Violinist was child prodigy

Andrew McIntosh has played music for more than three quarters of his life, which is a long time, considering he's only 20.

McIntosh, a music student at the University of Nevada, Reno, and a native of Gardnerville, plays both the violin and the viola, and is a contract player in both the Reno Philharmonic and Reno Chamber Orchestra.

"When I was 4 years old, I saw a violin on television, and I asked my parents for one every day until I got one. It was a Christmas present," said McIntosh.

McIntosh began studying with John O'Neill at age 6, and was one of the first students at the Carson Valley Violin School, which O'Neill helped form in 1992. After studying with O'Neill, he studied with O'Neill's wife, Nelle O'Neill, who then sent him to Carol Fancher Seebach, of Carson City. He is currently a student of Philip Ruder, concertmaster of the Cincinnati Symphony for 22 years and now concertmaster of both of Reno's professional orchestras and chairman of the Orchestral Studies Program at UNR.

"He was a very enthusiastic student," said O'Neill of McIntosh.

McIntosh has had some impressive musical accomplishments in his burgeoning career. He recently performed the first movement of the Brahms violin concerto, from memory, which is said to be one of the most difficult concertos ever written. He also performed in Italy last summer for a six-week opera festival.

In terms of preferred performance pieces, "contemporary works are my favorites," said McIntosh.

As for post-UNR plans, McIntosh will continue his music studies in grad school, most likely at the University of Washington.

At his final UNR recital on April 15, McIntosh will be playing a viola made especially for him by Nelle O'Neill, who is an award-winning viola and violin maker. The free recital is in Nightingale Hall, begins at 7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Performance pieces will include works by Stravinsky and Brahms.


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