The Minnesota Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), Minnesota’s GLBT symphony orchestra and the first GLBT orchestra in America, will welcome violinist Andrew Sords to Minnesota in a concert on Saturday, May 30, 2009, 7:30 p.m., at Sundin Hall, Hamline University. Sords will be the soloist in Tchaikovsky’s beloved Violin Concerto in D Major. The concert will also include Franz Schubert’s Overture in C Major, D. 591, and Symphony No. 7 in A Major by Ludwig van Beethoven.

During his visit, Sords will reprise the final movement of the Tchaikovsky concerto with the MPO as part of the Queer Music Consortium’s annual free concert at the Como Park Pavilion on Monday, June 1, 2009, 7:00 p.m. He will also be giving a demonstration for students in St. Paul and Minneapolis elementary schools.

At the age of 23, violinist Andrew Sords is already a veteran of the concert stage. He is the winner of the 2005 National Shirley Valentin Violin Award, the 2004 and 2005 National Federation of Music Clubs Competition, the Fortnightly Music Club of Cleveland and the Festival de la Orquesta Sinfonica de las Americas Competition of the Casals Festival among others. Sords has recently toured with the Brahms, Beethoven, Mozart, and Tchaikovsky violin concerti to critical acclaim, and has quickly emerged as one of the foremost violinists of his generation.

The Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto, which Sords will perform, was written during a very turbulent time for the composer–his marriage had just dissolved, and he fell into a deep depression. However, he escaped to a retreat on the shores of Lake Geneva and threw himself into the work, completing the concerto in about a month. Tchaikovsky dedicated the violin concerto to a prominent violinist at the time, Leopold Auer. But Auer was highly critical of the work and refused to perform its premiere. (Some scholars state that Auer declared the concerto “unplayable”–a charge Auer later refuted.) Crushed by this rejection, Tchaikovsky had to search for a different violinist, Adolph Brodsky, to prepare and perform the concerto, which was finally premiered on December 14, 1881 in Vienna. Today, the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto is a staple of the violin repertoire, delighting audiences of all generations.

Andrew Sords completed his undergraduate education at the Cleveland Institute of Music with violin pedagogues Linda Cerone and David Russell, and performed for the legendary Midori in master classes in New York and at the University of Southern California. He continues to meet the demands of a burgeoning solo career which has taken him from American concert halls to venues in Europe, Latin America, the Caribbean and Asia. Most recently, Sords studied under internationally acclaimed violinist Chee-Yun at the Southern Methodist University of Dallas, Texas.

The MPO was founded in 1993 by Kevin Ford, a gay man who had a vision of a gay and lesbian orchestra that would build community and fellowship through the performance of classical music. Although Kevin succumbed to complications from HIV-AIDS in 1995, the organization he created continues to grow and diversify sixteen years later. Today, the MPO includes players from a wide variety of backgrounds and orientations who share a commitment to inclusiveness, nondiscrimination, and to the performance of works by underrepresented composers. MPO seeks to provide diverse arts entertainment of the highest quality, resulting in increased visibility for the musical talents of the GLBT community.

For further information about this concert or this performer, please visit the MPO’s website at www.mnphil.org, call 612-656-5676, or email info@mnphil.org.

Guest Artists,Press Releases by Joseph Dolson on April 20, 2009