Susie Park will serve as First Associate Concertmaster and Rui Du as Assistant Concertmaster
Two violinists with international backgrounds join the Minnesota Orchestra this month: Australia native Susie Park has been appointed First Associate Concertmaster and China native Rui Du takes the post of Assistant Concertmaster. Both won auditions with the Orchestra during the 2014-15 season and now join Concertmaster Erin Keefe and Associate Concertmaster Roger Frisch to round out the leadership positions in the first violin section.
“Susie and Rui are both highly accomplished musicians and experienced orchestral players,” said Concertmaster Erin Keefe. “We are thrilled to have them fill these leadership roles in the violin section, and we are very happy to welcome them to Minnesota.”
Susie Park, who most recently served as concertmaster of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, is also widely known as a chamber musician. She was the violinist of the esteemed Eroica Trio from 2006 to 2012, touring with the ensemble to New Zealand, Brazil and Denmark, and performing on the Trio’s Grammy-nominated CD, An American Journey. A founding member of ECCO, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, Park has also been a member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center Two, where she collaborated with artists from Wu Han and Gary Hoffman to Ida Kavafian. Park’s interest in many musical genres has led to collaborations with a variety of artists, including jazz trumpeter Chris Botti, with whom she performed in 41 consecutive shows at New York’s Blue Note Jazz Club. Winner of the top prize at both the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis and the Wieniawski Competition in Poland, Park has appeared as a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the major orchestras of Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide, among others. Park is a native of Sydney, Australia; she earned a bachelor of music degree from the Curtis Institute of Music and an artist diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music.
Park, who fills the position formerly held by Sarah Kwak, performed with the Minnesota Orchestra on its Cuba tour last May. “That trip was so memorable,” she says. “I enjoyed meeting the young Cuban musicians and making music with them at such a close range. It really struck me that music is so pervasively a part of these young people’s lives. I’m thrilled to now officially join the Minnesota Orchestra and have similar experiences with Minnesota students, colleagues and audiences.”
Rui [pronounced “Ray”] Du joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as fourth chair first violin in 2012 and soon after was appointed its acting assistant concertmaster. He had previously served in a variety of leadership positions: concertmaster of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, associate concertmaster of the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra and concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. Du also performs as the guest concertmaster for China’s Qingdao Symphony Orchestra. Winner of the 2006 Canetti International Violin Competition in France, he has performed in concert halls throughout the world and soloed with the Baltimore Symphony, Shanghai Opera Orchestra, Hebei Symphony Orchestra and Fuzhou Symphony Orchestra, among other ensembles.
Du was born and raised in Hefei, in China’s Anhui Province. He studied first at the Shanghai Conservatory’s Music Academy and later at the National University of Singapore. In 2008, he moved to the U.S. to pursue a master’s degree and a graduate performance diploma from the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.
Du fills the position formerly held by Stephanie Arado and, most recently, by Rebecca Corruccini, who served as acting assistant concertmaster. “I am deeply honored to be joining the Minnesota Orchestra this year,” he said. “I’m excited to work with an institution with such a rich history, and I look forward to getting to know my new musical home.”
Gwen Pappas, Director of Public Relations