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 Silver'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 has been awarded multiple prizes and awards at competitions worldwide including the Isang Yun, Lutoslawski and Paulo competitions.
Silver 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 from 2009 to 2016 until he joined the Minnesota Orchestra, he has also appeared as guest principal with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In a June 2023 subscription concert at Orchestra Hall, he performed Johannes Brahms’ Double Concert for Violin, Cello and Orchestra alongside First Associate Concertmaster Susie Park. 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.
Silver enjoys hiking with his dogs, canoeing the Boundary Waters, and playing hockey in the Twin Cities area.