Violist Nicholas Cords is strongly committed to promoting and performing music from a very broad historical and geographical spectrum. In recent years, his busy touring schedule has led him to Carnegie Hall, the Concertgebouw, Alice Tully Hall, Cologne’s Philharmonie and the Library of Congress. As a soloist, he has appeared with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra and the New York String Seminar Orchestra. His chamber music credits include the Schleswig-Holstein, Santa Fe, Tanglewood, Piccolo Spoleto, Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart, Ravinia, Smithsonian Folklife and Charlottesville festivals.
Cords is a regular member of Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, which has travelled not only to many of the major musical centres of the United States and Europe, but also to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, India, Egypt, Iran, Syria and a number of the Central Asian Republics. In addition to performing with the ensemble, Cords has had a role in organising and developing new creative projects and programming for concerts and museum residencies as well as an active role in two long-term university residencies, one at Rhode Island School of Design and the other at Harvard University.
Cords appears on the ensemble’s albums When Strangers Meet, Beyond the Horizon, New Impossibilities and Off the Map.
He has appeared frequently on television and radio, including a Chinese National Television broadcast from the Great Wall, the David Letterman Show, numerous National Public Radio broadcasts, Good Morning America and an NHK Japan documentary; he has also had a four-year run as resident commentator and performer on WQXR New York’s radio weekly On A-I-R. Cords is an active member of many ensembles, including the Caramoor Virtuosi, An Die Musik, the Richardson Chamber Players and the Metropolitan Museum Artists in Concert. He is also part of a string quartet named Brooklyn Rider which, in addition to a wide array of activities, helped to found the Stillwater Music Festival.
Cords plays on an instrument made for him in 2004 by famed Brooklyn maker Samuel Zygmuntowicz.