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Wilhelmina Smith, Cello

  • Mindekirken Norwegian Lutheran Memorial Church 924 East 21st Street Minneapolis, MN, 55404 United States (map)

Called “winningly individual” by the New York Times, Wilhelmina Smith, recipient of the McKnight Artist Fellowship and prizewinner in the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition, performs a solo cello concert of Finnish and Danish works. A reception with the artist will follow next door at Norway House.

Wilhelmina Smith appears as part of the 2018-2019 Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota Concert Season.

Tickets are $20 at the door or in advance. Students are free with valid identification.


(subject to change)

Giuseppe Colombi (1635-1694)
Kaija Saariaho (b. 1952)
Esa-Pekka Salonen (b. 1958)

Kaija Saariaho

Esa-Pekka Salonen

Per Nørgård (b. 1932)

Chansons, 15th cent.
Poul Ruders (b. 1949)

Mystery Variations
Dreaming Chaconne (2012)
Sarabande per un coyote (2012)

Sept Papillons (2002)
Papillon I: Dolce, leggiero, libero
Papillon II: Leggiero, molto espressivo
Papillons III: Calmo, con tristezza
Papillon IV: Dolce, tranquillo
Papillon V: Lento, misterioso
Papillon VI: Sempre poco nervosa, senza tempo
Papillon VII: Molto espressivo, energico

Knock, breathe, shine (2010)
knock: Maliziosamente
breathe: Fluido, oscillante
shine: Flessibile, intense


Solo Intimo, Opus 8 (1953-4)

Sonata No. 3, Sonata Breve “What is the Word” (1999)

“L’homme Arme” Variations
Theme: “L’homme Arme”
Bravourstudien (1976)
Var. 1 Overture: Maestoso
Var. 2 Recitative: Liberamente e rubato ma non troppo
Var. 3 Serenade I: Fluente, lontano molto
Var. 4 Potpourri: Allegro energico
Var. 5 Etude: Presto
Var. 6 Intermezzo: Andante con moto
Var. 7 Fantasia: Liberamente
Var. 8 Serenade II: Vivace molto
Var. 9 Finale: Varaition Classique

About the Artist

Wilhelmina Smith is known for her performances of intense commitment, poetic insight and dazzling versatility. She is a cellist whose artistic mission embraces a conversation through music, one that enthusiastically encompasses the music of the present placed within the context of a living past. As a soloist and recitalist as well as a collaborative musician and festival director, Mina has consistently advocated for composers with whom she has developed vital relationships, to have their music creatively positioned within an intellectually engaging context and performed with the utmost passion and technical assurance. Her forthcoming disc of the complete solo cello works by Kaija Saariaho and Esa-Pekka Salonen, including the world premiere recording of Salonen’s knock, breathe, shine will be released by Ondine in Spring 2019.

Ms. Smith was awarded a 2015-2016 McKnight Artist Fellowship for Performing Musicians; one of the largest and most established fellowships of its kind in the U.S. She made her solo debut with the Philadelphia Orchestra while a student at the Curtis Institute of Music and in 1997 was a prizewinner in the Leonard Rose International Cello Competition. She has been soloist with orchestras nationally and internationally including the Orquesta Millenium of Guatemala and the Ural Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia and has performed recitals across the US and Japan. She has been a guest artist with the Philadelphia and Boston Chamber Music Societies, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and is a founding member of Music from Copland House. She has performed regularly in festivals such as the Marlboro Music Festival and Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. In 2005, she formed the Variation String Trio with violinist Jennifer Koh and violist Hsin-Yun Huang, a group that has performed across the US and Europe, and in 2012 formed a piano trio with pianist Lydia Artymiw and violinist Erin Keefe. She is founder and Artistic Director of Salt Bay Chamberfest, on the coast of Maine; a festival that has been home to performers and composers of international renown for over two decades.

Ms. Smith’s solo CD of sonatas by Britten and Schnittke with pianist Thomas Sauer was released on the Arabesque label in 2006. Her recordings of chamber music include the complete chamber works of Aaron Copland, and works by Sebastian Currier, John Musto, Pierre Jalbert, Jennifer Higdon, Tamar Muskal, Kaija Saariaho, Osvaldo Golijov, Michael Torke, and Aaron Jay Kernis.


The mission of the Edvard Grieg Society of Minnesota is to broaden the knowledge and appreciation of the life and music of Edvard Grieg and other Nordic composers by presenting concerts that showcase artists of the highest caliber, as well as lectures and other cultural and educational events. Founded in 2005, The Edvard Grieg Society is a program of Norway House.