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Violinist Andrew Sords Brings A New Vision To Mozart's Most Mature Violin Concerto

22 year old virtuoso slated for Austin debut in a one-night only performance of Mozart’s Masterpiece with Balcones Chamber Orchestra Mar. 2nd.

 Austin, TX (PRWEB) February 4, 2008 – After overcoming an adolescence wrought with emotional tumult and maturation, Mozart wrote Concerto No. 5 in A major as a testament to that growth. Though written at the relatively young age of 19, Concerto No. 5 is considered to be the most mature of Mozart’s violin concerti. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) employs advanced and more innovative techniques to make this work stand above his previous four, and while incorporating the traditional fast-slow-fast progression of a concerto he added motifs that drastically changed the overall progression. In the first movement, Mozart sharply contrasts the initial broad entrance from the violin with the energetic orchestra opening; the crystalline second movement and its searching melodies tell an introspective story; and in the finale, he uses Eastern themes from Turkey to create an exotic feel - garnering the piece its oft used moniker of “Turkish Concerto”. Soon after its premiere in Salzburg in 1775, Concerto No. 5 became one of the most standard concerti in the violin repertoire.

On March 2nd, EMC Artists presents violin virtuoso Andrew Sords performing Mozart’s Concerto No. 5 in A major with the Balcones Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Robert Radmer. The Orchestra specializes in the classical era standards. The concert will be held at the Northwest Hills United Methodist Church at 4:00 PM, 7050 Village Center Drive. Tickets are free and a donation is encouraged. The Mar. 2nd concert also features Haydn’s Symphony No. 83. This performance is being recorded for use by the Balcones Chamber Orchestra.

When prompted to reply about Mozart’s most mature concerto, Sords was enthusiastic: "I first learned this piece when I was 13 and studying with Liza Grossman. I immediately sensed a connection with the music in a way that I had not felt about many other pieces; to this day, this is my favorite Mozart concerto! I feel that it is the most mature of his pieces as it deals with the emotions and angst that he felt growing through his teenage years. I find myself drawn to this piece because of its youthful exuberance and hormonal quality.  Let’s not forget – not that long ago, I was a teenager!”

Indeed, few who are not familiar with Mozart’s history would guess that this sultry work was written while so young. Mozart stunned the entire music world when he began to compose vignettes at the precocious age of four. In the subsequent years, Mozart and his older sister, Nannerl, toured Europe as child prodigies. During this time, Mozart was greatly influenced by the other composers of the time and it has been widely noted that J.C. Bach was of particular influence in the mid- 1760s. With his soaring talent being showcased around Europe, Mozart basked in the glory, writing a prolific amount of music including his first opera, penned just 5 years before Concerto No. 5. Upon returning to Salzburg, Mozart was employed as a court musician, writing in nearly every genre; it was towards the end of this period that he developed an incredible enthusiasm for violin concerti. He wrote a total of five violin concerti, each growing in musical sophistication with the culmination being the Concerto No. 5 in A major.    

Agreeing to program Mozart’s “Turkish Concerto” did not take a second thought, stated Sords.  "Playing this concerto with a chamber orchestra will give it a much more intimate feeling compared to having 100 bodies behind me. It is also much closer to how it was performed in Mozart’s time. When playing Mozart, I always feel as if I’m playing from within the orchestra and not in front - the dialogue is set in a chamber music setting. As opera was Mozart’s strongest suit and clearly influenced his other writings, the characters in this concerto need to be brought out dramatically to express the dialogue. Because of the operatic influence the piece changes every time – it never gets boring!”

At the age of 22, 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 concerti to critical acclaim, and has quickly emerged as one of the foremost violin soloists of his generation.

Sords completed his undergraduate education at the Cleveland Institute of Music, having studied almost exclusively with violin pedagogues Linda Cerone and David Russell. He has performed for the legendary Midori in master classes in New York and at the University of Southern California, while his burgeoning solo career has taken him from American concert halls to venues in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. In the fall of 2007, Sords entered an Artist Diploma program at Southern Methodist University with Chee-Yun.

Sords has his own opinion on the widespread popularity of Mozart’s violin works: "Unlike many other standard composers, such as Brahms and Tchaikovsky, Mozart excelled on the violin, understanding all of its idiosyncrasies and writing music tailored to its nuances. The cadenzas [added by Joseph Joachim at a later date] are a great way to showcase Mozart’s luscious themes while allowing the soloist to demonstrate their virtuosity."

For the less trained ear, Sords offers, “I would classify this as Mozart’s most PG-13 concerto. I never tire of playing it!”

For more information on Violin Virtuoso Andrew Sords, please visit www.andrewsords.com or contact EMC Artists at emcartists@gmail.com. For more information on the Balcones Chamber Orchestra and related concerts, please visit http://www.balconescommunityorchestra.org/