Recognized worldwide as a musical phenomenon, Grammy-nominated Andrés Cárdenes parlays his myriad talents into one of classical music’s most versatile careers. A ferocious, passionate and personally charismatic artist, Cuban-born Cárdenes has garnered international acclaim from critics and audiences alike for his compelling solo violin, conducting, viola, chamber music, concertmaster and recorded performances.
Since capturing the Second Prize in the 1982 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in Moscow, Mr. Cárdenes has appeared as soloist with over one hundred orchestras on four continents, including those of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Moscow, Bavarian Radio, Dallas, Helsinki, Shanghai, Caracas and Barcelona. He has collaborated with many of the world’s greatest conductors, including Lorin Maazel, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Mariss Jansons, Charles Dutoit, Christoph Eschenbach, Sir André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Jaap van Zweden, David Zinman and Manfred Honeck.
Mr. Cárdenes is in great demand as a conductor. His appearances with the Bavarian Radio, Detroit Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Dallas Symphony, Neue Philharmonie Westfalen, Sinfónica Nacíonal de Bogota, San Diego Symphony, Sinfónica de Caracas, Orquesta Fundacíon Beethoven (Santiago, Chile), and the OFUNAM Orchestra of Mexico City have received rave reviews. Headlines proclaimed “Cárdenes conducts Pittsburgh Symphony with epic mastery” (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review) after stepping in for an ailing Robert Spano. Mr. Cárdenes served as Artistic Director and Leader of the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra from its inception in 1999 through 2009. He is currently Music Director of Orchestral Studies at Carnegie Mellon University.
A prolific recording artist, Cárdenes has interpreted concerti by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Barber, Balada, Gutíerrez, and David Stock on the Artek, Naxos and Albany labels. He has recorded the complete works for violin by Leonardo Balada, and the complete violin and piano sonatas by Hindemith and Schubert. This year and next Mr. Cárdenes continues his project to record many standard and contemporary concerti. February 2019 releases featured Romances for Violin and Harp with Gretchen van Hoesen on CDBaby, the Chausson Concerto with the Vega Quartet and the Fauré Sonata on Artek. Cárdenes’ discography includes over three dozen recordings of concerti, sonatas, short works, orchestral and chamber music on the Ocean, Naxos, Sony, Arabesque, Albany, Delos, RCA, ProArte, Telarc, Artek, Melodya and Enharmonic labels.
Cárdenes is the co-founder and Artistic and Music Director of the Josef Gingold Chamber Music Festival of Miami, a program geared towards educating young musicians in chamber music and solo repertoire, inspired by the teachings, legacy, humanity and ideology of the legendary violinist. He has been the violinist of the world-renowned Díaz Trio since 1995 and the Carnegie Mellon Trio since 1989.
A champion of contemporary composers, Cárdenes has premiered and/or recorded over 60 works by diverse composers such as Ricardo Lorenz, David Stock, Leonardo Balada, Elbert Lechtman, Beatrice Bilbao, Marilyn Taft Thomas, Erberk Eryilmaz, Ramiro Cortés, Roberto Sierra and Gunther Schuller.
Mr, Cardenes has served on the juries of the Tchaikovsky, Schoenfeld, Osaka and Oliveira International Violin Competitions, and thriced served as President of the Jury of the Stradivarius International Violin Competition.
The year 2020 marks the 43nd anniversary of Mr. Cárdenes’ renowned teaching and pedagogical career, which began as an assistant to his teacher and mentor Josef Gingold at Indiana University. Today, Mr. Cárdenes continues Professor Gingold’s legacy and discipline while holding the title of Distinguished Professor of Violin Studies and the Dorothy Richard Starling/Alexander Speyer Jr. Endowed Chair at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Music. In addition, Cárdenes gives master classes regularly at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Masterclass Al-Andalus, Sibelius Akademie, Manhattan School, Shanghai Conservatory, Moscow and St. Petersburg Conservatories, Cleveland Institute, Curtis Institute, and at virtually every major university and conservatory in the United States, Europe, Asia and South America.
Among his many humanitarian awards are the Kollell Foundation Jewish Learning Award, the Kindness Award from Chabad, Mexican Red Cross and the UNICEF Cultural Ambassadorship.
Mr. Cárdenes is the father of two teenagers, Isabel, an accomplished young harpist, and Tino, a math whiz and talented pianist.