[ Concerts ]

New Music New Haven features music by guest composer Andrew Ford April 17

Andrew Ford is “bursting with ideas.”
— Martin Dreyer (The Musical Times)
March 20, 2014

andrew ford composer

The Yale School of Music presents a New Music New Haven concert on Thursday, April 17, 2014. The concert features music by the prolific Australian composer Andrew Ford, alongside new works by graduate students in the school’s composition program.

The New Music New Haven concert series showcases the talented young composers studying at the School as well as the elite faculty who nurture them. Each of the faculty composers brings a unique and modern perspective to classical music composition. This concert will include Nick DiBerardino’s world without end; selections from Reena Esmail’s Anjuman Songs and William Gardiner’s Hebbian Theory; and a work by Benjamin Wallace.

The music of Andrew Ford has been played at international festivals as far-flung as Houston, Huddersfield, Salzburg, and Seoul. He was awarded the 2004 Paul Lowin Prize for his song cycle Learning to Howl and a Green Room Award in 2010 for his opera Rembrandt’s Wife. This concert will feature Ford’s War and Peace for violin and percussion and On Winter’s Traces for piccolo, bass clarinet, piano, and string quartet. War and Peace is a cock-eyed look at armed nationalism; the first movement, labeled March and scored for violin and darabouka (or djembe), is, paradoxically, rhythmically impossible to march to. On Winter’s Traces  is a miniature that nevertheless has the ability to “[transport] the audience to a different world altogether” (Geoffrey Gartner,  Resonate).

The concert begins at 8 pm in Morse Recital Hall in Sprague Hall (470 College Street, New Haven). Admission is free, and no tickets are required. For more information, call the Yale School of Music concert office at 203 432-4158 or visit music.yale.edu.

About the Guest Composer

Andrew Ford (b. 1957) is a composer, writer and broadcaster. Ford’s music has been performed by the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Brodsky Quartet, Da Capo Chamber Players, Het Trio (Amsterdam), London Sinfonietta, New Juilliard Ensemble, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, and all Australia’s major orchestras and ensembles.

Born in Liverpool, England, Andrew Ford began to compose his own music as a teenager. In 1975, he went to the University of Lancaster, where he studied composition with Edward Cowie and John Buller and had a formative meeting with Sir Michael Tippett, who persuaded him to forget about musical systems and trust his instincts as a composer. After graduating with honours in 1978, Ford was appointed Fellow in Music at the University of Bradford. In 1983, he moved to Australia to join the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong, teaching composition and lecturing on a variety of music from Renaissance polyphony to punk. While there, he completed a doctorate, writing his thesis on the topic of musical word setting. Between 1992 and 1994, Ford was composer in residence with the Australian Chamber Orchestra. In 1995, Ford retired from academe and ever since has presented The Music Show each Saturday morning on ABC Radio National.

Between 1998 and 2000 Ford was the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Fellow. During this period he completed many new pieces and began work on The Waltz Book, to a commission from the pianist Ian Munro. At the end of 2004, Ford received a two-year Fellowship from the Music Board of the Australia Council, allowing him to work on a range of pieces. He also composed his first Symphony for the Australian National Academy of Music. Commissioned and premiered by Victorian Opera in April 2009, Rembrandt’s Wife won the 2010 Green Room Award for best new Australian opera.

Ford has won awards for his writing about music, notably the Geraldine Pascall Prize for critical writing in 1998. He has published seven books, most recently Try Whistling Thiswritings about music (Black Inc., 2012), and has written and presented four acclaimed series for ABC Radio: Illegal Harmonies (1997), Dots on the Landscape (2001), Music and Fashion (2005) and The Sound of Pictures (2007–10).