by prestigious Gramophone Magazine. Under Mr. Boughton’s leadership, the NHSO was awarded an ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming in 2010. He resides in Guilford with his family and is in demand as a guest speaker and conductor.


Elaine C. Carroll
Executive Director

Elaine C. Carroll has worked in not-for-profit management for 18 years. She has secured grants from many major foundations and the Connecticut Office of the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the U.S. Department of Education. In Spring 2010, she produced the all-Stamford fundraising concert for Haitian Earthquake Relief that raised $24,637 in a few short weeks; the Symphony’s musicians donated their performance so that all of the money raised could be sent to Haiti.

Under her leadership as Executive Director, the NHSO has enjoyed a new-found economic stability.  The Symphony has been "in the black" for three consecutive seasons and replenished its Strategic Cash Reserve.  The Symphony is making more music in more places and engaging more listeners.  The NHSO will present 44 public performances during its 120th anniversary season.  Elaine and her staff work with partners in Shelton, Hamden, Norwalk, Hartford, Essex, Clinton, Cheshire, Fairfield, Milford, New London, Woodstock, Norfolkd, and the Naugatuck Valley to creat a truly regional presence for the Symphony. 

From 2003-2010, Elaine served as the General Manager of the Stamford Symphony, where she improved sponsorship packages, upgraded technology, and expanded education programs. Elaine was a researcher for the statewide Values Study and Innovation Grant program that developed a Family Concert model that is a sold-out success. Her innovative marketing plan increased the Symphony’s public presence and earned income without increasing expenses.

Elaine was previously the Executive Director of the Westchester Philharmonic where her fundraising eliminated the annual deficit in her first season. She launched a successful opening night gala and implemented a major program for high-risk children funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Elaine succeeded in recruiting top-caliber new directors to the orchestra’s board and greatly improved the Board’s diversity.

Elaine earned her Masters of Performing Arts Administration from New York University and holds a B.A. in flute performance from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She continues to be active as a flutist, vocalist, and music teacher. She is a founding director of the Shamrock Traditional Irish Music Society, as well as a director of the West Haven Council on the Arts and the West Haven Child Development Center. She lives with her husband, John Anderson, and their daughter, Cecilia, in West Haven.

Burton Alter

Burton Alter, a retired attorney, has served on the Board of Directors of the NHSO for four years, and is currently President. He is also a director of the League of American Orchestras and a trustee of the National Guild for Community Arts Education. He has served as board president of Neighborhood Music School and as a director of Litchfield Performing Arts and Waterbury Arts Council.

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