By Katie Hoffman, Student Reporter
Violinist Andrew Sords is opening the 2008-09 ACU Guest Artist series Monday at 8 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the Williams Performing Arts Center.
Free to the public, this recital will treat audiences to melodies of classical music by composers such as Kreisler, Brahms, Mozart, Chopin and Dvorak.
Dr. Gregory Straughn, chair of the Music Department, said
he was excited to begin the series with Sords.
“Each year we try to have four or five nationally-known artists or ensembles come to campus to perform,” Straughn said. “It has been several years since we’ve had a violin soloist, [but] the Music Department just hired a new violin instructor, so we can
spotlight this important and beautiful instrument.”
Sords, 23, is a Cleveland Institute of Music and SMU graduate who has been playing the violin since he asked his parents for lessons as a first grader. Performances in the Cayman Islands as well as at Hyo Kang’s Great Mountains Music Festival in South
Korea (home to violin legend Chee-Yun) garnered Sords international acclaim.
In 2004 and 2005, Sords won first place in the National
Federation of Music Clubs Competition. By 2005 he had won the National Shirley Valentin award.
Composer Kellach Waddle dedicated his Pulitzer Prize winning sonata to Sords, and this summer Sords was named concertmaster of the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra in Ohio.
“What matters is being convinced of an interpretation that serves the composer tastefully and conveys the artist’s feelings to the audience,” Sords said.
His forte is to seamlessly meld complicated classical techniques into smooth tones and heartfelt passion.
Kristin Brown, senior vocal performance major from Athens, said she planned to attend Sords’ concert because “any kind of musical exposure is going to help me as an artist.”
Sords said he only plays music he believes in, whether it is Mozart or the concerto he commissioned two years ago from Evan Fein.
“I want to make classical music as accessible as possible,”
he said. “If the audience is moved, then I did my job.”