Label: Boston Records
Item Number: BR1015
Year Recorded: 1996
Pavanes, Pastorales, and Serenades for Oboe and Harp
Gretchen Van Hoesen - Harp
James Gorton, Co-Principal Oboist, joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 1971 and retired in 2012. Prior to joining the PSO, Gorton was a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra, and Principal Oboe of the Rochester Chamber Orchestra. From 1971 to 1986 he was Principal Oboe of the Pittsburgh Opera and Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. He has also served as Principal Oboe of the Colorado Philharmonic, the New Hampshire Music Festival, the Aspen Festival Orchestra, and Strings in the Mountains Festival, as well as oboist and English Hornist of the Bethlehem (PA) Bach Festival, Lake George (NY) Opera Festival, and the Sun Valley (ID) Summer Symphony.
As oboe soloist, Gorton gave the Pittsburgh premiere of Witold Lutoslawski's Double Concerto for Oboe, Harp, and Chamber Orchestra with harpist Gretchen Van Hoesen, conductor Zdenek Macal and the PSO in May of 1985. He, Gretchen Van Hoesen, and Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton performed the North American premiere of Eugene Goossens' Concert Piece for Oboe/English Horn, Two Harps, and Orchestra with Manfred Honeck to close the 2012 PSO subscription season. Gorton presented the Rochester premiere of L'Horloge de flore (The Flower Clock) by Jean Françaix with the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra under Walter Hendl. Other solo appearances with the PSO have included both the Mozart and Haydn Sinfonia concertante and the Hertel Concerto in E-flat for Oboe and Trumpet. In addition, Gorton has appeared as soloist with the Colorado Philharmonic, New Hampshire Music Festival, Johnstown Symphony, Carnegie Civic Symphony (now Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra) and the Main Line (Philadelphia) Symphony. His performance of the C.P.E. Bach Concerto in D minor with the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra was named one of the Top Ten Concerts of 2001 by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
As a chamber musician and recitalist, Gorton was a founder of the New Pittsburgh Quintet, which played throughout the U. S., at the prestigious Osaka International Festival in Japan, and for the nationally televised PBS special commemorating opening of the Sarah Scaife Gallery in Pittsburgh. He was a member of the Mid-America Woodwind Quintet in residence at Emporia (KS) State University from 1969 to 1971. In 1984 Gorton performed as soloist in the Heinz Hall chamber series premiering Five Pieces for Solo Oboe by Antal Dorati. He has appeared in recital throughout the Pittsburgh area at the Frick Museum, Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham College, Carlow College, Shadyside Concert series, Pittsburgh Chamber Music Project, Rodef Shalom, Penn State University, and California State University. He has also been presented in recital in Taiwan and in Bösendorfer Hall in Vienna. Gorton has produced several CD's and numerous other recordings. Pavanes, Pastorales, and Serenades for Oboe and Harp, a CD for Boston Records by James Gorton and Gretchen Van Hoesen, was released in 1996. The widely-acclaimed recording containing music never before recorded has demanded three pressings.
Gorton grew up in the Philadelphia area and studied privately with Charles Morris, Louis Rosenblatt and John de Lancie, all of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Gorton studied with Robert Sprenkle at the Eastman School of Music, where he was a Rochester National Scholar and earned the Bachelor of Music degree and Performer's Certificate. He is a faculty member of Duquesne University and former faculty member of Carnegie Mellon University and Carlow University. His students hold posts in orchestras and universities throughout the U.S. and abroad.
James Gorton has served on many Pittsburgh Symphony committees, including Chairman of the Artistic Advisory Committee during several conductor searches.
Gretchen Van Hoesen - Harp
Gretchen Van Hoesen has been principal harpist of the Pittsburgh Symphony since 1977. She has appeared as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions, both on the subscription series and on tour. 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, Pinchas Zukerman and Manfred Honeck, 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 and the Concerto for Harp by Rheinhold Gliere. In 1985, Van Hoesen and her husband, former Pittsburgh Symphony 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. During the 1990-1991 season, Van Hoesen was featured soloist in the Peggy Stuart Coolidge Rhapsody for Harp and Orchestra for the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops series and gave the U.S. 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. The North American premiere of Concert Piece, Op. 65 for Oboe/English horn, Two Harps and Orchestra by Eugene Goossens closed the orchestra's subscription season in June 2012, and she performed the piece again with the Louisiana Philharmonic in 2014.
Van Hoesen has also been soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Orchestral Association, the Greenwich Philharmonia 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. Van Hoesen was winner of the 1978 Passamaneck Competition and appeared in recital at the Y Music Series of the Pittsburgh Jewish Community Center. Van Hoesen has been a recitalist throughout the Pittsburgh area at Duquesne University, Carnegie Mellon University, Chatham College, Carlow College, Shadyside Concerts, Pittsburgh Chamber Music Project, Rodef Shalom series, California University of Pennsylvania, Slippery Rock University, Heinz Hall Chamber Series, the Renaissance City Winds series, Geneva College, the Frick Art Museum and the Pittsburgh Peace Institute. She has been a featured soloist at American Harp Society National Conferences in Boston, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Washington, D.C., Fredonia, NY, and New Orleans.
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 credentials as an orchestral musician include performing as Principal Harp in the New York Lyric Opera, the New York City Ballet, the National Orchestral Association, the Greenwich Philharmonia, the Pittsburgh Opera and the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the Lake Placid Sinfonietta, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra (Italy), the Virginia Opera, the Sun Valley Music Festival and the Jeunesses Musicales Orchestra (Germany). She presently holds the Virginia Campbell endowed Principal Harp Chair of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. 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 frequently served as a judge for National Competitions of the American Harp Society and is currently the president of the organization's Pittsburgh Chapter. Van Hoesen served as a coach for the 2015 National Youth Orchestra of the United States and was selected as the inaugural Harp Forum editor for the American String Teacher and harp master class clinician at the ASTA National Conference in 2016.
In 1985, the recording Lullabies and Night Songs was released on the Caedmon label featuring Jan DeGaetani, soprano; Van Hoesen, harp; and instrumental ensemble. Van Hoesen collaborated with her father, bassoonist K. David Van Hoesen, and singer Jan DeGaetani in a recording of the Phyllis McGinley Song Cyclewritten for them by the late Alec Wilder. In the 1990-1991 season, Van Hoesen performed the world premiere of Blues for Harp, Oboe, and Violoncello by Lawrence Hoffman and presented a master class and oboe/harp duo recital in Taipei, Taiwan.
Pavanes, Pastorales, and Serenades for Oboe and Harp was issued in December 1998 with critical raves from around the country. Van Hoesen collaborated with conductor Rossen Milanov to record Concertos for Harp and Orchestra, which includes the Gliere and Jongen Harp Concertos and Buendiá's Suite Concertante with the New Symphony Orchestra in Sofia, Bulgaria. These performances are available on Boston Records. Recent CDs by Van Hoesen include Trio Pittsburgh with Noah Bendix-Balgley and Anne Martindale Williams, Genetic Harps with her daughter Heidi Van Hoesen Gorton, principal harpist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and Romances for Violin and Harp with former PSO Concertmaster Andres Cardenes.
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 and 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 to 2006. Her students have won numerous national and international awards and prizes.
Label: Boston Records
Item Number: BR1015
Year Recorded: 1996
Physical CD $15.99 US