’19-’20 Season Performances/Events

* Find Helen at various Philadelphia Orchestra concerts throughout the season!

Masterclass & Recital for the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Harp Society

October 12, 2019

Trinity Lutheran Church in Fairview Village, PA

La Source – Hasselmans

Valse in E-Flat Major Opus 83 – Marie-August Durand (trascr. McDonald and Wood Rollo)
Rhapsodie – Grandjany
Amid Flowers Beside the River – traditional Chinese piece (trascr. Asieh-Che-Chih)
Fantaisie-Impromptu – Chopin (trascr. De Wayne Fulton)
The Moldau – Smetana (transcr. Trnecek)

’18-’19 Season Performances/Events

*Helen plays on bolded pieces.

Showcase for Women Composers

Wednesday, September 6, 2018 at 10:30AM, and 2:00PM

Kensho Watanabe – Conductor

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center

“The Philadelphia Orchestra and American Composers Orchestra (ACO) will partner for a one-day showcase on September 6, 2018, during which the Orchestra will rehearse works by six women composers as part of a collaborative working session. The selected composers, all of whom have been commissioned previously through ACO’s programs, will have their works read and recorded by The Philadelphia Orchestra in a rehearsal led by Assistant Conductor Kensho Watanabe at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. In addition, the composers will participate in meetings with Orchestra leadership and roundtable conversations with the Orchestra’s Artistic Committee and mentor composers, and will receive feedback from co-facilitators, ACO Artistic Director Derek Bermel and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and native Philadelphian Melinda Wagner.

The six invited composers––selected from the alumnae of ACO’s Underwood, EarShot, and Jazz Composer Orchestra Institute programs––will travel to Philadelphia to work collaboratively with the Orchestra. The composers are Melody Eötvös (2014 Underwood New Music Readings), Hilary Purrington (2017 Underwood New Music Readings), Chen-Hui Jen (2012 EarShot Readings San Diego Symphony), Robin Holcomb (2016 Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute Readings Naples Philharmonic), Xi Wang (2010 Underwood New Music Readings); and Nina C. Young (2013 Underwood New Music Readings).

This score-reading session is free and open to the public. No RSVP is necessary. Seatings will happen approximately every 30-40 minutes between pieces”

10:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Xi Wang: Above Light, a conversation with Toru Takemitsu
Hilary Purrington: Likely Pictures in Haphazard Sky
Nina C. Young: Excerpts from Agnosco Veteris, for orchestra
Melody Eötvös: The Saqqara Bird, for Symphony Orchestra

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Melody Eötvös: The Saqqara Bird, for Symphony Orchestra
Chen-Hui Jen: in eternal dusk, for orchestra
Robin Holcomb: All the While, Suite for Orchestra

The PhilOrch’s Opening Night

Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 7:00PM

Yannick Nézet-Séguin – Conductor and Piano; Ying Fu – Violin; Kerry Ryan – Viola; Priscilla Lee – Cello

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center

STRAUSS – Don Juan

BRAHMS – Fourth movement from Piano Quartet No. 1

ROSSINI – Overture to William Tell

BERNSTEIN – Overture to Candide

“Our acclaimed music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, will launch his seventh season with the Orchestra at this Opening Night event. Yannick and the Fabulous Philadelphians are planning a special celebratory program that features musical masterworks and audience favorites, including Strauss’s Don Juan, Rossini’s famous Overture to William Tell, Bernstein’s Overture to Candide, plus a special chamber music performance by Yannick and musicians from the Orchestra.
Opening Night Co-Chairs Alison Avery Lerman and Lexa Edsall, Volunteer Association President Nancy Galloway (as of September 2018), Board Chairman Richard Worley, and the Opening Night Gala committee look forward to welcoming you to this special evening, featuring great music, high couture, and black tie, and delicious food and champagne with Philadelphia’s cultural leaders and arts patrons.
Also, the 2018 Philadelphia Orchestra Award will be presented to our beloved friend Joe Manko as we pay tribute to the leadership and volunteer service both Joe and his late wife, Lynn, have provided, honoring their many contributions to the Volunteer and Orchestra families.”

Opening Weekend

Friday, Saturday, Sunday, September 14-16, 2018 at 8:00PM, 8:00PM, and 2:00PM

Yannick Nézét-Séguin, Conductor; André Watts, Piano

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center

MUHLY – Liar, Suite from Marnie

GRIEG – Piano Concerto

RACHMANINOFF – Symphonic Dances

“Celebrate 10 years of music-making between Yannick and the Philadelphians. André Watts soloed at Yannick’s Philadelphia Orchestra debut in 2008; he celebrates the 10th anniversary with Grieg’s stirring Piano Concerto. With the Metropolitan Opera giving the U.S. premiere of Nico Muhly’s sensational opera Marnie, based on Winston Graham’s book and Alfred Hitchcock’s film, we present the world premiere of the companion orchestral suite, Liar (a Philadelphia Orchestra commission). It’s the first of many fruits of Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s upcoming dual role leading both the Fabulous Philadelphians AND the Met. Rachmaninoff wrote his final work, the Symphonic Dances, specifically for The Philadelphia Orchestra. Here’s another chance to hear the special Philadelphia Sound of the Yannick era!”

Free College Concert

Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 7:30PM

Kensho Watanabe, Conductor; Isaiah Kim, Cello

VERDI – Overture to La forza del destino

DVORAK – First movement from Cello Concerto

STRAVINSKY – Suite from The Firebird

“Every year, a free concert just for college students kicks off The Philadelphia Orchestra’s eZseatU program, where thousands of students fill Verizon Hall to experience the famous Philadelphia Sound. A post-concert party in the Kimmel Center lobby with free food and more live music completes this festive night!
All of this free fun is available to you and your college friends. A printed ticket and a valid full-time student ID are required for everyone who attends.
6:30 PM: Festivities in the Kimmel Center begin
Early arrival is strongly advised 
7:30 PM: Concert begins in Verizon Hall
Post-concert party in the Kimmel Center lobby
Tickets will be available for reservation on August 30 at noon.”

’17-’18 Season Performances/Events

*Helen plays on the bolded pieces.

Curtis Symphony Orchestra

Sunday, October 29, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.

Juanjo Mena, conductor
Oliver Herbert, cello
Hae Sue Lee, viola
Carlos Ágreda, conducting fellow

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center 

Short Ride in a Fast Machine
Don Quixote  (HG Principal Harp)
Symphonie fantastique – 4 harps! (HG Principal Harp)

The Curtis Symphony Orchestra shines under the “world-class conducting” (Washington Post) of Juanjo Mena, chief conductor of the BBC Philharmonic, in a feast of Romantic storytelling. By turns whimsical and noble, Strauss’s take on the Cervantes novel Don Quixote gives way to the heady narrative of the Symphonie fantastique by Berlioz. A whirlwind tone poem by John Adams, Short Ride in a Fast Machine, sets it all in motion.

Ecotone: Selected Works for Solo Instruments

October 31, 2017 at 8 p.m.

Gould Rehearsal Hall
1616 Locust Street

An ecotone is an area of transition between two environments. This concert features a selection of solo instrumental and vocal compositions that combine virtuosic technique with theatrical performance. From the groundbreaking Ursonate for solo speaker by Kurt Schwitters to Luciano Berio’s Sequenza V for trombone, each work transforms the musician into a dramatic and dynamic character on stage.

BERIO – Sequenza V
KERNIS – Superstar Etude, No. 1
KIRSTEN – Pirouette on a Moon Sliver
*SCHAFER – The Crown of Ariadne for harp with percussion
SMITH – The heaventree of stars hung with humid nightblue fruit

Eugene Onegin – Curtis Opera Theatre

November 16 – 18, 2017 at 7:30 p.m.; November 19, 2017 at 2:30 p.m.

Prince Theater

Fully staged production with members of the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, sung in Russian with English supertitles

A sentimental ingénue confesses her love for an imperious aristocrat, and meets a crushing rejection. Years pass and the tables are turned, with poignant regrets for both. Based on Pushkin’s famed novel, Tchaikovsky’s deeply moving drama is marked by impassioned interactions and a continuous outpouring of glorious lyricism.

Wissahickon Scenes – with the Temple Music Prep Youth Chamber Orchestra

December 9, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

Lew Klein Hall, Temple Performing Arts Center

1837 N. Broad St. // Philadelphia, PA // USA

WRIGHT – Wissahickon Scenes

Ceremony of Carols – with Arcadia University Women’s Choir

December 10, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

Murphy Hall, Stiteler Auditorium

450 S. Easton Road // GlensidePA 19038 // USA

BRITTEN – Ceremony of Carols

Curtis Symphony Orchestra

January 28, 2018 at 3 p.m.

Gilbert Varga, conductor
Yue Bao, conducting fellow

Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center 

The Mannheim Rocket

Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin (HG Principal Harp)

Scheherazade (HG Principal Harp)

“A masterful interpreter” (Baltimore Sun), British conductor Gilbert Varga brings his elegant, electric style to the lush melodic legends of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade—and to the blazing colors and shocking storyline of Bartók’s Miraculous Mandarin. John Corigliano’s Mannheim Rocket offers an explosive opening.

Senior Recital

February 7, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

Field Concert Hall, Curtis Institute of Music

1726 Locust St. // Philadelphia, PA 19103 // USA


Joshua Bell and Yannick

~The PhilOrch sub week~

February 15th @ 7:30 PM//16th @ 2:30 PM//17th @ 8 PM//18th @ 2:00 PM, 2018

Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts – Verizon Hall

Yannick Nézet-Séguin – Conductor//Joshua Bell – Violin

Wieniawski – Violin Concerto No. 2

Shostakovich – Symphony No. 7 (“Leningrad”)

Joshua Bell first captivated Philadelphia audiences and then the world with his astonishing prowess, on full display in this series of concerts centered on St. Petersburg, Russia. Bell performs Wieniawski’s romantic and Paganini-like Violin Concerto No. 2, premiered while the composer and violinist was living and teaching in St. Petersburg. The Concerto exhibits a glossy nostalgia in stark contrast to Shostakovich’s emotionally charged work dedicated to the same great Russian city. The “Leningrad” Symphony is a vivid depiction of invading armies and the devastating impact of war. Yannick leads the Orchestra for three performances of Shostakovich’s towering masterpiece. Cristian Macelaru guest conducts for a special fourth performance, pairing Bell and Wieniawski with Dvorák’s euphoric Symphony No. 8 and Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3.

These concerts will be LiveNote enabled.

American Harp Society, Baltimore Chapter Masterclass with Helen Gerhold

March 4, 2018 – 1 p.m.

Small Chapel, St. Ignatius Church // 740 N Calvert St, Baltimore, MD 21202

American Harp Society Baltimore Chapter Solo Recital

March 4, 2018 – 4 p.m.

Small Chapel, St. Ignatius Church // 740 N Calvert St, Baltimore, MD 21202

Program TBA

Shostakovich & Dvorak

~The PhilOrch sub run-out concert~

March 6, 2018 @ 8 PM

Washington Center at Strathmore, North Bethesda

Cristian Macelaru – Conductor

Shostakovich – Symphony No. 7 (“Leningrad”)
“No American orchestra sounds more alive.” – The New York Times

“The Philadelphia Sound is born of the deep musicality, the generosity of spirit, and the incomparable commitment to ensemble playing of our orchestra musicians,” says music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The ensemble’s rich sound and glowing string section will be on full display in Shostakovich’s defiant, monumental, and rarely-performed “Leningrad” Symphony.

NOTE: Some seating sections for this performance are not eligible for subscription discounts.