Gretchen Van Hoesen
Gretchen Van Hoesen has been Principal Harpist of the Pittsburgh Symphony since 1977. She presently holds the Virginia Campbell endowed Principal Harp Chair of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and has appeared as soloist with the orchestra on numerous occasions, both on the subscription series and on tour. Ms. Van Hoesen gave the New York premiere of the Alberto Ginastera Harp Concerto in 1976 and the Pittsburgh premiere in 1978. She has appeared as soloist with conductors André Previn, Lorin Maazel, James Conlon, Zdnek Macal, Sergiu Comissiona, and Pinchas Zukerman and has collaborated with flutists James Galway, Bernard Goldberg, Jean-Pierre Rampal and Emmanuel Pahud. Additional appearances with the Pittsburgh Symphony have included performances of the Handel Concerto in B flat, Danses Sacré et Profane by Debussy, Concierto Serenata by Joaquin Rodrigo, Rhapsody by Peggy Stuart Coolidge, Noels for Harp by Marcel Tournier and the Concerto for Harp by Rheinhold Gliere. Ms. Van Hoesen and her husband, PSO Co-Principal Oboe James Gorton, presented the Pittsburgh premiere of Witold Lutoslawski's Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp and Chamber Orchestra on the Pittsburgh Symphony subscription series. She gave the United States premiere of Suite Concertante for solo harp and orchestra by Manuel Moreno-Buendia in San Antonio, Texas. In March 2008 she presented the world premiere of Sir André Previn’s Concerto for Harp on the Pittsburgh Symphony subscription series. Concert Piece, Op. 65 for Oboe/English horn, Two Harps, and Orchestra by Eugene Goossens will close the orchestra’s subscription season in June 2012.
Ms. Van Hoesen has also performed as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Orchestral Association, the Greenwich Philharmonia, the Sun Valley Summer Symphony, the Lake Placid Sinfonietta and the Westmoreland Symphony. She has concertized in the metropolitan New York area at Carnegie Recital Hall, Alice Tully Hall and the Brooklyn Museum, and has presented concertos at the Academy of Music in Philadelphia and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington. Ms.Van Hoesen was winner of the 1978 Passamaneck Competition. Gretchen Van Hoesen was selected to perform in Tokyo and Osaka, Japan, in the Super World Orchestra 2000, an orchestra made up of key musicians from around the globe. She has been a featured soloist at American Harp Society National Conferences in Boston, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Denton, Washington, D.C. and Fredonia. Ms.Van Hoesen has served as a judge for National Competitions of the American Harp Society and has been past President of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Harp Society.
Gretchen Van Hoesen graduated from the Juilliard School of Music earning both B.M. and M.M. degrees in harp as a scholarship student of Marcel Grandjany and Susann McDonald. She is also a graduate of the Eastman School of Music Preparatory Department with highest honors in piano and harp, where she was a student of Eileen Malone. She further studied with Gloria Agostini.
Her recordings include Lullabies and Night Songs on the Caedmon label,
Pavanes, Pastorales, and Serenades for Oboe and Harp, and Concertos for Harp, CD’s on the Boston Records label, and Breath of Heaven, A Christmas Collection with Soprano Sarah Botkin and a work by Bernard Andres with Judith LeClair, Principal Bassoonist with the NY Philharmonic.
Ms. Van Hoesen is a faculty member at Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne universities and combines teaching there with private students at her home in Pittsburgh. She has given master classes at Duquesne University, the Eastman School of Music, The Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, the University of Illinois, the Aspen Music Festival, the National University of the Arts in Seoul, Korea, and has been an artist-lecturer on numerous series in Pittsburgh as well as throughout the country. She was a faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School from 2001-2006. She is a past president of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Harp Society. Her students have won numerous national awards and prizes.