2023 Season

The LSCO welcomes three distinguished guest conductors for our summer concert series! All concerts take place at Weber Music Hall on the UMD Campus.

JULY 13, 7:00PM: Ho Yin Kwok is described by Classical Voice of North Carolina (CVNC) as an “impressive conductor…outstanding in his attention to detail and his command of the big picture.” Kwok is a three-time winner of the American prize, as well as the winner of Vincent C. LaGuardia, Jr. Conducting Competition and International Conductors Workshop and Competition. He is currently Director of Orchestral Activities at Ithaca College, New York, and Artistic Director of Mississippi Valley Orchestra in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota. Kwok has guest conducted the New World Symphony (FL), Gwinnett Symphony Chamber Orchestra (GA), Arapahoe Philharmonic (CO), Eastern Festival Orchestra (NC), among other ensembles. Previously, he served as Assistant Conductor of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of Collegium Musicum Hong Kong, Music Director University of Minnesota Opera Theatre, and Cover Conductor of Minnesota Orchestra.

Program (subject to change):

Ho-Yin Kwok, Conductor, Niloofar Sohi, Viola Soloist
Anton Webern – Langsamer Satz
Ernest Bloch – Concerto Grosso
Ruth Gipps – Jane Grey Fantasy for Viola and Orchestra
Bela Bartok – Divertimento

Soloist Niloofar Sohi started her music career at the age of 8 and enrolled in music school by the age of 12. She ranked first among all students while studying music at the University of Tehran. Her participation in international projects includes Le Vie Dell’Amicizia Ravenna-Tehran with Riccardo Muti (Italy), Internava Ensembles (Europe and Iran), and FeminEast festivals’ concerts (Sweden). She is an award winner of the National Youth Music Festival and Fajr festivals and has performed in many concerts in Asia, Europe, and the United States. She has recorded CDs and worked on recording projects with composers like Peyman Yazdanian, Bardia Kiaras, and conductors, Shahrdad Rohani, Nasir Heydarian, Riccardo Muti and Mark Stevenson, Mark Russel Smith, and Osmo Vänskä.


JULY 20, 7:00PM: Erin Aldridge is a highly sought-after performer and pedagogue performing throughout the US, Europe, Asia, and South America. She has won numerous awards as both soloist and chamber musician, and has been featured throughout Europe, South America, and the United States. She has been broadcast on NPR, BBC, Minnesota Public Radio, and Wisconsin Public Radio. She holds degrees from Indiana Universty, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her primary teachers include Mimi Zweig, Josef Gingold, Nellie Shkolnikova, Rostaslav Dubinsky, Efim Boico, and Vartan Manoogian. In 2003, Dr. Aldridge joined the music faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. She is the Concertmaster of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and Lyric Opera of the North Orchestra, was a long-time faculty member of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Summer String Academy and is a member of the bluegrass/Americana/folk-based band Danny Frank and the Smoky Gold.

Program (subject to change):

Erin Aldridge, Conductor and Soloist
Christian Sinding – Suite In The Old Way
Jose White – La Bella Cubana
George Walker – Lyric for String Orchestra
Mark O’Connor – Strings and Thread Suite
Leos Janacek – Suite for Strings


JULY 27, 7:00PM with The Quartet Project: Lorena Suarez, a doctoral candidate specializing in orchestral conducting at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music, holds a Master of Music in orchestral conducting from the University of Minnesota Duluth. During her time at Minnesota she served as assistant conductor of the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra and in 2020 took on the role of chorus master for Tosca at the Northern Lights Festival. The following year, she served as assistant conductor for a full production of Die Fledermaus at the Berlin Opera Academy in Kandersteg, Switzerland. In May 2022, Suarez conducted the Children-Youth Philharmonic Orchestra at the SINFIN Armonía Music Festival in Loja, Ecuador. Suarez earned a bachelor’s degree in orchestral conducting from Conservatorio Luigi Cherubini di Firenze in Italy. She conducted the Piccola Orchestra delle Favole, an ensemble that accompanied theatrical productions for children. She was assistant conductor to Johanna Knauf at Coro ed Orchestra Desiderio da Settignano. In her native Ecuador, Suarez achieved a bachelor’s degree in jazz piano performance from Universidad San Francisco de Quito and holds diplomas in classical piano and guitar from Conservatorio Jaime Mola in Quito.

Program (subject to change):

Lorena Suarez, Conductor, Mary Lee, Baritone Saxophone Soloist
Arthur Honegger – Pastorale d’ete’
Richard Wagner- Siegfried Idyll
Mina Kaiser – Bari Sax Concerto
Gustav Holst – St. Paul Suite (with the Quartet Project students)

Soloist Mary Claveau Lee has been playing saxophone professionally for over four decades. backing up musical greats from Johnny Mathis to The Temptations. She has performed with numerous big bands, pit orchestras and the Lake Superior Saxophone Quartet. She is co- founder of the Big Time Jazz Orchestra, a non-profit which performs charitable and educational outreach while promoting and preserving big band jazz. She sings professionally, is a published poet, a watercolor painter, and an actor, most recently appearing in “Always…Patsy Cline” for Boatclub Productions in Duluth.

Mina Kaiser is a fiscal year 2021 recipient of a Creative Support for Individuals grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.