Conductor John Andrews Back on Podium with The Grange Festival

With a track record of strong work and positive press reviews, conductor John Andrews is back in demand with live appearances to be given at The Grange Festival in Hampshire later this month. 

21 – 23 August 2020, will see Andrews conduct a promenade production entitled Precipice, created for the Festival by directorSinéad O’Neill. This outdoor immersive poetic sequence uses the many and varied natural stages offered by the buildings at The Grange. It will last an hour and will be presented to small guided audiences of up to 60 at a time.

The cast features acrobats and performance artists together with one of the great singers of our time, Sir John Tomlinson, who will sing a monologue of Hans Sachs, from Wagner’s Die Meistersinger von NürnbergKiandra Howarth and Claire Barnett-Jones will sing the flower duet from Delibes’ Lakmé. The performances will also include the work of two leading choreographers: Shobana Jeyasingh with members of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance; and the young South African dancer and choreographer Mthuthuzeli November of Ballet Black. The scenes will include spoken text from Tonderai Munyevu

As Music Director, John Andrews will co-ordinate members of The Grange Festival Chorus in performances of music by Francis Poulenc and Lili Boulanger. Further musical offerings come from composers Johann Sebastian BachJohn Tavener,Caroline ShawPeter Johnson and Graeme Miller

2020 also sees Andrews building his ever-growing discography, with the release on Resonus Classics of the world premiere recording of Malcolm Arnold’s The Dancing Master – the last work of the great British composer left to be recorded.

John Andrews said: ‘It is a privilege to be involved in Precipice with The Grange Festival. Ultimately the piece is a response to the extreme challenges the covid pandemic has created in all our lives, and demonstrates the power of live music, dance, theatre and art as a source of meaning, hope and redemption.’

Andrews will be returning to the Grange Festival in 2022 and will also be making his screen debut with an appearance in the cult Netflix series The Crown this year. He said: ‘Appearing as ‘A Conductor’ in The Crown is a very small cameo, but one I’m very much looking forward to – if I make the cut that is!’. Series Four of The Crown is due for release in November 2020.

Recent reviews from Andrew’s performance of Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail with English Touring Opera in 2019 include: ‘John Andrews’s supple conducting and ideal tempi gave consistent pleasure. A true ensemble show.’ (Hugh Canning,The Sunday Times); ‘Mozart’s music [was] incisively and insightfully conducted by John Andrews. Die Entführung, sometimes overshadowed, shone here in all its genius.’ (Fiona Maddocks, The Observer); ‘Andrews is an exemplary Mozartian, finely judging the grace and passion that are essential to this work. It’s a treat from start to finish.’ (The Guardian).

John Andrews was born in Nairobi in 1976 and brought up in Manchester. He came to orchestral music by a roundabout route via the intensely competitive Brass Band tradition, having been introduced to the tuba through his Local Authority’s peripatetic music service. He went on to study at Cambridge, graduating with a PhD in 2008. Passionate about keeping music available to the widest possible audience, John teaches on the Cambridge Music Hubs programme, and has lectured at the Elgar School of Music and the Blackheath Conservatoire. His gift for combining empathy and feel for both music and musicians with an ability to directly and powerfully communicate his ideas, together with his passion for locating music in its social and historical context, brings dynamism and warmth to his interpretations of both rare and classic repertoire.

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