The Minnesota Orchestra and Music Director Osmo Vänskä announced today the appointment of American violinist Erin Keefe as concertmaster. Keefe, who is known as a renowned chamber musician, will officially begin as concertmaster at the Orchestra’s season opening concerts September 29 to October 1.
The Orchestra’s Concertmaster Search Committee said in a statement, “Throughout the past two seasons our 13-member search committee listened to many excellent concertmaster candidates. Erin Keefe’s audition, in which she performed as concertmaster, chamber musician and soloist, captivated us. Her depth, refinement, and exquisite artistry showed her to be a violinist of the highest caliber. As we welcome Erin to the Minnesota Orchestra, we are confident that she brings the wonderful qualities of talent and leadership commensurate with this great orchestra.”
Keefe played with the Minnesota Orchestra as guest concertmaster in performances last May. “I’m extremely pleased that we are able to announce Erin Keefe as our new concertmaster,” said Music Director Osmo Vänskä. “While our search was underway, we were fortunate to have Sarah Kwak serve as acting concertmaster, allowing us to continue our work at the highest level, and I thank Sarah for her excellent contributions. I look forward to welcoming Erin to the Orchestra and to making extraordinary music.”
Keefe succeeds Jorja Fleezanis, who departed the Orchestra after 20 years of service to become professor of music at Indiana University in 2009. Keefe now becomes the 19th violinist to serve as a Minnesota Orchestra concertmaster in the ensemble’s 109-year history.