Douglas Yeo, the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s bass trombonist, has announced that he will be retiring from the orchestra at the end of next summer. He will also be stepping down from his faculty position at New England Conservatory and relocating to Goodyear, Arizona. Yeo joined the BSO in 1985, during the tenure of music director Seiji Ozawa. Over the years, he has performed and recorded widely outside of his work with the orchestra, developing a specialty in rare period brass instruments such as the serpent.
In Arizona, he plans to teach at Arizona State University’s School of Music and to have an additional role at Phoenix’s Musical Instrument Museum. In a statement on his personal website, Yeo recalled highlights from his decades with the BSO and wrote of his decision to step down from his prominent orchestral post while still in his 50s, explaining that his choice was deeply connected to his religious world view. He wrote, “I have a very clear sense – from much prayer, thought, conversation and reflection – that God is calling me not just AWAY from my adult lifetime in the Boston Symphony but TO other things.’’
A BSO spokesperson confirmed that Yeo would be retiring from his post, effective August 27, 2012.