Trio No. 1 for Violin, Cello and Piano
Suite from Façade
Quintet for Piano and Strings
Jazz Variations on a Theme by Paganini
Jon Kimura Parker
flute and piccolo
Clarinet and Bass Clarinet
Douglas C. Carlsen
Known for his passionate artistry and engaging stage presence, pianist Jon Kimura Parker has performed regularly at the Berlin Philharmonic, Carnegie Hall, London’s South Bank, the Sydney Opera House and the Beijing Concert Hall. In 2019, he was appointed the Minnesota Orchestra’s first-ever Creative Partner for Summer at Orchestra Hall, a new role in which he is serving as a creative force behind the Orchestra’s summer festival and appearing each summer as a host, performer and personality. He is also artistic director of the Honens International Piano Competition and artistic advisor for the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival.
Parker’s 2022-23 seasons encompasses a full slate of performances across the United States and Canada, including presentations of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the Colorado Symphony, Leonard Bernstein’s Age of Anxiety with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with the Toledo Symphony, and Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with both the Reno Chamber Orchestra and San Antonio Philharmonic. In November 2022 he will tour across Italy with the Montrose Trio, which he founded with Martin Beaver and Clive Greensmith. Following their first tour in 2015, The Washington Post described them as “poised to become one of the top piano trios in the world.”
Alan Snow joined the Minnesota Orchestra in September 2022, and won the position of Associate Concertmaster in November 2022. He was previously the second associate concertmaster with the Omaha Symphony. Since his first performance with the Oistrakh Symphony Orchestra at age 13, Snow has performed solo and chamber works internationally, including appearances at Chicago’s Symphony Center, London Symphony Orchestra St. Luke’s, Sala Manuel M. Ponce in Mexico City and others. Previous concertmaster appointments include the Evansville Philharmonic, Birch Creek Symphony, Columbus Indiana Philharmonic, Terre Haute Symphony, Festival Napa Valley Music Academy, Britten-Pears Young Artists Program, Indiana University’s top orchestras, Carmel Symphony and Music Academy of the West.
Rui Du, appointed assistant concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra in 2015, had previously been a member of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; he won fourth chair in the first violin section in 2012 and soon after was named acting assistant concertmaster. He had previously been concertmaster of the Annapolis Symphony, associate concertmaster of the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra and concertmaster of the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. In addition, he has served as guest concertmaster of the Qingdao and Hebei symphony orchestras in China.
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. He has performed chamber music alongside world-renowned artists including Jon Kimura Parker, Philip Setzer, Lawrence Dutton, Timothy Eddy, Kim Kashkashian, Susan Starr and Charles Wetherbee, and has appeared as a soloist with numerous orchestras including the Houston Symphony. Wheeler’s parents are both musicians, and his father Lawrence was Co-Principal Violist of the Minnesota Orchestra in the 1970s.
Roma Duncan, who joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2003, performed Vivaldi’s Piccolo Concerto in C major at Sommerfest 2005 and reprised the work in 2007 at subscription concerts conducted by Gilbert Varga. In 2019, she performed the same work in Orchestra concerts with conductor Jane Glover. She has held numerous roles in recent Young People's Concerts, hosting concerts in 2018, performing as a soloist in Kling's The Elephant and the Fly in 2017, and serving as narrator in Kleinsinger’s Tubby the Tuba in 2011. In Sommerfest 2014 she joined Orchestra colleagues for a chamber concert performing Rossini’s Quartet for Flute, Clarinet, Bassoon and Horn.
Timothy Zavadil joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2007 as clarinetist and bass clarinetist, and he has since played those instruments as well as E-flat clarinet, contrabass clarinet, basset horn and saxophones. Previously a member of the Louisville Orchestra, Toledo Symphony and Civic Orchestra of Chicago, he has also performed with the New York Philharmonic and the Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, National, Toronto and St. Louis symphony orchestras, under such conductors as Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez, Sir George Solti, David Robertson, Alan Gilbert, Franz Welser-Möst, Zubin Mehta and Christoph Eschenbach.
Douglas C. Carlsen joined the Minnesota Orchestra as associate principal trumpet in 1999, after holding the principal trumpet post with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra, and since has been featured here in Sommerfest chamber music performances and performances of Copland’s Quiet City, Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and Sibelius' Overture for Brass Septet, among others. He has served as acting associate principal with the San Francisco Symphony and performed with the San Diego Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Houston Symphony, Grant Park Festival Orchestra in Chicago and Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, among others.
A committed chamber musician, Carlsen has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Breckenridge Music Festival Orchestra, Banff Summer Music Festival, Summit Brass and Uptown Brass Quintet. He has participated in music festivals throughout Europe, Canada and the United States, and he has recorded Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Trumpets with David Hickman on the Summit Records label.
Katja Linfield, who joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1990, is an active chamber musician and proponent of contemporary and lesser-known works. In recent seasons she has performed Tan Dun’s Elegy: Snow in June for solo cello and four percussionists, John Mackey’s bluegrass string trio Wrong-Mountain Stomp and Judd Greenstein’s string quartet Four on the Floor. She has also performed works of Dvořák, Hindemith, Brahms, Mozart, Mendelssohn and Golijov.
Linfield was a member of the Bakken Trio from 1992 until 2002, a period during which the ensemble recorded works of Ives, Pärt and Beethoven. She has twice received the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians, in 2006 as soloist and in 2001 with the Bakken Trio.
Kevin Watkins joined the Minnesota Orchestra’s percussion section in 1999. In October 2015 he was appointed to the dual posts of acting associate principal timpani and acting associate principal percussion. He has been featured with section colleagues in performances of Carmen Suite, an orchestration by Shchedrin of themes from Bizet’s Carmen, and of Russell Peck’s The Glory and the Grandeur. He has performed chamber music at several Orchestra concerts, and in January 2009 he and Sam Bergman performed Michael Colgrass’ Variations for Four Drums and Viola on the Orchestra’s Chamber Music at MacPhail series.
Violinist Sarah Grimes joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 2016, where she is a member of the first violin section. Before her appointment in the Minnesota Orchestra, she performed as a full-time guest musician with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra from 2015-16, and as a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in 2014.
Raised in the Twin Cities, Grimes began studying the violin at the age of four. She received a bachelor of music degree from the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University, where she was concertmaster of the Symphony Orchestra, and worked as a freelance musician in the greater Chicago area.
Violist Jude Park joined the Minnesota Orchestra in September 2022. They have performed with numerous orchestras, including the Houston Symphony and Dallas Symphony. As a chamber musician, Park has had the opportunity to work with members from some of the world’s leading quartets, including the Pacifica, Cleveland and Dover Quartets. Park is a two-time fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center and has received summer fellowships from Verbier Festival Academy and Madeline Island Chamber Music. They received their master’s degree from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, where they were a student of Ivo-Jan van der Werff, with additional studies with Joan DerHovsepian.
Illinois native Sonia Mantell joined the Minnesota Orchestra cello section in September 2020. She studied at New England Conservatory and DePaul School of Music under the tutelage of Natasha Brofksy and Brant Taylor, respectively. She was appointed co-principal cellist of the NEC orchestras and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. While attending DePaul, she won the Concerto Competition with violinist Ari Urban and performed the Brahms Double Concerto with the DePaul Symphony. She has attended summer festivals at Aspen, National Orchestral Institute, Music Academy of the West and Tanglewood Music Center.
David Williamson joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1986, and has since performed a broad range of repertoire not only in classical subscription concerts, but in more than 30 Orchestra-sponsored programs. These have included chamber music concerts at Sommerfest and other venues, family concerts, pops programs—where he has often played jazz bass—and many Kinder Konzerts.
Since 2001 Williamson has also served as principal bass of the Oregon Bach Festival with conductor Helmuth Rilling. He performs regularly at the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and in 2004 he performed at Music in the Vineyards in Napa, California. He has been a guest faculty member at Stringwood, a chamber music camp in Lanesboro, Minnesota. Prior to joining the Orchestra, Williamson held the position of principal bass with the New Orleans Symphony and performed with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra for seven summers.
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The Minnesota Orchestra’s Chamber Music series is generously sponsored by Dr. Jennine and John Speier.