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Andrew Ford (composer)

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Andrew Ford (composer)

Andrew Ford (born 1957 in Liverpool) is an English and Australian composer, writer and radio presenter.

He was Composer-in-residence with the Australian Chamber Orchestra (1992–94), held the Peggy Glanville-Hicks Composer Fellowship from 1998 to 2000 and was awarded a two-year fellowship by the Music Board of the Australia Council for the Arts for 2005–2006. He was appointed Composer-in-residence at the Australian National Academy of Music in 2009.

Beyond composing, Ford has been an academic in the Faculty of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong (1983–95). He has written widely on music and published five books. He wrote, presented and co-produced the radio series Illegal Harmonies, Dots on the Landscape and Music and Fashion. Since 1995, he has presented The Music Show on ABC Radio National. In 2012 he was awarded the Albert H. Maggs Composition Award for his work Rauha.

He studied at Lancaster University with Edward Cowie and John Buller.

Works (selected)

Music theatre

  • Poe, opera (1983)
  • Whispers for tenor and chamber orchestra (1990)
  • Casanova Confined for baritone and backing track (1995)
  • Night and Dreams: The Death of Sigmund Freud for tenor and backing track (1999)
  • Rembrandt's Wife, opera (2007–2009)


  • Concerto for Orchestra (1980)
  • The Big Parade (1986)
  • Manhattan Epiphanies for string orchestra (1999)
  • The Furry Dance (1999)
  • Scenes from Bruegel for chamber orchestra (2006)
  • Headlong (2006)
  • Symphony (2008)
  • Bright Shiners for string orchestra (2009)


  • Piano Concerto: Imaginings (1991)
  • The Great Memory for cello and orchestra (1994)
  • The Unquiet Grave for viola and chamber orchestra (1997–1998)


  • A Martian Sends a Postcard Home for tenor, horn and piano (1986)
  • Wassails and Lullabies for SATB choir and percussion (1989), recorded by ABC classics[1]
  • Harbour for tenor and string orchestra (1992)
  • Learning to Howl for soprano, clarinet/sax, harp and percussion (2001)
  • Tales of the Supernatural for folk singer and string quartet (2002)
  • An die Musik for SATB choir (2005)
  • Elegy in a Country Graveyard for SATB choir, brass or concert band (flexible instrumentation) and pre-recorded voices and instruments (2007)
  • Domestic Advice for soprano and piano (2007)
  • A Singing Quilt for SATB choir, percussion ensemble and pre-recorded voices (2008)
  • Waiting for the Barbarians for large chorus (2011), based on the poem by Constantine P. Cavafy


  • Chamber Concerto No 3: In Constant Flight for solo violin and ensemble (1988)
  • Ringing the Changes for piccolo, bass clarinet and piano (1990)
  • Pastoral for string octet (1991)
  • Tattoo for 12 timpani (6 players) and 4 pianos (1998)
  • Icarus drowning (1998)
  • Chamber Concerto No 4 (2002)
  • Sad Jigs for string quintet (2005)
  • A Reel, a Fling and a Ghostly Galliard (String Quartet No 2) (2006)
  • Oma kodu for clarinet and string quartet (2006)


  • Like Icarus ascending for solo violin (1984)
  • Swansong for solo viola (1987)
  • Spinning for solo alto flute (1988)
  • The Very End of Harvest for viola and piano (2000)
  • The Waltz Book (60 one-minute waltzes for solo piano, 2002; commissioned by Ian Munro)
  • War and Peace for violin and percussion (2004)
  • Chorales from an Ox Life for viola and double bass (2007)
  • Folly for solo piano (2007)
  • You Must Sleep, but I Must Dance for viola and percussion (2010)


  • Deirdre of the Sorrows (1989)
  • Elegy in a Country Graveyard (2007)

Awards and nominations

APRA Awards

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).[2] They include the Classical Music Awards which are distributed by APRA and the Australian Music Centre (AMC).[3]

Year Recipient Award Result
2004 Learning to Howl – Ford Best Composition by an Australian Composer[4] Won
2005 Tales of the Supernatural – Ford – Australian String Quartet, Jane Edwards Vocal or Choral Work of the Year[5] Won
2008 Ford Outstanding Contribution by an Individual[6] Nominated
2009 Learning to Howl – Ford – Arcko Symphonic Project Best Performance of an Australian Composition[7] Nominated

Bibliography (Andrew Ford)


  • Joyce Morgan: "A Composer's Subterranean Half-century", The Sydney Morning Herald, 15 March 2007
  • Australian Music Centre database (works, articles, recordings, audio samples)
  • The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music, 4th edition (1996). New York: Oxford University Press.

External links

  • Andrew Ford's homepage
  • The Music Show/ ABC Radio National
  • Listen to Andrew Ford's classic/amp website.
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