Strings Music Directors' Final Season
● By Grant Johnson
Strings Music Directors, Andrés Cárdenes and Monique Mead, will conclude their contract and tenure as classical music directors for the festival at the end of the 2014 summer season. The well-known husband and wife team directed the popular chamber music performances of Strings for the past six years. Under their musical direction, the festival presented innovative, quality programs that garnered numerous performances on American Public Radio’s Performance Today.
“I've known Andrés since 1992 when he first came to perform at Strings. His playing was straight from heaven and his ability to tell a joke was legendary. He became Artistic Director for Strings from 1994 to 2003, and then he and his wife, Monique Mead, became Strings’ Co-Music Directors from 2009 to 2014. I have loved working with them, getting to know their two beautiful children and listening to Andrés play for 23 years. He has truly helped make Strings what it is today, and I can't thank him enough for being such an important part of our success and musical history,” said Kay Clagett, Executive Director.
Andrés Cárdenes, has achieved international acclaim for his compelling live and recorded performances as a solo violinist, conductors, violist, chamber musicians and concertmaster. Since capturing Second Prize in the 1982 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition, he has appeared as soloist with over 100 orchestras. A consummate musician, powerful presence and master programmer, his compelling performances have attracted broad audiences, offering a vast array of aural experiences through innovative programming of diverse genres. In 1999, the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra was created for Mr. Cárdenes to highlight his multiple talents as conductor, violinist, violist and leader.
Inspired and mentored by Leonard Bernstein, she has devoted her performing career to nurturing new audiences and deepening the musical experience for seasoned concertgoers. Her programs with major orchestras and festivals in the United States and Europe have drawn international acclaim for their popular appeal and innovative approach. Since 2010 she has spearheaded innovative projects for the Pittsburgh Symphony and was recently appointed Director of Music Entrepreneurship Studies at Carnegie Mellon University.
Jim Bronner, Strings board member, said, “Andrés and Monique have made amazing contributions to the growth of the Strings Music Festival as Co-Music Directors, as talented artists, and, in Andrés’ case, as a conductor, and for all that we owe them a debt of gratitude. As they conclude their run as Music Directors during the 2014 season, my hope is that they will continue to return to the festival as performers for many years to come.”
“We are indebted to Andrés and Monique for attracting musicians of the highest caliber to the Strings Music Festival and for inaugurating orchestral programming on our new stage. Their tenure in Steamboat has left an indelible mark on the arts in our community,” said board member Leslie Dorman.
Strings Music Festival’s new Music Director will be announced soon.