Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra Names New Executive Director

The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra (HSO) has announced the appointment of Matthew Herren as its next executive director, effective June 15, 2020. Herren will succeed Jeff Woodruff, who has served in the post since 2003. The appointment of Herren concludes a national search process that began late last summer following Woodruff’s announcement that he planned to retire at the conclusion of the 2019-20 HSO season.

Herren is a graduate of McCaskey High School and grew up in Lancaster City prior to attending The Juilliard School. “I am honored by the opportunity to work for such a celebrated orchestra. As a young cellist, I played in the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra and feel like I am returning home,” Herren said. “I am eager to begin working with an award-winning team including Maestro Stuart Malina, the hard-working staff and board, and the exceptional musicians of the HSO.”

Herren will return to Central Pennsylvania from Fayetteville, Arkansas, where he has held the position of executive director of the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas since 2014. Prior to his post in Fayetteville, Herren held administrative positions at the Lawrence Cultural Arts Commission in Lawrence, Kansas, and the Helicon Foundation in New York City. Herren is a professional cellist who holds Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Cello Performance from The Juilliard School in New York City.

“It is a testament to the artistic quality of our orchestra, the strength of our board and administration, and the quality of life in the Harrisburg area that we are able to bring Matthew’s caliber and experience back to the region,” said Stuart Malina, HSO Music Director. “As we recognize our 90th anniversary, I look forward to working with Matthew to build an even stronger future for the HSO.”

The executive director is responsible for managing the human and financial resources of the HSO in pursuit of the orchestra’s mission. Herren will manage a team of eight full-time and eight part-time staff. He will serve as the chief operating officer of the HSO and report to the board of directors through the chairman of the board.

“The search committee and my fellow directors are thrilled to welcome Matthew back to our orchestra family,” said Dr. Stephen C. MacDonald, HSO Board Chairman. “Matthew is an experienced administrator and musician with an outstanding reputation in the symphony orchestra world.”

The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra is currently celebrating three significant milestones: the orchestra’s 90th anniversary season, Stuart Malina’s 20th season as music director, and the Symphony Society’s 30th season.


The Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra presents inspiring symphonic music performed by its professional orchestra along with educational programs for audiences of all ages to enrich the cultural life of Central Pennsylvania. This regional jewel of talent is made up of 75 world-class musicians and led by Tony Award-winning conductor Stuart Malina. In 2020, the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra will celebrate its 90th year as a professional orchestra based in Harrisburg.

A typical season includes seven pairs of Masterworks concerts, five pairs of concerts in the Capital BlueCross Pops Series, two Young Person’s Concerts for school age children, and free outdoor concerts in several communities over the July 4th weekend. In addition, the Symphony season includes a number of educational activities, including in-school performances and master classes featuring Harrisburg Symphony musicians.