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TPO Introduces New Concertmaster

The Tennessee Philharmonic Orchestra (TPO) is delighted to be starting its 42nd season on November 8 with a new concertmaster. Professor of Music in Violin and Viola at Middle Tennessee State University, Dr. Andrea Dawson, takes over after longtime concertmaster Stefan Petrescu retired.

“I am so happy to join the TPO,” said Dr. Dawson, who 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. 

She was born in Michigan, but grew up in Massachusetts and started playing Suzuki violin at the age of five. She continued to play in youth orchestras, chamber ensembles, school orchestras and summer music festivals throughout her youth.

“I played with the TPO previously until my teaching schedule prevented me from being able to continue. It is really fortunate to have a philharmonic orchestra in Murfreesboro! Anything we can do to increase access to the arts is a great thing,” she added.

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. Dr. Dawson has appeared as violin soloist with the Valley Symphony Orchestra, the Bucknell University Orchestra and the MTSU Symphony Orchestra. 

At MTSU, she 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. Before moving to Tennessee in 2007, she taught at the University of Texas Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. She received her Master’s 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.

Asked about her hopes for the future of TPO, “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,” she said.

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