"The Violin Concerto by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius is a formidable challenge for any violinist, and Sords met that challenge in a flawless performance displaying not only mastery of his instrument but also maturity and sensitivity in the interpretation of this complex work."
Arizona Daily Sun
"It's not often that one finds this kind of sheer awe-inspiring talent in such a young musician, but Andrew Sords is an impressive example..."
ProMusica, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
American violinist ANDREW SORDS has a celebrated career as a soloist on 4 continents and in performances with his trio. Having collaborated with 300 orchestras, Sords has been cited for combining visceral virtuosity with a ravishing tone, while international critics endorse Sords as “a fully formed artist” (Kalisz-Poland News), “utterly radiant” (Canada’s Arts Forum), and “exceptionally heartfelt and soulful” (St. Maarten’s Daily Herald). Closer to home, ClevelandClassical.com gushed: “the stunner of the afternoon was a breathless but magnificently controlled performance of Beethoven’s “Kreutzer” sonata, which Sords charged through with giddy aplomb.” Sords has received numerous awards and distinctions reflecting his career trajectory, including the 2012 Pittsburgh Concert Society Career Grant and the 2005 National Shirley Valentin Award.
Born in Newark, Delaware, Sords was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and asked for piano lessons at age five. A year later, he began studying violin with Liza Grossman, and continued studies with Linda Cerone, David Russell, and Chee-Yun Kim at the ENCORE School for Strings, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Southern Methodist University. As a teenager, Sords garnered prizes from concerto competitions, signed with management, and cultivated a media and audience following from hundreds of interviews, profiles, and appearances. Following Sords’ debut in Australia, the Melbourne Age declared, “Sords made a voluble soloist in Mozart's Turkish concerto, forging his statements with an admirably firm clarity and bringing out the work's virtuosity as often as possible. His bowing arm showed an attractive suppleness and an attention to variety of phrasing that made even the episodic finale a pleasure.”
In 2020/21, Andrew Sords returns to Mexico’s San Miguel de Allende ProMusica Series, and makes his Ravinia debut on the Festival’s WFMT broadcast series with pianist Daniel Overly. Sords will reprise the Brahms sonata cycle at Cleveland’s Trinity Concert Series (a collaboration aired a decade before with Elizabeth DeMio), and appears for Wooster’s Music on Market Series, Colorado Springs Concert Society, and Montreal’s Hudson Chamber Music Series. Also in 2021, Sords opens the Symphony of Southeast Texas’s concert season with Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy”, unites with violinist Mari Sato for concerts featuring double concerti by Chevalier de St. Georges and Bach, and continues an annual tradition of collaborations with LGBT ensembles by appearing with NYC’s Queer Urban Orchestra (Korngold concerto). During the 2019/20 season, Andrew Sords toured extensively with works by Beethoven: the sonata and piano trio cycles, the Triple Concerto, and the Violin Concerto in celebration of the composer's 250th anniversary. These appearances included far-flung venues such as Australia, Mexico, Quebec, the Caribbean, and across the United States. Sords returned to the Peninsula Symphony (Sords/Walz/Durkovic) and North State Symphony (Sords/Anderson/Anderson) with Beethoven; appeared with the Juneau Symphony (Bruch); trotted out Corigliano's "Red Violin Chaconne" and Paganini's "La Campanella" with the Longwood Symphony; and continued touring with baritone Daniel Singer and pianist Elizabeth DeMio featuring the obscure "6 Gesange" by Louis Spohr. Uniting with John Walz (cello) and Timothy Durkovic (piano), Sords appeared in several all-Beethoven programs throughout the Los Angeles area, including a sold-out return concert at Pasadena's Boston Court Series. Prioritizing annual tours in Canada, Sords made his British Columbia debut with a tour visiting the North Okanagan Concert Association, the Kelowna Concert Association, and the Evergreen Concert Series (Vancouver), and in 2021, travels north to Whitehorse Concerts (Yukon Territory), the Barrie Concert Series (Ontario), Lakeshore Chamber Music (Montreal), and the Caledon Series (Toronto) - all with pianist Cheryl Duvall. A highlight of 2020: Sords partnered with Daniel Singer to release sleek, contemporary editions of works by Mozart, Hubay, Haydn, Ysaÿe, Sibelius, and others, available from Green Point Editions and Groth Music.
In recent seasons, Sords has appeared with the El Paso Symphony, Flagstaff Symphony, Brevard Symphony, Pueblo Symphony, Spartanburg Philharmonic, Southeastern Ohio Symphony, Des Moines Orchestra, Grand Junction Symphony, Durham Chamber Orchestra, Longmont Symphony, Guatemala’s “Festival Bravissimo”, Oakland Symphony, Windsor Symphony, Motor City Symphony, Kalisz Philharmonic (Poland), North State Symphony, Chattanooga Symphony, Cleveland Philharmonic, Boulder Chamber Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, Gulf Coast Symphony, Melbourne Chamber Symphony, and both the Elgar and Dvorak concerti at Toronto’s famed Glenn Gould Studio. In 2017, Sords made his UK debut with concerts in Edinburgh and Scotland (Tchaikovsky concerto) with the Glasgow Philharmonia, and his Guatemala City debut (Bruch concerto). In his hometown, Sords returned to his childhood orchestra, the Contemporary Youth Orchestra (Barber concerto), and other Cleveland collaborations included the Cleveland Philharmonic, Solon Philharmonic, Euclid Symphony, Parma Symphony, Shaker Heights Symphony, Heights Chamber Orchestra, Lakeland Orchestra, Earth and Air String Orchestra, Mansfield Symphony, and the Brahms and Schumann sonata cycles for the Trinity Cathedral Concert Series. Sords’ July 4th outdoor appearances have included shows with the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra and an audience of 30,000, while a 2018 collaboration with the El Paso Symphony had 15,000 onlookers - both evenings featured the Tchaikovsky concerto. No stranger to presenting obscure concerti, a debut with the Boulder Chamber Orchestra and the Arensky concerto had Opus Colorado declaring: “[Sords’] remarkably flexible bow arm and relaxed left hand created the impression that he was having no difficulty whatsoever”.
As a prolific recitalist, Sords has appeared in La Jolla, Washington, D.C., Maui, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and at St. Augustine’s (FL) EMMA Series at Flagler College. Sords has toured to Australia on numerous occasions with concerti by Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Vaughan-Williams, as well as an eclectic program for the Brunswick Beethoven Festival and the Arden Crescent Series. Inspired by his duo and trio collaborations, Sords has united with cellists John Walz, Joseph Johnson, Sawyer Thomson, and Scott Lykins in performances of the Brahms “Double” concerto, and a 2015 Canada tour with the Mendelssohn Piano Trios and Violin Sonata was reprised in 2017 with all-Brahms programs in Oshawa, Montreal, Guelph, and Toronto. First invited by San Miguel de Allende, Mexico’s ProMusica Series in 2011, Sords has returned with six varied recitals; with pianist Eriko Izumida, the two returned to West Palm Beach’s Norton Museum Series and toured with an all-French program to numerous Midwest venues. Sords has been a frequent soloist in the Caribbean, appearing in Puerto Rico, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Trinidad and Tobago, Grand Cayman, and the U.S. Virgin Islands - and “STRINGS MAGAZINE” profiled a series of performances with the Trinidad and Tobago Youth Philharmonic.
A man of diverse interests, Sords has competed in the charity fundraiser “Pittsburgh’s Dancing With The Stars” as the first classical artist to do so. Passionate about social causes, Sords has performed numerous times for LGBT outreach, including Bruch’s “Scottish Fantasy”, Tchaikovsky, and Beethoven in collaborations with the Minnesota Philharmonic, the Bay Area Rainbow Symphony, and the Atlanta Philharmonic. Along with Liana Izakadze’s World Virtuosi, Sords appeared in Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall, and performed the Sibelius and Dvorak concerti in 2019 appearances with the Jackson Symphony and Brevard Symphony. Sords is a popular guest for various media platforms: featured four times on Sirius XM’s Derek and Romaine Show and profiled by “OUT Magazine”, NPR’S Morning Edition, and hundreds of media outlets, Sords also performed the National Anthem for ESPN2’s WNBA Pride Game (2014) and a sold-out Cleveland Indians game at Progressive Field. Sords’s recent collaboration with Sean Christopher on the New-Age album “Transcendence” has been a commercial and critical success, with reviews stating: “much of this is owed to the gorgeous and precise playing by Andrew Sords, whose violin adds a thrumming undercurrent of pure life throughout the album’s stainless steel structure.” This album is available on iTunes, Amazon.com, and CDBaby.
Sords makes his home in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and can be found on the web at www.andrewsords.com.