(MURFREESBORO) The Tennessee Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO) named Dr. Andrea Dawson as its concertmaster. The MTSU professor of Music in violin and viola takes the position after longtime concertmaster Stefan Petrescu retired this past spring after 20-plus years of service.
She has an impressive resume in classical music. Dr. Dawson has performed as a violinist, violist, and baroque violinist throughout the United States, and internationally in China, Brazil, France, Curaçao, and Mexico.
Dr. Dawson said, “I am so happy to join the TPO as concertmaster."
Very Familiar with TPO - Andrea noted, “I played with the TPO previously until my teaching schedule prevented me from being able to continue. This community is very fortunate to have a philharmonic orchestra. Anything we can do to increase access to the arts is a great thing!”
Dr. Dawson is committed to the idea that participation in music helps people of all ages thrive.
In 2019, Dawson and fellow TPO violinist Susan Mullen founded the Lionheart Chamber Orchestra, for adult string players.
In March of 2023, Dawson founded the non-profit Dow Street Community Music School in Murfreesboro, in memory of her parents, whose support allowed her to become the violinist and musician that she is today.
TPO's Future - When asked about TPO's future she commented, “I would love to see more young people at our concerts. Appreciating music starts at the beginning, through learning to sing or play an instrument, to performing, to attending concerts. Music is part of all of our lives, and it can help us to thrive, individually and as a society. If we can connect with children and adults, we are doing our job.”
At MTSU, Dr. Dawson has presented over 60 faculty solo and chamber music recitals since 2007. As a member of the Stones River Chamber Players, she has performed in Hangzhou, China, Steinway Hall in New York City, and WPLN Nashville for Live in Studio C. She has performed extensively as a Baroque violinist and violist following historically informed performance practices, with Music City Baroque, Early Music City, and the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra.
In addition to being a professor at MTSU, Dr. Dawson is also on the music faculty of the Tennessee Governor’s School for the Arts.
Life Prior to Tennessee - Before moving to Tennessee in 2007, she taught at the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, TX. She received her Masters in Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where she was awarded the coveted Performer’s Certificate. She also received a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology, with a minor in French, and a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Oberlin College. Her principal violin teachers have included Lynn Blakeslee, Camilla Wicks, Taras Gabora, Kathleen Winkler, Robert Koff, and Janet Packer.
She previously served as associate concertmaster of the Valley Symphony Orchestra in South Texas, as well as a contract member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and Canton Symphony Orchestra.
As a member of the Kaleidoscopia String Trio, Andrea recently presented works by Victoria Bond and Grace-Evangeline Mason at the University of Virginia and the University of Mississippi. This interest in modern music led her to the composition and publication of an etude book, 24 Etudes for the Modern Violinist, Book I: Intermediate, (Sleepy Puppy Press, 2021). At the 2022 American Viola Society Festival and 47th International Viola Congress in Columbus, Georgia, Dr. Dawson was joined by violist Dr. Ayn Balija for a presentation on the viola version of her etude book.
Dr. Dawson has appeared as violin soloist with the Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Bucknell University Orchestra, and the MTSU Symphony Orchestra.