Andrew Garbett
BMus(hons) MMus GradRNCM
Andrew was born in Nottingham (England) in 1980.  
He studied violin from the age of nine, and as a teenager
taught himself piano, before turning to composition,
having lessons with Robert Steadman.

Andrew went on to the Royal Northern College of Music, in Manchester where he studied composition with Adam Gorb, Paul
Patterson and Anthony Gilbert.    Under the supervision of Douglas Jarman and Ronald Woodley he specialized academically in
the study of 20th Century and Contemporary Music, as well as studying conducting with Clark Rundell.    During this time he also
had lessons with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies and James MacMillan.    The list of composers with whom he has taken part in
Masterclasses reads like a “Who’s Who” of contemporary music - including Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Mark Anthony Turnage,
John Corigliano and Magnus Lindberg.   

Andrew graduated with a BMus (honours) Degree and then a Masters Degree (both in Composition).  

He is currently engaged in research at Manchester University for a PhD in Electroacoustic composition.


Even before getting to the RNCM he was already gaining some recognition for his compositions, being selected for the SPNM
Shortlist in 1999, and being a finalist in both the Camerada “Towards the Millennium” Competition (which led to his piece
“Prayer” being premiered by violinist Jake Rea and cellist Joseph Spooner at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford in March 2000)
and the Tunbridge Wells Millennium Young Composers Competition.      


To date Andrew’s music has been performed around the UK and in July 2003, his Monologue IV was performed by Emmet Byrne
at the Montepulciano Festival, Italy.

As well as organizing concerts in Nottingham and Oxford, in 2002 Andrew was artistic director of The St Augustine’s Concert
Series in Manchester.   


Always keen to collaborate with artists in different fields, Andrew (during his time at the RNCM) composed a number of works for
the Northern Ballet School and in 2003 worked with the young filmmaker Rhiannon Collinge.   

Commissions from the RNCM included “A Vanished Breath” (for the New Ensemble) a work for cello quartet (for the RNCM
Shostakovich Festival in 2006) and “Time/Space I” for four trombones and tape (2007).    His “Monologue III” was also used as
an official test piece for RNCM clarinettists.

The range of Andrew’s music is incredibly diverse, having written for both Professional and Amateur ensembles and choirs.    
His stylistic compass covers everything from very accessible and ‘commercial’ work through to extremely experimental avant-
garde music.    As an example of the latter, his “Six Surrealist Sketches” has been described by the composer John Pickard as
“a kind of thesaurus of avant-garde devices, from aleatoric to ‘new complexity’ determinism”.


Andrew has written a number of pieces specifically for young musicians and in 2003-4 led the highly successful education
project “Narration through Music”, with two Manchester Secondary Schools leading to a performance of the students’ music at
the RNCM.


Aside from his ability to compose instrumental and electronic music for the concert hall, theatre and media Andrew’s particular
areas of knowledge (academically) are: Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries, The European Postwar Avant-Garde, The
American Experimental Tradition from Ives to the present, Minimalism, and the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen (on whom he
wrote his Masters Dissertation).