Andrew Wilson-Dickson is a composer, pianist and conductor (as well as author, teacher and string-player), best known as composer of soundtracks for movies of Mike Leigh.
During his four years at Cambridge University he studied piano with John Lill and then the organ at York University with Nicholas Danby and Francis Jackson, at the same time holding the post of organ scholar at York Minster. At York University he was one of the first students there to study for a D Phil in Composition, his main teacher being David Blake.
Andrew's compositions have been played (and broadcast) by many wellknown artists such as Peter Lawson, Andrew Ball, Julian Jacobson (piano), Nancy Ruffer (flute), John Wallace (trumpet), Susanne Stanzeleit, Madeleine Mitchell (violin), (piano) Kevin Bowyer (organ), and by ensembles such as Lontano, the Wallace Collection and the Medici String Quartet (who played his string quartet commissioned by the BBC). He has written several operas and musicals. He won the
Bournemouth-Parry International Festival composition prize with a piece (Psalm 29) which toured Australia in 2004 sung by the Sydney Chamber Choir. He is particularly interested in writing for early instruments, exemplified by recent commissions from Fretwork and Charivari Agréable. A significant part of his composing output is music for Christian Church worship: about 30 congregational psalm-settings, several hymn-tunes, cantatas and instrumental pieces based on liturgical tunes. He is at present chair of Composers of Wales.
In 1984 Andrew came to Wales to work at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where he has sustained a busy career as teacher, player and composer. The RWCMD made him an Honorary Fellow in 2005. He now freelances, playing piano and continuo harpsichord for concerts all over the UK and abroad, including festivals in Buxton, Tudeley, Swansea, Lower Machen, the Gower, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the York Late Music Festival.
He plays regularly for the contemporary music ensemble PM, for Trio 114 (clarinet, cello, piano) and for the period instrument group L'Indiscret. In association with the mezzo-soprano Buddug Verona James, Andrew has been musical director for Castradiva (with over 40 performances) and several other shows. The latest, A Knife at the Opera, is due for its premiere in February 2006.
About 12 years ago Andrew founded Early Music Wales, an organisation to encourage early music activity in the Principality. Part of this is the Welsh Baroque Orchestra, a professional ensemble of period instruments which he directs and which has won funding from the Welsh Assembly and then from the Arts Council of Wales. As well as a busy programme of concerts around Wales, the orchestra performed at the prestigious Varazdin Baroque Evenings in northern Croatia and has plans to give concerts in Reims. Andrew also conducts the Welsh Camerata, a choir specialising in baroque and renaissance music.
Andrew is also an author: his 'Story of Christian Music' is a symptom of his deep involvement for many years in church music. It has sold worldwide, in a dozen European and Far Eastern languages.
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