Helen-Jean Arthur — Violin

Helen-Jean Arthur catapulted to New York from Chicago to be an actor. After studying with Uta Hagen and Lee Strasberg she married the late Michael Dunn, a cellist, and as the young mother of four, needing some outlet of her own, began violin lessons. Eventually she was accepted as an adult beginner by William Lincer, who was then Leonard Bernstein’s first violist in the N.Y. Philharmonic and on the Juilliard faculty. She and Michael helped found the GVO and then she returned to her career. She was in the original productions of Sister Mary Explains it All to You, Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind, and the New York premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink, among some 50 Broadway and off-Broadway plays. Regional credits include the Humana Festival in Louisville, Arena Stage in D.C., and The Guthrie Theatre. National Radio fans may have heard her broadcast from Symphony Space in Selected Shorts and the annual Bloomsday. She also did what felt like a prison stint on a soap, Loving, for four years. She still tours and concertizes world-wide in the repertoire for actress with symphony orchestra which includes her performance as soloist at Philharmonie Hall in Berlin in Facade, the Edith Sitwell nonsense poetry set to music by Sir William Walton. Many orchestral tours as a violinist took her to Greece, Italy, and the cities along the Danube where she also narrated Lincoln Portrait. (The performance was cancelled by the consulate in Budapest, because “the words would incite the people!”) Recently, she made an acclaimed cameo appearance in Jim Jarmouch’s film, Paterson, and was karate-chopped by an alien on Netflix’s Future Folk.