Concertmaster, 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. She has since been featured as soloist in two concertos by Mendelssohn—the Violin Concerto and, in May 2022, the Double Concerto for Violin, Piano and Orchestra—as well as the violin concertos of Brahms and Kurt Weill, and Dvořák’s Romance for Violin and Orchestra. In February 2023, she performed Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade, after Plato's "Symposium," for Solo Violin, Strings, Harp and Percussion. Keefe joined the violin faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in 2022.
Winner of an Avery Fisher Career Grant, the Pro Musicis International Award as well as numerous international competitions, she has appeared as soloist in recent seasons with the Minnesota Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Korean Symphony Orchestra, Amadeus Chamber Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic, Sendai Philharmonic and the Gottingen Symphony and has given recitals throughout the United States, Austria, Italy, Germany, Korea, Poland, Finland, Japan and Denmark.
Among the leading chamber musicians of her generation, Keefe has been an Artist of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center since 2010 after previously being a member of The Bowers Program (CMS Two) from 2006 to 2009. She has been featured on “Live from Lincoln Center” three times with the Society, performing works by Brahms, Schoenberg, Bach and Corelli. Keefe is a member of Accordo, a string ensemble composed of present and former principal string players of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra and has performed frequently with the Brooklyn and Boston Chamber Music Societies.
Keefe has collaborated with many leading artists of today including the Emerson String Quartet, Edgar Meyer, Gary Hoffman, David Finckel, Wu Han, Richard Goode, Roberto and Andrés Díaz, Menahem Pressler, Gary Graffman, Leon Fleisher, James Ehnes and Augustin Hadelich. Her recording credits include 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 the Dvořák Terzetto and the Schumann, Dvořák and Mendelssohn’s third Piano Quartet in E-flat with Paul Neubauer, David Finckel and Wu Han for the CMS Studio Recordings label as well as live performances of the Bartok 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 Podles. She has also released a solo CD including works by Mendelssohn, Schumann, Ravel, Sibelius, Lutoslawski and Hindemith recorded with pianist Anna Polonsky. Her festival appearances have included the Marlboro Music Festival, Music@Menlo, La Jolla Summerfest, Mainly Mozart, Music Academy of the West, Music from Angel Fire, Ravinia and the Seattle, OK Mozart, Mimir, Bravo! Vail Valley, Colorado College, Skaneateles, Salt Bay, Music in the Vineyards and Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festivals.
As a guest concertmaster, Keefe has appeared in recent seasons with the New York Philharmonic, Pittsburgh Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic and the Sao Paulo Symphony Orchestra.
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.
If I weren't a musician, I would probably be a professional organizer. The Container Store is my all-time favorite store, and I love to invade and reorganize my friends' houses.”