Just as H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest was a generous philanthropist and inspirational leader to so many important nonprofit organizations in Philadelphia, so was he, too, to The Philadelphia Orchestra. He and his lovely wife, Marguerite, were long-term subscribers to the Orchestra, regularly attending concerts and special events at the Academy of Music and the Kimmel Center. Together, Gerry and Marguerite made a major commitment to permanently endow the principal trumpet chair held by world-renowned trumpeter David Bilger. Gerry played a leading role during the Orchestra’s Chapter 11 reorganization, making several major gifts to the Transformation Fund, advising his many friends on the Board and within the administration, and calling other philanthropists to action during Town Hall meetings. He and Marguerite contributed nearly $13 million to the Orchestra over the past two decades. Chairman Richard B. Worley, Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, and all of the musicians, Board, staff, and Volunteers join in mourning the loss of such a great Philadelphia citizen, inspirational leader, generous philanthropist, and pillar of our community who did so much to benefit so many. We are honored that the Marguerite and Gerry Lenfest Chair will pay tribute in perpetuity to his life and legacy, and that the heraldic tones of the Orchestra’s principal trumpet will forever honor his memory.
Photo by Jessica Griffin