MORNING JOURNAL: "The interpretive genius of Andrew Sords on violin evoked emotion with his pure tone and grace...Sords proved the master of intricate, seemingly impossible passages, then flowed into gurgling joyful sprays of impeccable technique, followed by powerful bearing into the soul."
OPUS COLORADO: "The marvelous violinist Andrew Sords knows the music [Dvorak "Romance"], and he simply gets down to business and performs it - the BCO seemed to thoroughly enjoy collaborating with Sords, as he is such a reliable musician...Sords' performance [of the Anton Arensky concerto] was absolutely superb. His remarkably flexible bow arm and relaxed left hand created the impression that he was having no difficulty whatsoever."
CLEVELANDCLASSICAL.COM: "Expertly performed, Andrew Sords brought a full, rich sound [and] gave a heroic performance of Ravel's "Tzigane": powerful and in control of the many notes."
CHATTANOOGA TIMES: "Jean Sibelius' "Violin Concerto in D Minor, Op. 47" has the potential to be a barnburner, and Andrew Sords did not disappoint. From the moment this trim, youthful-looking performer strode onto the stage in his red shirt and black vest, one could imagine the excitement to come.
The first movement contains ardent and melancholy themes, interspersed with plenty of cadenza-like passages for the soloist to display his prowess. And Sords did, ripping off countless glittering passages, strewn with multiple stops. And when Sibelius finally managed to produce a hummable melody, Sords responded with a rich and full tone, especially in his low register.
Tchaikovsky-like melody filled the second movement as the soloist soared and sang. Kayoko Dan conducted with inspiration and passion, producing the necessary sweep for this Romantic tour-de-force.
The finale is a frenzied dance movement that annotator Donald Tovey called a "polonaise for polar bears." It was a breath-taking romp, demanding nothing less than a bravura performance from the highly animated soloist who twisted and turned, weaved and bobbed as he cajoled sounds from his instrument and fellow players.
The maestro produced a thrilling performance that was sensitive, tight and supportive. Sords rewarded the standing ovation with a brief encore of Henri Vieuxtemps' "Yankee Doodle Variations." That sealed it..."
WINDSOR STAR: "Sords a hit with audience"
Andrew Sords, a young American fiddler from Cleveland, charmed the Capitol Theatre audience with his flamboyant style and sense of humour. Dressed in a scarlet red, open-neck shirt and black vest, the tall and slender Sords appeared ready to hit the dance floor.
But as soon as he started to play, you knew you were in for a musical treat. His control and beautiful tone suited every bar of the Bruch work from the adagio of the Prelude to the frenzied, familiar Finale. As an encore, Sords performed a bon-bon by Henri Vieuxtemps, a set of variations on Yankee Doodle Dandy from his Souvenirs d'Amerique. The audience loved it.
ALTOONA MIRROR: Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto is the prototype romantic era concerto - an audiene favorite for its combination of passionate and acrobatic melodies from the soloist. Sords was brilliant in his projection of both qualitites, as near-vocal passages would move effortlessly into fast arpeggios or leap to the highest notes of the instrument. At one point in the second movement, he played two melodies at once - not an easy task for a hand using only four fingers. We were pleasantly surprised to receive an encore from him. He played Vieuxtemps' "Souvenir and Variations", a short solo piece in which we would hear variations on "Yankee Doodle Dandy". He was coy with presenting the theme at first, but we were chuckling by the end, as it was guised in versions including both harmonics and tremolos.
CLEVELAND CLASSICAL: Sords impressed with his total command of technique, consummate musicianship and bravura as he tossed off scads of notes and sang out like a diva in this operatic tour de force. Firm and colorful support by Izumida enhanced the performance.
Sords and Izumida had the enthusiastic and appreciative audience in the palms of their hands all afternoon, and the duo rewarded them with two encores.