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Tuesday May 2, 2023

The Minnesota Orchestra’s First Associate Concertmaster Susie Park and Associate Principal Cello Silver Ainomäe to Perform Brahms’ Double Concerto

Conducted by Andrew Manze, the June 1-2 program also includes Eleanor Alberga’s Tower and Dmitri Shostakovich’s First Symphony

In 2015, Australian violinist Susie Park became the Minnesota Orchestra’s first associate concertmaster; one year later, Estonian cellist Silver Ainomäe was appointed as associate principal cello. The internationally born musicians have since made Orchestra Hall their musical home, featuring as soloists in various programs while continuing to perform in concert halls around the world. In this program—which finally brings Park and Ainomäe into the solo spotlight together three years after their scheduled performances of the concerto were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic—the pair will team up to present Johannes Brahms’ Double Concerto. Brahms wrote the piece late in life as a means of reconciling with his estranged friend, violinist Joseph Joachim.

The program will be performed at Orchestra Hall in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday, June 2, at 11 a.m., and Friday, June 2, at 8 p.m, with ticket prices ranging from $30 to $99. Free tickets are available for young listeners under the age of 18, thanks to the Orchestra’s Hall Pass program. For more information, visit minnesotaorchestra.org/hallpass. The performance on Friday, June 2, will be broadcast live on stations of YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio.

Guest conductor Andrew Manze, the chief conductor of the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hanover, Germany, will be welcomed for his Orchestra Hall debut in these concerts. The program includes Eleanor Alberga’s Tower, a musical tribute to violinist David E. Angel, the late friend of the Jamaican-born, London-based composer. Tower may be familiar to audiences of the Minnesota Orchestra: in 2019, as part of its Listening Project initiative, the Minnesota Orchestra created the first professional recording of the piece in partnership with the African Diaspora Music Project and YourClassical MPR. It is the second work from the initiative to be programmed on the ensemble’s classical subscription series.

The concerts conclude with Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1—the work that would launch Shostakovich’s career. He composed his First Symphony at just 18 years old as a graduation assignment. Within a year of its premiere, the work was programmed and performed by the Berlin Philharmonic. Still considered one of Shostakovich’s finest works, the energetic symphony is full of surprising flourishes and the composer’s trademark wit.


About Andrew Manze

Andrew Manze is widely celebrated as one of the most stimulating and inspirational conductors of his generation. He has been chief conductor of the NDR Radiophilharmonie in Hanover, Germany, since 2014, and this season takes the ensemble on a tour to Japan. Since 2018 he has been principal guest conductor of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic. A leading specialist of historical performance practice, Manze became associate director of the Academy of Ancient Music in 1996 and from 2003 to 2007 served as artistic director of the English Concert. From 2006 to 2014 he was principal conductor and artistic director of the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra; he is now its honorary conductor.

Highlights of Manze’s 2022-23 schedule include his operatic debut with the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, conducting performances of Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas alongside Schoenberg’s Erwartung, as well as engagements with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Dresden Philharmonic and Atlanta Symphony. His numerous recordings as both a violinist and conductor have garnered critical acclaim. More: intermusica.com, andrewmanze.com.

About Susie Park

Since her appointment as first associate concertmaster, Susie Park has been featured as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra in Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos No. 2 and 4, Barber’s Violin Concerto and at numerous Young People’s Concerts. She has performed solos around the world with European orchestras such as the Vienna Symphony, Orchestre de Lille and the Royal Philharmonic; with American orchestras including the Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Indianapolis and Memphis symphony orchestras and the Orchestra of St. Luke’s; the major symphony orchestras of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Tasmania, Canberra and Perth; Korea’s KBS Orchestra; and Orchestra Wellington in New Zealand.

A dedicated chamber musician, Park was the violinist of the Eroica Trio from 2006 to 2012, touring internationally and recording the ensemble’s eighth album featuring all-American repertoire that was nominated for a Grammy. She is also a founding member of ECCO, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra. In addition to her numerous awards, Park has won top honors at some of the world’s most prestigious violin competitions including the International Violin Competition of Indianapolis, the Wieniawski Competition in Poland and the Yehudi Menuhin International Competition in France. More: minnesotaorchestra.org.

About Silver Ainomäe

Before Silver Ainomäe joined the Minnesota Orchestra’s cello section, he spent seven seasons as principal cello of the Colorado Symphony. He has also appeared as guest principal with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has performed in more than 30 countries as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician; his solo debut came in 2000 with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra. 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.

An active chamber musician and educator, Ainomäe has performed and taught at the most prominent festivals in Finland, Estonia, Switzerland, Greece, Germany and the United Kingdom. Ainomäe was born in Tallinn, Estonia, and in 1990 his family migrated from Estonia to Finland. At the age of 12, he was accepted to the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki and then went on to attend London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Razumovsky Academy. He has been awarded multiple prizes and awards at competitions worldwide including the Isang Yun, Lutosławski and Paulo competitions. More: minnesotaorchestra.org.

Minnesota Orchestra Classical Concerts



Thursday, June 1, 2023, 11 a.m. / Orchestra Hall

Friday, June 2, 2023, 8 p.m. / Orchestra Hall*


Minnesota Orchestra

Andrew Manze, conductor

Susie Park, violin

Silver Ainomäe, cello


BRAHMS Double Concerto for Violin, Cello and Orchestra


Tickets: $30 to $99 [Free tickets available for young listeners under age 18, thanks to the Hall Pass program.]

* The performance on Friday, June 2, will be broadcast live on stations of YourClassical Minnesota Public Radio, including KSJN 99.5 FM in the Twin Cities.


Tickets and subscription packages can be purchased now at minnesotaorchestra.org or by calling 612-371-5656. For groups of 10 or more, call 612-371-5662.

The Hall Pass program makes free tickets available for young listeners ages 6 to 18 for select Classical and Symphony in 60 concerts, and all kids under 18 for Family concerts. This program is sponsored by Cynthia and Jay Ihlenfeld. For more information, visit minnesotaorchestra.org/hallpass.

These concerts are co-sponsored by Trudi Anderson and Joseph Green, and Margee and Will Bracken.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

All programs, artists, dates, times and prices subject to change.


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