ProMusica, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
American-born 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 his hundreds of interviews, profiles, and appearances. Following Sords’ debut in Australia, the Melbourne Age declared, “Sords made a voluble soloist in the A Major 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 2019/20, Andrew Sords will tour extensively with the Beethoven sonata and trio cycles, the Triple Concerto and Violin Concerto, and the LvB complete chamber music in celebration of the composer's 250th anniversary. These appearances will include far-flung venues such as Australia, Mexico, British Columbia, the Caribbean, Yukon Territory, and across the United States. 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 performances in the Cleveland area include 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 recital programs 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 appears with his trio on notable series. A 2015 Canada tour with the Mendelssohn Piano Trios and Violin Sonata was reprised with Cheryl Duvall and Luke Severn in an all-Brahms program in Oshawa, Montreal, Guelph, and Toronto - the trio will showcase the Beethoven Trio cycle in 2019/20 in British Columbia, Ontario, the Yukon Territory, and Quebec. First invited by San Miguel de Allende, Mexico’s ProMusica Series in 2011, Sords has returned with six varied recitals; performed two programs for West Palm Beach’s Norton Museum Series; and toured with an all-French program to numerous venues in the Midwest with Eriko Izumida, pianist. As a frequent soloist in the Caribbean, Sords has appeared 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. From a recent Cleveland recital, the review enthused: “Expertly performed, he brought a full and rich sound and gave a heroic performance of Ravel’s ‘Tzigane’, powerful and in control of the many notes. Sords impressed with his total command of technique, consummate musicianship and bravura as he tossed of scads of notes and sang out like a diva…he and Izumida kept the audience in the palm of their hands all afternoon.” (Cleveland Classical).
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”, the Tchaikovsky, and the Beethoven concerti 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 will perform 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 Shaker Heights, Ohio, and can be found on the web at http://www.andrewsords.com.