Sonata No. 1 for Two Violins1 min note
One Minute Note
- Emily Switzer, violin
- Catherine Schubilske, violin
String Quartet No. 11 min note
One Minute Note
- Helen Chang Haertzen, violin
- Joanne Opgenorth, violin
- Sifei Cheng, viola
- Erik Wheeler, cello
Phantasy Quintet1 min note
One Minute Note
- Sophia Mockler, violin
- Milana Elise Reiche, violin
- Marlea Simpson, viola
- Kenneth Freed, viola
- Pitnarry Shin, cello
Tattooed in Snow1 min note
One Minute Note
- Hanna Landrum, violin
- Emily Switzer, violin
- Sam Bergman, viola
- Silver Ainomäe, cello
Quintet for Piano and Strings1 min note
One Minute Note
- Rebecca Corruccini, violin
- Cecilia Belcher, violin
- Megan Tam, viola
- Sonia Mantell, cello
- Mary Jo Gothmann, piano
Helen Chang Haertzen
Milana Elise Reiche
Mary Jo Gothmann
Violist Sam Bergman joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2000. Born in Boston, he grew up primarily in small-town Pennsylvania, studying violin and viola with members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Philadelphia Orchestra. He attended Oberlin Conservatory in Ohio, studying viola with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey, and was a member of the Alabama Symphony Orchestra before coming to Minneapolis. Since 2005, he has produced, written and hosted more than 40 original narrated shows for the Minnesota Orchestra, many with conductor Sarah Hicks for the Orchestra’s Inside the Classics series.
Born in Taiwan and raised in California, violist Sifei Cheng joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1995. He has served as principal viola of the Charleston Symphony, New World Symphony and Juilliard Orchestra, and has led sections under Michael Tilson Thomas, Eiji Oue and Christoph Eschenbach. As a chamber musician, he has played in the Ravinia Festival, Caramoor Music Festival, Taos Chamber Music Festival, Pacific Music Festival and the New York String Seminar. Some of his past coaches include Samuel Rhodes, Miriam Fried, Paul Biss, Alan de Veritch, the Tokyo String Quartet and the American String Quartet. He has collaborated in chamber music with artists such as Joshua Bell, Pamela Frank, Andrew Litton and our own Creative Partner for Summer Programming Jon Kimura Parker. Cheng was also recently appointed principal viola of the Minnesota Bach Ensemble.
Kenneth Freed is an orchestral player and conductor, chamber musician, educator, and social entrepreneur.
A violist and violinist, Freed started music lessons at the Henry Street Settlement Music School in lower Manhattan with Elizabeth Weickert before attending the Juilliard Pre-College Division studying with Louise Behrend. He then received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Yale College and a Master of Music Performance degree from Yale School of Music studying violin with Syoko Aki Erle. While at Yale, he was awarded the William Waithe Concerto Competition Prize, the Broadus Earle Memorial Prize for Violin and the Tokyo String Quartet Prize for Chamber Music. He then studied in London with Helen Dowling, a student and assistant to Georges Enescu.
Violist Megan Tam joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2003, and returned to Minneapolis in 2015 after a year with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. She performs regularly on the Orchestra's chamber music series, and in the 2016-17 season, she played Mendelssohn's Second Viola Quintet and Prokofiev's First String Quartet with Orchestra colleagues.
Tam studied violin and viola at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music. She completed undergraduate studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music, studying under Robert Vernon and receiving the Robert Vernon Prize in Viola. In 2002 she and fellow members of the Linden Quartet won the grand prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition.
Rebecca Corruccini joined the Minnesota Orchestra’s first violin section in 2008. She served as acting assistant concertmaster from 2014-15, then acting associate principal second for 2015-16. Summers find her in Idaho, where she has been a member of the Sun Valley Music Festival since 2007.
Before assuming her Minnesota post, Corruccini performed two seasons with the Houston Symphony. In addition, she has recorded Emmy award-winning PBS All-Star Orchestra episodes as a charter member of the first violin section. Corruccini has been featured in both chamber music and orchestral performances at festivals across the country, including as assistant concertmaster at the Colorado Music Festival. She has also served as a member of the Grand Teton Music Festival orchestra and the Mainly Mozart Festival, and as faculty at the Brevard Music Center.
Helen Chang Haertzen joined the Minnesota Orchestra’s first violin section in 2003. In 2006 she appeared as soloist in Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with the Orchestra under Andrew Litton’s direction. She has performed often at the Orchestra's Chamber Music concerts.
Haertzen, who formerly was associate and principal second violin of the Bamberg Symphony in Germany, has toured with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and played with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s. She also served on the faculty of Jeunesses Musicales World Orchestra, teaching orchestral training and chamber music to international students. As soloist, Haertzen has performed with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade and Junge Philharmonie Erlangen, and with the Staatsorchester Braunschweig.
Violinist Emily Switzer is a 2019 graduate of the Yale School of Music and 2017 graduate of Yale University. Former co-concertmaster of the Yale Symphony Orchestra, she is a winner of the 2015 Friends of Music Recital Competition, the 2016 William Waite Competition and a recipient of the 2016 Sharp Prize for Music. She has performed with numerous orchestras including the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Lakewood Symphony, Denver Philharmonic, Littleton Symphony and Yale Symphony Orchestra. In January 2022, she performed with the Yale Philharmonia as a winner of the 2019 Woolsey Concerto Competition. Switzer joined the second violin section of the Minnesota Orchestra in September 2019.
Joanne Opgenorth joined the Orchestra’s first violin section in 2002, after serving seven seasons as a first violinist in the Washington National Opera Orchestra in Washington, D.C. She has collaborated with Orchestra musicians and guest artists, playing chamber music in the Minnesota Orchestra Chamber Music, Nightcap and Sommerfest series, and in KinderKonzerts and Common Chords outreach chamber music concerts.
Milana Elise Reiche is a member of the Minnesota Orchestra first violin section and has served in both first and second violin sections since joining the Orchestra in 1995. She was concertmaster of the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra from 2005-2010. She regularly participates in Minnesota Orchestra’s chamber music series. Each summer she attends the Sun Valley Summer Music festival in Sun Valley, Idaho, and the Steamboat Springs festival in Colorado.
Violinist Cecilia Belcher is the Acting Associate Principal Second Violin of the Minnesota Orchestra. She joined the Orchestra in 2014 and was named Assistant Principal Second Violin in 2017. Previously, she performed with the St. Louis Symphony from 2008-2014, and also frequently performed with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the New York City chamber orchestra The Knights. She has been Principal Second Violin of ROCO in Houston and the Minnesota Bach Ensemble and, as concertmaster, she led the New World Symphony, Reno Philharmonic, Aspen Music Festival Opera Orchestra and the Mississippi Valley Orchestra. She has enjoyed traveling the world for festivals and performances, including to Aspen, Tanglewood, Verbier, Banff, Beijing, the BBC Proms, South Africa, New Zealand and throughout Europe.
Hanna Landrum joined the Minnesota Orchestra in June 2019, after previously holding the position of principal second violin with the Rochester Philharmonic. She has performed with numerous orchestras and music festivals across the country. She has held leadership positions with the Canton Symphony Orchestra, Youngstown Symphony and Firelands Symphony, and is a regular substitute with the Cleveland Orchestra. With a passion for contemporary music, she has participated in the premieres of many new American works, including collaborations with both visual arts and dance.
A native of Brooklyn, New York, violinist Sophia Mockler earned her master’s degree from the Yale School of Music with Ani Kavafian. Her previous teachers include Catherine Cho at the Juilliard School, Carmit Zori and Itzhak Perlman. She has attended multiple summer music festivals including the Verbier Festival, the Norfolk Chamber Music Program, the Lakes Area Music Festival and the Perlman Music Program Chamber Music Workshop. Recently she made her debut on the Brooklyn Chamber Music Society. In 2020 she toured throughout Europe with the Budapest Festival Orchestra under the direction of Iván Fischer, performing at the Concertgebouw, Elbphilharmonie and Carnegie Hall. She has served as the concertmaster for the Verbier Festival Orchestra as well as the Yale Philharmonia Orchestra. In addition to playing violin, she enjoys singing opera and sang the titular role in Dido and Aeneas at Princeton University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in Comparative Literature.
Catherine Schubilske joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2000 and has played in all of the Orchestra’s recording cycles with Music Director Osmo Vänskä. She performed, recorded and toured with the Chicago Symphony as an extra musician for several seasons and was a tenured member of the orchestras of Milwaukee, Honolulu and Santa Fe Opera. As a soloist she has appeared several times with the Milwaukee Symphony and Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra.
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.
Beth Rapier joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1986 and served as assistant principal cello from 1991 until 2022, when she chose to move into the core of the cello section. She has been a featured soloist with the Orchestra in works by Haydn, David Ott and Kevin Puts, the latter being the world premiere of his Sinfonia Concertante in 2006. Throughout her tenure with the Orchestra she has performed regularly at its Sommerfest, MacPhail and Target Atrium Chamber Music concerts.
An accomplished chamber musician, Rapier won top awards at several competitions in the U.S. and Canada and has performed quartets throughout Europe, Asia and the U.S. She is a regular guest at chamber music festivals, including Cactus Pear, Music in the Vineyards, Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, and Orcas Island. Other appearances include the Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Mainly Mozart (San Diego), Pensacola Chamber Music Festival, Barge Music (New York City), Bing Series (Los Angeles), Festival Mozart (Lille, France), and the Santa Barbara and MET Museum Chamber Music Series.
Cellist Pitnarry Shin has toured throughout the United States, Europe and her native Korea. She has performed as soloist with the Korean Broadcasting System (KBS) Symphony Orchestra, the Kunsan Philharmonic, the Yale Symphony Orchestra, the Springfield Symphony Orchestra and the Queens Symphony Orchestra. She has also appeared at many of the leading international festivals including the Ravinia Festival, the Edinburgh and Dartington Festivals (England), Colmar and Evian Festivals (France), Banff Festival (Canada) and the Piatigorsky Seminar. She was the recipient of a Fulbright Grant to Germany, which allowed her to participate and perform in several European festivals such as the Manchester Festival, the Kronberg Festival and the Ensemble InterContemporain Summer Festival, where she played solo cello under Pierre Boulez.
Shin was a member of the Minnesota Orchestra from 2001 to 2006 and returned as a full time member again in 2012. In addition to her orchestral work, she serves as an artistic director of the Bakken Trio.
Houston-born cellist Erik Wheeler began his musical studies with Diane Bonds at the age of five, and subsequently studied with Steve Laven, Lynn Harrell and Brinton Smith. He earned his undergraduate degree from Rice University, where his principal teacher was Desmond Hoebig, after which he spent a year at the Juilliard School with Richard Aaron. While at Rice, he performed Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with the Shepherd School Chamber Orchestra as the winner of the school’s concerto competition, and served as principal cellist for the Shepherd School Symphony Orchestra.
Dallas native Marlea Simpson joined the Minnesota Orchestra’s viola section in September 2022. Hailed by the Chicago Tribune as “Grant Park Orchestra’s new 21-year-old wunderkind” in 2016, she most recently held the principal viola position with the Chicago Sinfonietta in addition to a section position with the Grant Park Orchestra after completing their Project Inclusion Program in 2014. Simpson has also performed as a substitute musician with the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Sarasota Orchestra.
The Chamber Music Series is sponsored by Dr. Jennine and John Speier.