Sunday, November 17, 2013

Andrew Sords

Andrew Sords is an American violinist and teacher born (in Newark, Delaware) on June 4, 1985.  As do violinists Hilary Hahn and Joshua Bell, Sords writes a blog to keep his wide audience informed about things related to his career; he also writes about his unique view of many other things as well.  I will say that his website is worth visiting for the blog alone although you will see so much more.  His repertoire includes two of my favorite and (unfortunately) seldom-played concertos – Bruch’s second concerto in d minor and the Schumann concerto.  In fact, I think the time will come when every concert violinist will take on both of these neglected concertos and perform them as regularly as the Brahms and Tchaikovsky.  Incidentally, the Schumann concerto was in danger of never surfacing thanks to a low opinion of it given to Clara Schumann (Robert Schumann’s widow) by none other than Joseph Joachim.  Sords has a very active solo concert and chamber music career which has taken him all over the globe.  He has given concerts with over 100 (different) orchestras, including the well-known major ones, and played the most important venues in every continent.  That may well be a record for any violinist but even those numbers, of course, will continue to increase.  Sords began to study violin privately at about age 6.  His first teacher was Liza Grossman.  However, his first instrumental studies were actually on piano, which he still plays.  He thus joins a number of concert violinists who have been quite proficient as pianists - Fritz Kreisler, Louis Persinger, Jascha Heifetz, Arthur Grumiaux, Andor Toth, Arabella Steinbacher, and Julia Fischer just to name a few.  Sords later studied at the Cleveland Institute of Music and Southern Methodist University.  His main teachers were Linda Cerone (pupil of Ivan Galamian), David Russell, and Chee-Yun (Kim Chee Yun – pupil of Dorothy DeLay.)  As do violinists Maxim Vengerov and Tai Murray, Sords enjoys and has a deep appreciation for dancing and has even participated in the famous “Dancing With The Stars” show for a charity benefit.  He was the first classical artist to do so.  That may seem unusual but French violinist Jean-Marie LeClair was actually a professional dancer, choreographer, and violinist in the early 1700s.  Sords is also unique in that he plays a modern violin constructed in 1912 by Belgian violin maker Augustine Talisse, a violin maker I had never heard of until now.  Albert Markov, Tai Murray, Christian Tetzlaff, Giora Schmidt, Judith Ingolfsson, Pip Clarke, Ilya Kaler, and Alina Pogostkina are among the growing number of concert violinists who are gravitating to modern instruments which, as you may know from reading this blog, I also favor.  Sords’ performances are typically characterized by music critics as being “utterly radiant.”  You can see his Facebook page here.  His most recent audio release is the New Age music CD with composer Sean Christopher.  

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