Bethel Balge

Piano | Co-Artistic Director

Winner of the Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts and of the McKnight sponsored Artist Grant, pianist Bethel Balge has performed in Germany, including at Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, in Russia as soloist with the Voronezh Philharmonic, as well as in various American venues. Balge's "concentrated, technically secure and captivating interpretation" of Ravel's Gaspard de la Nuit attracted notice from a reviewer at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung after a performance at the Alte Oper.

As a doctoral student of Lydia Artymiw, Balge performed in a Minnesota Public Radio live broadcast in the Bach Birthday concert organized by MPR host Michael Barone.

She is founding Artistic Director of the Summit Avenue Music Chamber Music Series and Co-Artistic Director of the ProMusica Chamber Music Festival. In 2014, she received a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Minnesota, under Lydia Artymiw. Prior to her doctoral studies, Balge spent six years in Germany, where she received a Diplom degree from the University of Frankfurt's Staatliche Hochschule fuer Musik und darstellende Kunst. Previously she received her Master of Music M.M. from the University of Wisconsin under Howard Karp. She is a cum laude graduate (Bachelor of Music) of Michigan State University, where she studied under Van Cliburn gold prize winner Ralph Votapek. Balge has received numerous awards, including first place in the Grand Rapids Concerto Competition, in the Michigan State University Concerto Competition, in the Beethoven Competition in Madison, WI, and in the Ida Schroeder Foundation Scholarship Competition in Milwaukee, WI. She was finalist in the Chicago Civic Orchestra Concerto Competition and took third place in the Esther Wilburne Barnes National Competition in Georgia.

Balge teaches piano and music history courses at Bethany Lutheran College (Mankato, MN) and at Martin Luther College (New Ulm, MN).

Peter McGuire

Violin | Co-Artistic Director

Peter McGuire was appointed to the violin section of the Minnesota Orchestra in 2003 and acting associate concertmaster in 2011. Mr. McGuire joined the orchestra as principal second violin after serving as associate concertmaster with the Tonhalle Orchester-Zürich from 2013-2016.

Peter McGuire has performed as guest concertmaster with the Orchestre de la Suisse-Romande, Zürich Opera, Luzern Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Gürzenich Orchester-Cologne, and Richmond Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has performed and recorded with the Berlin Philharmonic, SWR Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, All-Star Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

A frequent chamber musician and soloist, McGuire has performed with prestigious ensembles throughout the U.S., Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland. In 2011, Mr. McGuire performed Mozart’s A Major Concerto for First Lady Michelle Obama at the University of Northern Iowa, Waterloo-Cedar Falls. He has given masterclasses throughout the U.S. and Switzerland and was a violin coach for the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra from 2013-2016.

A participant in many summer music festivals, he has frequently appeared at the Alexandria Festival of Lakes, Festival Brunnen (Switzerland), and New Hampshire Music Festival.

A native of Mankato, Minnesota, McGuire began studying violin at age 4 with Patti Tryhus at the Mankato Suzuki School. He continued studies with Charles Gray at St. Olaf College, Sylvia Rosenberg at the Manhattan School of Music in New York, and Fred Halgedahl at the University of Northern Iowa.

Anne Ainomäe

Viola

Anne Ainomäe (viola) was born and raised in Estonia. She is an avid chamber musician. Before moving to USA, Anne was a member of Tallinn Chamber Orchestra and founding member of Prezioso String Quartet, which has won numerous prizes in Europe, and recorded works of Schulhoff, Vasks, Webern and Rääts. Anne has worked with Estonian National Symphony, Nordic Symphony Orchestra, Colorado Symphony; and is a regular performer with Minnesota Opera Orchestra and Englewood Arts Chamber music series in Colorado.

Ms Ainomae has studied at Sibelius Academy, Tallinn Academy of Music and Theatre and University of Denver Lamont School of Music.

Silver Ainomäe

Cello

Silver Ainomäe was born in Tallinn, Estonia. At the age of six he began to play the cello and piano. In 1990 Ainomäe'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 participated in his first international competition when he was eight years old. Two years later he won second prize in a competition held in the former Czechoslovakia. Since then he has been competing regularly, winning multiple prizes and awards at competitions worldwide including the Isang Yun, Lutoslawski and Paulo competitions.

His solo debut was with the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra in 2000. 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, he has performed in over 30 countries and taught at the most prominent festivals in Finland, Estonia, Switzerland, Greece, Germany and United Kingdom. In 2009 Ainomäe was appointed Principal cellist of the Colorado Symphony — a position which he held until becoming the Associate Principal in the Minnesota Orchestra.

Ainomäe has also appeared as guest principal with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony, Philharmonia Orchestra, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

Leonardo Altino

Cello

Born in Pernambuco, Brazilian cellist Leonardo Altino began his musical studies at the age of six, giving his debut with orchestra performing the Saint-Saëns Cello Concerto No.1 at age eleven. Altino’s career breakthrough in Brazil came when he became the youngest winner of the Jovens Concertistas Brasileiros, a prestigious competition in Rio de Janeiro, which led to performances with every major orchestra in the country. Praised in The Strad for “exceptional musical intelligence and an exceptionally cultivated sound" Altino was the First Prize winner at the International Cello Competition in Viña del Mar, and has since appeared as soloist and in recitals throughout Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, Venezuela; Italy, Denmark and Greece; Korea and Taiwan and in the United States. In the summer months, he has taught in numerous festivals around the globe. Altino, who served as Professor of Cello at the University of Memphis from 2002 to 2015, studied at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, Detmold Musikhochschule in Germany and University of Illinois. His main teachers include Francisco Pino, Aldo Parisot, Laurence Lesser, Marcio Carneiro and Suren Bagratuni. Altino currently serves on the faculty at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music.

Colin McGuire

Violin

Growing up in Mankato, MN, Colin McGuire began his study of the violin at the age of 4. He has studied with Patti Tryhus, Marilyn Bos, and his brother Peter McGuire, Principal Second Violin of the Minnesota Orchestra.

Colin has been fortunate enough to perform in a variety of ensembles and settings. He is a core member of the Minnesota Opera in addition to holding a permanent seat in the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra as Associate Concertmaster. Colin returned to Minnesota after playing full time with the Thunder Bay Symphony as well as the Spokane Symphony. Other orchestral opportunities have arisen with the Minnesota Orchestra, Mill City Opera, Music St. Croix, Florestan chamber music, and various other orchestras and ensembles across the region.

Colin has enjoyed wonderful opportunities to perform and travel as a soloist and chamber musician. Recently, he has enjoyed the formation of the Jamison String Quartet along with performances with larger Chamber ensembles, where performances have ranged from German Salon music to a chamber reduction of Mahler Symphony No. 4.

Colin is also a tennis teaching pro and coach.