The mission of the BWS and the leading role it plays in enhancing the cultural life of our community depend upon the much-needed support of its donors. When you support the BWS by making a gift to its Merit Award Program or to its Annual Fund you are helping young students achieve their dream of entering the world of professional players. Through its multi-faceted programs the BWS helps train future generations of woodwind artists.


About BWS

Boston Woodwind Society, Inc. is a tax-exempt not-for-profit organization incorporated under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We are also qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers or gifts under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Code.

Matthew Ruggiero  
Board of Directors Advisory Board
Barclay Henderson, Chair John Ferrillo
Kenneth Radnofsky, President Marianne Gedigian
Jonathan Cohler,Vice-President Craig Nordstrom
Stephanie Busby, Secretary/Treasurer Richard Ranti
Eleanor Ruggiero Gilbert Robert Sheena
Barbara LaFitte  
John Rabinowitz Honorary Advisory Board
Richard Schaul-Yoder Doriot Anthony Dwyer, dec.
  Fenwick Smith, dec.
  William Wrzesien, dec.

The Boston Woodwind Society is committed to diversity and we are proud of our record in this regard, as described in a bit more detail below. That said, we are constantly looking to improve. Please forgive us. We are aware and will do better in the future.

Our accomplishments

The Boston Woodwind Society has a long-standing commitment to the promotion of education, excellence, and performing opportunities for woodwind players near Boston and around the world. The results of our efforts speak for themselves through our successful competitors, internationally renowned judges, and Board members, who collectively comprise a wide variety of nationalities, races, geography, and gender. We are proud to say that since our Merit Awards’ inception in 2005, we have granted what were originally $1,000 and now are $2,000 Merit Awards to 27 young male and 36 young female woodwind artists; and to date, our $10,000 Matthew Ruggiero International Woodwind Competition prizes have gone to two young male and four young female woodwind artists.

Judges for our annual $10,000 international competition are chosen by the BWS Board based on the highest standards of excellence. Since its inception in 2016, the judges for the Ruggiero competition have included some of the best known male and female, world-class, woodwind soloists, chamber or orchestral musicians, and teachers hailing from some 12 different countries, and at least 15 different major orchestras. We usually have five and sometimes six judges on our international jury, as decided by the Board, and both Jury and Board members consult on repertoire.

Last year's Bassoon competition included our first female composer and several of our competitions have included works by living composers. The six winners over the last seven years (with one year off for COVID) for bassoon, clarinet, oboe, flute, saxophone, and bassoon included four women and two men. The many amazing and varied accomplishments of our award winners over the past nearly 20 years are too many to list here, but we love to tell everyone in particular about our very first winner of the $10,000 Matthew Ruggiero International Woodwind Competition, Katarzyna Zdybel-Nam, who was chosen unanimously through secret ballot by a jury of six, and is now a renowned figure in the bassoon world.

In our first four Ruggiero competitions (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019), all judges worked for no fee. As of 2022, the Board voted to begin paying a small honorarium to our judges. Because we are a non-profit service organization, we cheerfully donate our time and resources to guarantee that 100% of our sponsor's generous annual $10,000 donation goes directly to the single winner of this now very important international competition.

Our Board comprises three women and five men, all of whom are respected members of the Boston musical, legal, and business communities; and most of whom have had a long-standing connection to the Boston Woodwind Society, and to its founder, the late Boston Symphony Orchestra bassoonist and renowned teacher Matthew Ruggiero, in whose honor this competition is named. Matthew Ruggiero was absolutely devoted to fostering artistry in young wind players, and his legacy lives on through our work today.

We also hold several regional $2,000 Merit Award Competitions each year named after, and in honor of, four of Mr. Ruggiero’s long-time colleagues in the Boston Symphony Orchestra: Doriot Anthony Dwyer (one of the first female principal chair wind players in a major US orchestra), Sherman Walt (bassoon), Ralph Gomberg (oboe), and Harold Wright (clarinet), all of whom are legends of their respective instruments; and we support many woodwind related events including Double-Reed Days, Master Classes, and competition winner recitals in the Boston area.

The Board of Directors
Boston Woodwind Society