Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis

Andrew Lewis was born in Nottinghamshire in 1963 and studied music at Birmingham University, and later studied composition there with Jonty Harrison. He was one of the original members of BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre) which Harrison founded with his students in 1982, and throughout the 1980s and early 1990s he composed and performed with BEAST across the UK and internationally.

His early work focused on acousmatic music (fixed-medium sonic art diffused over multiple loudspeakers), and his later music retains a strong interest in the phenomenon of sound as raw material, and in the use of technology to realise new kinds of musical ideas.

His music first came to prominence through the award of several composition prizes, including the EMAS/PRS Prize for Storm-Song (piano and tape) in 1986, which was also featured at the Gaudeamus Music Week (Amsterdam). Subsequent awards include First Prizes at Concours de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges, 1997 (Ascent); Concurso internacional de música eletroacústica, São Paulo, 2003 (Penmon Point); and Concurso Internacional ART’S XXI, Valencia, 2001 (Cable Bay). In 2004 he was awarded a Euphonie d’Or at Bourges for one of the ten most significant works from the previous decade of the competition (Ascent).

His instrumental music has been commissioned and performed by numerous prominent artists, including the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Kreutzer Quartet, Psappha, Ensemble Mise-En, Ensemble Cymru, Duo Contour, Elinor Bennet, Jane Chapman, Wendy Holdaway, Yoshikazu Iwamoto, Gerald Garcia, Phillip Mead, Xenia Pestova, Carla Rees, Heather Roche and Vivienne Spiteri. In 2004 his string quartet Tempo Reale was chosen by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies for a Wigmore Hall concert celebrating the 60th anniversary of SPNM.

Recent projects include the audiovisial work LEXICON (funded by the Wellcome Trust) which was seen live by more than 1000 people during its UK tour in 2012 and 2013; and Fern Hill for orchestra and electronics, which was commissioned for the BBC National Orchestra of Wales for the centenary celebrations of Dylan Thomas. The premiere was broadcast live on BBC Radio 3, and the work was subsequently awarded the KLANG! Composition Prize (Montpellier) in 2016. In 2017 he was awarded a Leverhulme Research Fellowship to compose a large scale work for orchestra and electronics featuring the voices of people with dementia and their partners who care for them.

Numerous recordings are available, including two collections of his works Miroirs obscurs and Au-dèla (empreintes DIGITALes) and Schattenklavier on Shadow Piano (Innova).

He is married with four grown-up daughters, and lives in Bangor, North Wales.

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Andrew Lewis
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