First Associate Concertmaster Sarah Kwak, a Minnesota Orchestra member since 1988, served as the Orchestra’s acting concertmaster from January 2010 to September 2011. She has performed as soloist with the Orchestra in many works, including Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, Vaughan Williams’ The Lark Ascending, Wieniawski’s Second Violin Concerto, Bach’s Double Violin Concerto and the Brahms Double Concerto. In May 2012 she was again featured as soloist, performing the Glazunov Violin Concerto.
Sarah has been soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Houston Symphony and Curtis Chamber Orchestra, and she has toured internationally with the Casa Verde Trio, including a three-and-a-half-week tour of China. She was a founding member of the Rosalyra String Quartet, which made its New York debut in 1996 and was awarded a McKnight Artist Fellowship in 2000. She has participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, Pensacola Festival, Pittsburgh Summerfest, Bargemusic of New York and Festival Mozart in France. In 2008, she won a second McKnight Artist Fellowship.
Born in Boston and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, Sarah entered Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute at twelve, studied briefly at the Vienna Hochschule für Musik and graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1983. Among her teachers were Joseph Sivo, Ivan Galamian and Szymon Goldberg. She was the first artist ever to capture all three memorial awards at the Washington International Competition, and also won the 1989 WAMSO Young Artist Competition. Before coming to the Twin Cities, she served on the faculty of Princeton University.
In the fall of 2012, Sarah will assume the post of Concertmaster of the Oregon Symphony.