Masterclass Andalusia

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Seminar in Improvisation Techniques for Violin

Professor Francisco Montalvo is a well-known violinist and pedagogue throughout Spain.   He studied violin and chamber music at the conservatories of Córdoba, Seville and the Liceo of Barcelona. His professors were Gonçal Comellas, Yuri Petrossian, Danuta Glowazka (Paris), Nestor Eidler and Francisco Fernandez. Professor Montalvo first began developing his pedagogic work in violin and improvisation at the Superior Conservatory of Córdoba in 2002.

Equally gifted as a composer, he has produced more than 30 works for violin and piano, which have been recorded in VHS format by the author and pianist Andres Carlos Manchado, and are archived in the National Library of Spain. His latest composition, “Diverse”  was recorded on DVD and published by the University of Córdoba in 2008.

Professor Montalvo has been invited to serve as adjudicator at international centers such as the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Moscow, and Luigi Cherubini School of Firenze. He has directed and participated in interdisciplinary educational projects between institutions in Spain and many different countries, such as those carried out by The Stradivari Society of Chicago (2006), the  Prince of Asturias Foundation, and the National Philharmonic of Cuba in Havana in 2007. He was a member of the violin faculty at the XIV International Summer Music Cévenol Course in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, France, and is Professor of Violin at the Conservatorio Superior di Musica "Rafael Orozco" of Cordoba.

He is the father and teacher of virtuoso violinist Paco Montalvo (see below).

                                                                            PACO MONTALVO
                                                                      Seminar in Flamenco Violin 

Paco Montalvo, Virtuoso and Flamenco Violinist, displays an unprecedented experience in the sonic dimension. The violin sings in his hands as it revolutionizes the world of flamenco through  virtuosity and elegance, strength and brilliance. He possesses  an emotional flamenco soul, the result of his experiences and involvement with this art form since childhood.-- Francisco del Cid, Flamenco Critical, Cordoba Press Journal.

Paco Montalvo possesses the mind of a virtuoso: The tools used for his purpose are his musical qualities and, specifically, hybridization between the instrument with which he has demonstrated an unusual virtuosity at the flamenco. -- Rafael Aguilar, Reporter ABC Press Journal.

Distinguished Violin Masterclass Faculty


Recognized worldwide as a musical phenomenon, Grammy-nominated Andrés Cárdenes parlays his myriad talents into one of classical music’s most versatile careers. An intensely passionate and personally charismatic artist, Cuban-born Cárdenes has garnered international acclaim from critics and audiences alike for his compelling performances as a violinist, conductor, violist, chamber musician, concertmaster, and recording artist.

Since capturing Second Prize in the 1982 Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in Moscow, Mr. Cárdenes has appeared as a soloist on four continents with over 100 orchestras including The Philadelphia Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, St. Louis Symphony, Moscow Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, Shanghai Symphony, Sinfonica Nacional de Caracas, Sinfonica de Barcelona, and the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. He has collaborated with many of today’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.

This year and next Mr. Cárdenes continues his project to record many standard and contemporary concerti. Released in 2009 are recordings of concerti by Brahms, Mendelssohn, Beethoven, Barber and David Stock on the Artek and Albany labels. Plans to record Bartok’s Second Violin Concerto and the new version of the Viola Concerto are slated for 2012, along with other sonata recordings with pianist Ian Hobson. A recording of the complete works for violin by Leonardo Balada was released on Naxos in January 2011, with the complete Sonatas by Hindemith and the Beethoven Violin Concerto on Artek, to be released in the fall of 2011. Cárdenes’s discography includes over two dozen recordings of concerti, sonatas, short works, orchestral and chamber music on the Ocean, Naxos, Sony, Arabesque, RCA, ProArte, Telarc, Artek, Melodya and Enharmonic labels.

As an ambassador for music of our time, Mr. Cárdenes has commissioned and premiered over 65 works by American and Latin American composers such as David Stock, Leonardo Balada, Ricardo Lorenz, Eduardo Alonso-Crespo, Roberto Sierra, and Marilyn Taft Thomas. His concerto repertoire includes over 100 works, ranging from the Baroque era to the present.

Mr. Cárdenes has twice served as President of the Jury of the Stradivarius International Violin Competition and in 2011 will join the jury of the Tchaikovsky International Violin Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia.

A Cultural Ambassador for UNICEF from 1980-1991 and an indefatigable spokesperson for the arts, Mr. Cárdenes has received numerous awards for his teaching, performances, recordings and humanitarian efforts, most notably from the cities of Los Angeles and Shanghai and the Mexican Red Cross. He was named Pittsburgh Magazine’s 1997 Classical Artist of the Year and received the 2001 “Shalom” Award from Kollell’s International Jewish Center for promoting world harmony and peace through music.

Mr. Cárdenes was appointed Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Maestro Lorin Maazel in 1989 and departed after the 2010 season to concentrate on his conducting, solo and chamber music careers.

    DAVID RUSSELL, violin

    (Co-Director, USA)

    Co-Director of Masterclass Andalusia, violinist David Russell is an internationally renowned violin pedagogue.  He served as a member of the violin faculty and as Assistant Director of String Chamber Music at The Cleveland Institute of Music for 24 years, and also served as Visiting Violin Faculty at The Oberlin College Conservatory of Music. He was a member of the violin faculty of Ivan Galamian's Meadowmount School of Music, and was a charter faculty member of the renowned ENCORE School for Strings in Hudson, Ohio.  In addition to co-founding Masterclass Andalusia,  he is Founder and Director of "Mountaintop Mastercourse", a two week violin masterclass held annually in Elizabethtown, NY, a program which has attracted students from around the globe.  He has also taught at numerous other summer festivals including Keshet Eilon International Violin Mastercourse (Israel), ARIA International Summer Music Academy, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival,LMFL Course in Llandovery Wales,Bristol, England and Le Chambon sur Lignon and Valbonne, France. He has been the featured Artist/Teacher in the "World String Masters" series at the National Museum of Art and Antiquities in Lisbon, Portugal, and has given masterclasses at the National Library of Buenos Aires, Argentina, Shanghai Conservatory, and Ecole Alsacienne in Paris among many others.

    Mr. Russell has concertized and presented masterclasses in North and South America, Europe,the Middle East and Asia. He has been a distinguished member of the jury of the Sion-Valais International Violin Competition in Switzerland, the Buenos Aires International Violin Competition, The Midwest Young Artist's Competition,and Sorentin Young Artist Competitions. 

    In 2012  Mr. Russell served as Artistic Director of the acclaimed Violins of Hope Charlotte, a two-week series of concerts, lectures, films and gallery exhibitions surrounding 18 violins restored from the Holocaust by Israeli violin maker Amnon Weinstein. The program represented the Violins of Hope North American debut and was featured on NPR's "All Things Considered", AOL and Yahoo homepages, and in publications world-wide.

    David Russell is the Inaugural Anne R. Belk Distinguished Professor of Violin at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
    Collaborative Pianist for Masterclass Andalusia classes and concerts is Elizabeth DeMio.

    Elizabeth DeMio is well-known as a pianist, recitalist and soloist. She is a member of the Collaborative Piano faculty at The Cleveland Institute of Music for over 30 years.  Besides appearing in over 100 concerts annually, she performs frequently with renowned soloists such as David Requiro, Massimo La  Rosa,  Matthew Allen, John Mack, Andrew Sords, Umberto Clerici,  the Cavani Quartet and has appeared in tours and given master classes throughout the U.S., Korea, Mexico and the Carribean.

    In 2008 she was the pianist for two finalists in the Naumberg International Cello Competition, resulting in her Carnegie Hall debut and subsequent U.S. tour with first place winner David Requiro. She performs often as a soloist with the Trinity Cathedral Chamber Orchestra, having performed twenty Mozart concerti and the five Beethoven concerti, among many others.  Donald Rosenberg of the Cleveland Plain Dealer called her “a superb interpreter of Mozart” when she appeared as soloist with the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra in 2012. She has also appeared as soloist for the Orquesta Sinfonica de Veracruz and the Orquesta de la UNAM in Mexico.

    As a recording artist she can be heard on Crystal, Yaffe and Azica labels, most recently on the debut album “Cantando” with Cleveland Orchestra principal trombonist Massimo La Rosa. Other recent projects include a debut album with David Requiro and an album with solo and duo works by Bernard Garfield with Cleveland Orchestra principal bassoonist John Clouser. She is a collaborative pianist for the Stulberg International String Competition, the Stephen Geber Master Classes at Hidden Valley, the Cooper Competitions for Strings and Piano and the John Mack Oboe Camp. She holds degrees from CIM and the University of Michigan. Her teachers have included Vitya Vronsky and Theodore Lettvin.