Elbert L. Carpenter Chair
American violinist Erin Keefe, who became concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra in September 2011, has established a reputation as an artist who combines exhilarating temperament and fierce integrity. At Sommerfest 2012 she made her concerto solo debut with the Orchestra, performing Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, and in May 2014 she debuted as soloist on the subscription series, playing the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. She will return to the solo spotlight in April 2015, performing Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending.
Keefe has been awarded many major distinctions, including, in 2006, the Avery Fisher Career Grant. She has also won the 2009 Pro Musicis International Award and Grand Prize in the Valsesia Musica International Violin Competition (Italy, 2009), the Torun International Violin Competition (Poland, 2007), the Schadt Competition (2006) and the Corpus Christi International String Competition (2004). She was the Silver Medalist in the Carl Nielsen, Sendai (Japan) and Gyeongnam (Korea) International Violin Competitions, resulting in performances and re-engagements in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Keefe has appeared as soloist in recent seasons with orchestras such as the New York City Ballet, New Mexico Symphony, the Korean Symphony Orchestra, the Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, the Sendai Philharmonic and the Göttingen Symphony Orchestra, among others. She has given recitals throughout the United States, Austria, Germany, Korea, Poland, Japan and Denmark, and made her Weill Hall recital debut in 2010.
Among the leading chamber musicians of her generation, Keefe joined the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center as an Artist during the 2010-2011 season; previously, from 2006 to 2009, she had been a member of the Chamber Music Society Two program. She has been featured on Live from Lincoln Center three times with the Society, performing works by Brahms, Schoenberg, Bach and Corelli. She has also performed regularly with both the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society and Boston Chamber Music Society. In recent seasons she has been a member of Accordo, a chamber music ensemble composed of principal string players from the Minnesota Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Keefe has collaborated with many of today’s leading artists, including the Emerson String Quartet, Roberto and Andrés Díaz, Edgar Meyer, Gary Graffman, Richard Goode, David Shifrin, David Soyer, Colin Carr, Leon Fleisher and William Preucil. She performed with Michael Tilson Thomas on a program premiering his own chamber music at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall.
Her discography includes Schoenberg’s Second String Quartet with Ida Kavafian, Paul Neubauer, Fred Sherry and Jennifer Welch-Babidge for Robert Craft and the Naxos label; recordings of Dvořák’s Terzetto and Piano Quartet in E-flat with David Finckel and Wu Han for the CMS Studio Recordings label; and live performances of the Bartók Contrasts, Dvořák Piano Quintet, Mozart E-flat Piano Quartet, Respighi’s Il Tramonto and Haydn’s Arianna a Naxos recorded for Deutsche Grammophon with Menahem Pressler, Gary Hoffman, Ani Kavafian and Ewa Podlés. Keefe’s first solo CD, released in January 2010, includes works by Mendelssohn, Schumann, Ravel, Sibelius, Lutoslawski and Hindemith, and was recorded with pianist Anna Polonsky.
Keefe’s festival appearances have included Marlboro Music, Music@Menlo, Music from Angel Fire, Ravinia, Bravo! Vail Valley, and the Seattle, OK Mozart, Mimir, Music in the Vineyards and Bridgehampton chamber music festivals.
A native of Northampton, Massachusetts, Keefe earned a master of music degree from the Juilliard School and a bachelor of music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music. Her teachers included Ronald Copes, Ida Kavafian, Arnold Steinhardt, Philip Setzer, Philipp Naegele, Brian Lewis and Teri Einfeldt.