Andrés Cárdenes is a Cuban-born violinist, violist, teacher, conductor, and concertmaster. He has performed and taught in a number of prominent positions, including his current professorship in violin at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music where he holds the Dorothy Richard Starling & Alexander Speyer Jr. Endowed Chair.
Cárdenes studied under Josef Gingold and has over 30 years as a professional musician. During that time he has appeared with over 100 orchestras across the world in locations such as Moscow, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Houston, Helsinki, Caracas, Brussels, and Shanghai. In 1982, he tied for 3rd Prize at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, which helped launched his global career. He is also noted as frequent collaborative musician, having worked with conductors such as Lorin Maazel, Mariss Jansons, Sir André Previn, Leonard Slatkin, Gerard Schwarz, and others. Cardenes is a guest artist in residence at the University of Colorado at Boulder.
As a conductor and concertmaster, Cárdenes led the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years, leaving in 2010. He also served as Artistic Director and Leader of the Pittsburgh Symphony Chamber Orchestra.
Cárdenes is a very active teacher. He was appointed to the faculty of Indiana University in 1979 and has given master classes at nearly all of the top music institutions in the United States. He champions contemporary composers and their works, having commissioned a number of modern works from André Previn, Leonardo Balada, Edgar Meyer, Rodion Shchedrin, Mariana Villanueva, and many more. He gave the world premiers of pieces such as David Stock's Violin Concerto and Roberto Sierra's Evocacíones, both with the Pittsburgh Symphony.
In his other activities, Cárdenes has toured with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, is a member of the Carnegie Mellon Piano Trio, and was appointed violinist of the Diaz Trio, which holds a summer residence at the Brevard Music Center. He has recorded on multiple labels including Naxos, RCA, and Sony. Cárdenes has also contributed personally edited scores to the Internet publisher Ovation Press.