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Member Profile - Andrew
Date of birth
I was born in Canterbury, Kent, UK, on 4th April 1960, son of a Policeman. We moved around Kent frequently during my youth (from about 5 to 12 years old ), and my main interest at this time was cricket, which occupied most of my time and thoughts.
For over twenty years I have worked as a chef. I started my "cheffing" life as an apprentice chef at Buckingham Palace, London, in 1977, where I had some very exiting times!! I stayed in catering for about 30 years or so. With intermittent jobs in other industries, but I do have a great love of good food (and drink).
In 1983 I married Kim at St Peter`s Church, Broadstairs, Kent, and in 1985 we had our first child, a daughter, Naomi. My son Jonathan was born in 1988. We moved to Doncaster, South Yorkshire in 1989, where we have lived ever since. Earlier this year on 2nd May our first grandson was born, Baby Cameron, and he gives us all a lot of joy! And Naomi is a first class mother to him!! Jonathan is studying for his G.C.S.E.s (High School qualifications in the U.K.), and is a very keen soccer player.
Sadly Kim and I have divorced and I have a new partner, Sarah and a baby son Archie.
I started to learn the piano at 11, but didn`t start composing until I was 14. My first piece was, `Lilacs in the Springtime` (cheesy title I know). I often wrote very quickly, and by the time I was 32 I had written 6 Symphonies, 6 String Quartets, 6 Piano Sonatas and many more. However, I did not believe that I had yet achieved maturity as a Composer, so I destroyed all of them in 1992. After which I studied at Doncaster College, under the careful supervision of Andrew Clark.
This previous , first style was very modern and avant-garde, but now I have adopted a more lyrical approach, as I believe that music should be for all and not just for a chosen few. This does not mean that my music is simplistic. My music can, at times, indeed be quite complex and difficult to play. Nevertheless, it is usually accessible, as it is written with an audience in mind. It is really unimportant how virtuosic a piece is, only the quality of the music actually matters. Some of the best pieces are very simple.
My short term aims are to have as many of my works performed as it is possible, to introduce my music to a wider audience. The long term aims are to live entirely from musical composition. I realize that it is very difficult (although not impossible). I believe that it to be important to earn something from your work, just to prove your worth to yourself.
In November 2000, a concert was given in York to introduce my music to the public. Arranged by the Flautist Richard Ingamells. Other performers in this concert were Mark Gaultier, Guitar, Nick McNamara, Piano and the Clover String Quartet. This was well received by the audience, as was the second performance of one of the pieces in the same concert, (Flute and Guitar Sonata), this time given in Doncaster, U.K. for the Sprotbrough Music Society. Richard is a very accomplished musician, but for two years now he has lived in New Zealand. More details about this amazing musician, can be found at his website ordesamusic.com, where you can here some samples from either of his two albums, `Flute Classics` and `Indivisible` (Celtic melodies beautifully arranged by David Ward McLean). And updates on all his ventures, past and present. Including the formation of a new Flute and Guitar Duo, Alma, with Gunter Herbig.
I believe that my first priority for performance should be through Chamber Music, and this is where I shall start, although I shall be pushing for performances of my larger scale works.
My main musical tastes through the years have been that of the twentieth century, notably Stravinsky, Messiaen, Shostakovich and Hindemith, but my main source of inspiration is from British music, namely that of Britten, Tippett, Vaughan Williams etc. And not forgetting the Germanic influences, such as: J.S.Bach, Mahler, Bruckner and Richard Strauss. I also have tremendous admiration for the American composer Alan Hovhaness who died in 2000. His music has tremendous sincerity and space, and his vast number of works, especially symphonies, (somewhere in the region of 75) should be better known.
Where is music going now? The classical side tends, on the whole, to be too obscure for the general public. `Classical` music is presented by many, in `jazzed up` versions of traditional classics, instead of the original masterpieces. I think that we all would prefer music to be sincere whatever the genre. So, if it pleases anyone at all, then it is music.
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