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 student 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 to found GVO and then she returned to her career. She was in the original productions of Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All To You and A Lie of the Mind, and the New York premiere of Tom Stoppard’s Indian Ink among some 50 Broadway and Off-Broadway plays. Most recently, she was in the Humana Festival in Louisville and in Therese Raquin at the Atlantic here in New York. Other regional credits include Arena Stage in D.C. and The Guthrie Theatre. National Public 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. Upcoming commitments include two engagements with upstate orchestras in Façade, the Edith Sitwell nonsense poetry set to music by Sir William Walton.
Between shows she returns to GVO and feels privileged to play the big orchestral repertoire under Barbara Yahr’s direction. She and her children own an 1840 house in the city and part of an old farm in the Catskills, where she works in the woods and gardens like a maniac.