Associate Principal Cello, John and Barbara Sibley Boatwright Chair
Silver Ainomäe was born in Tallinn, Estonia. At the age of six he began to play the cello and piano. In 1990 Ainomäe's family migrated from Estonia to Finland and at the age of twelve, he was accepted to the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where his teachers were Hannu Kiiski and Arto Noras. After receiving a master’s degree at the Sibelius Academy, he attended London's Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Razumovsky Academy under the guidance of Oleg Kogan. He participated in his first international competition when he was eight years old. Two years later he won second prize in a competition held in the former Czechoslovakia. Since then he has been competing regularly, winning multiple prizes and awards at competitions worldwide including the Isang Yun, Lutoslawski and Paulo competitions.
Ainomäe has performed in more than 30 countries as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. His solo debut was with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in 2000. He has since performed concertos with Finnish Radio Orchestra, Zürich Chamber Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Polish Radio Orchestra, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Colorado Symphony under conductors such as Paavo Järvi, Andrew Litton, Marin Alsop and Claus-Peter Flor. Principal cellist of the Colorado Symphony since 2009, Ainomäe has also appeared as guest principal with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. An active chamber musician and educator, he has performed and taught at the most prominent festivals in Finland, Estonia, Switzerland, Greece, Germany and United Kingdom.