First United Methodist Church, 603 11th St. W., Bradenton, well known for its fine arts series, presents Andrew Karr, guest instrumentalist on the French horn at the church’s 10:30 a.m. March 22 service.
Karr was until recently a member of the Florida West Coast Symphony in Sarasota. Prior to that he was principal horn of the Shanghai Philharmonic Orchestra and the Shanghai Broadcasting Symphony Orchestra, the only non-Chinese in these orchestras for most of his tenure there.
He began his musical studies on piano at the age of 5. Adding horn when he was 9, he quickly gained recognition on both instruments, winning numerous prizes and competitions.
Notable awards include top prize in the New World Symphony concerto competition, finalist in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Competition, a scholarship grant from the Harvard Music Society, and special recognition from the government of the Republic of Moldova for performances and classes taught there.
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He attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where he studied with Myron Bloom and Barry Tuckwell. Upon graduation in 1998, he joined the New World Symphony, a professional training orchestra, in Miami.
While in the New World Symphony, he studied conducting privately with San Francisco Symphony music director Michael Tilson Thomas.
He has performed as a soloist or principal horn player in more than 20 countries on four continents.
In Florida, he has been heard performing with The Florida Orchestra and the Sarasota Orchestra, as well as Opera Tampa.
He is also a regular member of the Colorado Music Festival and the Colorado Chamber Orchestra.
He served on the faculty of Vassar College from 2000-02 and is on the faculty of the University of South Florida in Tampa.
In summer 2008 he traveled to Iraq to teach at the Unity Academy for Performing arts in Kurdistan, where he taught and conducted students from every major city and ethnic group in that country.