Andrew was born in Southport, on the Lancashire coast, in 1963. His father was a carpenter and teacher, and his mother originally trained as a classical singer – an ambition that gave way to raising four children, of which Andrew is the second eldest.
Andrew has been passionate about music from an early age, and learnt piano from 8 and flute from 13. He also sang and acted, and appeared in many school and college productions.
He went on to gain his Music degree at Manchester University, and also studied piano with Derrick Wyndham and Renna Kellaway at Manchester’s prestigious and internationally-renowned Royal Northern College of Music, between 1981 and 1984.
Andrew has had a 30-year career in music and the arts, encompassing performing, composing, arranging for the stage, teaching, musical direction, theatre management and theatre production. In recent years, he has concentrated on freelance projects: programming orchestral and recital series for major UK venues, and composing and recording his own new compositions for piano. Recent clients have included the English Symphony Orchestra, the Cheltenham International Concert Series, Aldeburgh Music and Aldeburgh Festival, Somm Recordings and Saffron Walden Concert Hall, among others.
Despite this busy, varied and successful working life, Andrew did not begin composing for solo piano until the age of 50 – a mere 42 years after his very first piano lesson, on 1st June 1971. He says of this new venture: “I had done a fair amount of composing over the years, but always for stage productions, bands or vocalists. I’d never given my own instrument – the piano – any real creative attention in that way. Then, for a couple of years leading up to my fiftieth birthday, I began to feel that I had some piano compositions in me, and that I had something to say through them, but my administrative commitments just seemed to soak up all my time and attention. Only when I changed from being employed to freelance did I sit down at the keyboard and actually try to create something for solo piano. To my amazement, these 12 pieces, and more, came flowing out – very quickly! Within two months I had written the whole album.”
Andrew is also composer-in-residence for Cheshire-based music company, In Harmony, who produce bespoke piano music for weddings and other special occasions. He records, mixes and edits all the tracks supplied by the company to their clients.