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Andrew Gant

Andrew Gant read Music and English at St John's College, Cambridge, where he sang in the College Choir as a choral scholar. Later he studied composition with Paul Patterson at the Royal Academy of Music and at Goldsmith's College, University of London, where he completed his PhD.  He is now an established composer, has sung with most of the country's leading choirs and vocal ensembles, and teaches harmony and counterpoint for the University of Oxford. In September 2000 he took up his present post as Organist, Choirmaster and Composer at Her Majesty's Chapels Royal, where in 2002 he took much of the responsibility for the music at both the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and the Golden Jubilee service in St Paul's Cathedral.  During the Summer of 2002 he was the subject of a BBC Radio 4 documentary.

As part of the 2002 jubilee celebrations, at the request of the Lord Chamberlain's Office at Buckingham Palace, Gant composed A Hymn for the Golden Jubilee to a text by the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion.  It was sung all over the world, including at the National Cathedral of Canada, by the RSCM in Australia, and to Her Majesty the Queen in a concert at Windsor. It was featured on the official Jubilee CD by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Choir of St Paul's Cathedral, and was broadcast on BBC Radio 2, 3, and 4, and on Classic fM, where it featured high in the Classical Music Charts.

Also in 2002, Gant was commissioned by the Three Choirs Festival to write an oratorio.  The resulting work, The Vision of Piers Plowman, was given in Worcester Cathedral by the Three Choirs Chorus and the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Lucas, with soloists Patricia Rozario, Lawrence Zazzo, Daniel Norman, and William Clements.  Piers Plowman is a powerful work, combining elements of jazz within the loose framework of the baroque oratorio around a vivid and colourful medieval text.

Ten Musicians was written at the request of countertenor James Bowman and first performed by him with pianist Ryan Wigglesworth at the Purcell Room in July 2002. Other solo vocal music includes Mr Avison's Welcome Home, a suite for soprano, recorder and strings, premièred by Mhari Lawson and the Avison Ensemble in a concert broadcast on Radio 3.

Andrew Gant's choral music includes two settings of the Evening Canticles, one written for the choir of St John's College, Cambridge and their director Christopher Robinson, who premièred the setting in a live broadcast. This work has been taken up by other leading choirs and has since received its second broadcast performance. The second setting was composed for the choir of St Mary's Church, Hendon, and their director Richard Morrison. In 2003, the international music publisher, Ricordi, published the Hendon Service and a setting of the Venite, The Strength of the Hills. Both are suitable either for liturgical or concert use. Gant has also set the words of the introit Ave Verum Corpus, which has proved immensely popular in the UK and in the States, and is now published by Oxford University Press. Ave Verum Corpus has been performed at St Paul's Cathedral, the American Choral Directors' Association Convention Invitation Concert in San Antonio, Texas, and in the Sainsbury's Choir of the Year competition.

Music for young people includes two Arts Council/Youth and Music commissions for primary schoolchildren in the North-East of England. Red Priest, Green Wellies is an introduction for young people to Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, and George and the Knife-Swallower, an introduction to the music of Handel.  Both are written for upper-voice choir and ensemble. Dear Mr Cook is a peripatetic adventure based on the life and writings of Thomas Cook, commissioned by the Leicester Festival and written for children's choir, SATB choir, soloists, and small ensemble.

Most recent compositional projects include Free thoughts on several eminent composers, a setting of a poem by Charles Lamb for primary school children, solo singer, and strings, commissioned by the Avison Ensemble, and an opera for soprano Patricia Rozario.  Andrew Gant is also available for workshops.

To visit Andrew Gant's website, click here.

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