Philip’s music has been performed regularly for more than 20 years by various singers, choirs, concert bands and other artists. His work has been heard around the UK as well as Europe and North America.
Below are some highlights – you can click on the programmes to zoom in.
‘Proms In The Park’ (Alton Concert Orchestra) and ‘Sweet Even’ (Akina Ensemble) – 2019
On Saturday 13 July 2019, three of Philip’s orchestral pieces were performed by Alton Concert Orchestra as part of the Last Night of the Proms held in the Public Gardens in Alton, Hampshire. An audience of around 2,000 people gathered in the evening sunshine for the popular annual concert.
Sunrise, High Summer and Making Haste – three movements from Philip’s Divertimento for Orchestra – were given a first performance by the orchestra, conducted by David Budd. The pieces were well received and Philip was given a long ovation from an appreciative audience.
This concert followed hard on the heels of another highly successful first performance of A Pure Air, Philip’s musical tribute to Gilbert White, the rector and naturalist whose tercentenary is in 2020.
A packed audience gathered in St Matthew’s Church in Blackmoor, Hampshire on Saturday 29 June 2019 for this concert, which was also recorded. The evening was a great success, raising £2,000 for church funds in the process.
You can read a full review of the concert below – click on the image to enlarge.
‘Alton Burns Supper’ – Alton Maltings, 2019
The Three Burns Songs were written especially for a performance at the Burns Night supper which took place at the Alton Maltings in Hampshire on Saturday 26 January 2019.
Arranged for cello and piano, the pieces were selected to give variation of mood and celebration of Scotland’s national poet and lyricist. Comin’ Thro’ the Rye and Lovely Polly Stewart are the outer movements, with the hauntingly beautiful My Heart’s in the Highlands as the slow middle movement.
The music has been published by Bee & Thistle Press and is available for purchase for just £12.50. For details, get in touch with Philip through the Contact page.
‘Last Night of the Proms Concert’ – Basingstoke Concert Band, Sherfield Park Community Centre, 2018
The first performance of Philip’s newly published composition for concert band took place on Saturday 15 September 2018.
Basingstoke Concert Band, for whom the piece was specially written, performed A Concert Rhapsody as part of their Last Night of the Proms concert at Sherfield Park Community Centre. The night also included guest soprano Helen Clutterbuck.
The piece was warmly received by an enthusiastic audience, and gave further evidence of Philip’s compositional diversity.
A Concert Rhapsody has now been published by Bandleader Publications, and is available to listen to and buy here.
‘Singing Games Suite’ – Ancora, Alton Methodist Church, 2018
2018 marked the centenary of the birth of Peter Opie, who formed a team of folklorists with his wife Iona and wrote many books relating to children’s nursery rhymes and their origins. Much of their work was carried out from their home at 100 High Street in Alton, Hampshire, and to commemorate the occasion a blue plaque was unveiled by two of the Opie children, James and Robert, themselves both distinguished in their own right.
As part of the commemorations, Philip arranged a set of six songs based on the collected songs by Peter and Iona for unaccompanied youth choir. After the unveiling of the plaque and speeches from both Robert and James, the first performance of Singing Games Suite took place in Alton Methodist church, directly across the road from the Opies’ house. The ladies choir Ancora were the singers for this event.
It proved a great success, and afterwards both Robert and James Opie told Philip how extremely pleased and touched they were by the music.
Philip said: “It was a great honour to have contributed something to such a special occasion, and very satisfying that Robert and James were so pleased and flattering about the music I’d written.”
‘The Household Division Concert Series’ – The Countess of Wessex’s String Orchestra, Guards’ Chapel, London, 2018
After Philip had the honour of his piece Capriccio for String Orchestra being performed at Buckingham Palace, the same superb orchestra included the composition in their concert in London soon after.
The Countess of Wessex String Orchestra was conducted by its principal musical director Major David Hammond, in the historic Guards’ Chapel at Wellington Barracks in Birdcage Walk on Tuesday 22 May 2018.
As you can see below, Philip’s Capriccio opened the second half of a diverse programme also featuring Holst, Elgar and Jerry Goldsmith.
‘Jane Austen in Words and Music’ – Chawton House, Hants, 2017
On Saturday 10 October 2017, Philip’s very popular Jane Austen Suite was the centrepiece of a concert given at Chawton House, in the author’s home county Hampshire, UK. Jane herself always referred to it as ‘the great house’.
The concert was given by professional musicians in the manor house’s Great Hall, and included music of the period from Austen’s time. The House was owned by Jane’s brother Edward Austen Knight, making it an especially appropriate location! The concert proved to be hugely popular with a full and attentive audience.
Amongst the listeners was the renowned music critic Antony Hodgson. This is what he had to say on the website Classical Source:
‘A substantial tribute was paid by Philip Andrews in his seven-movement Jane Austen Suite. This is a most attractive work in which each section portrays a character from a Jane Austen novel. Each of her six most-famous books was invoked plus the unfinished Sanditon. It was entirely suitable that before each movement a description of the character taken directly from the relevant book was read out.
‘The Suite is immensely tuneful; the melodic skill of Eric Coates came to mind in the swifter pieces. The portrayals of Catherine Morland (Northanger Abbey) and Charlotte Heywood (Sanditon) are gentle and reflective adding only violin or cello to the piano in each case. The final movement is a great romp representing the garrulous Miss Bates from Emma. Here I sensed the shade of Percy Grainger.’
Philip’s Suite had been performed in June by the same group of musicians at St Nicholas Church in Steventon, Jane’s birthplace.
‘Lunchtime Recital’ – John Minett, Winchester Cathedral, 2017
Philip had the distinction of hearing one of his song settings performed in the beautiful surroundings of the famous Winchester Cathedral in Hampshire, UK.
An audience of around 300 people was treated to a variety of music performed to a very high standard.
Philip’s song Money, a setting of the poem by W. H. Davies, was beautifully sung by highly regarded tenor John Minett at the Lunchtime Recital.
‘Enter Spring!’ – Cantique Chamber Choir, Blackmoor, Hants, 2017
On Saturday 29 April 2017, the Hampshire-based choir Cantique performed Philip’s setting of Tennyson’s poem A Farewell, which was included in a programme of English choral music. Take a look at the full programme below.
All of Philip’s pieces went down brilliantly with both audiences, with the performers themselves also attesting to how much they enjoyed playing them!
‘Spring Anniversary Concert’ – Alton Concert Orchestra, Alton, 2017
On Saturday 8 April, Alton Concert Orchestra – based in Hampshire, UK – gave the very first performances of two of his works, Late Autumn and Shooting the Breeze.
These pieces made up a programme which also contained Smetana’s Vlatava and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. This was a special concert for the orchestra who celebrate their 25th anniversary this year.
‘Spring Concert’ – Joanna Tomlinson et al, Alton, 2016
Philip’s music took centre stage at a special concert held in May 2016.
The Spring Concert took place at the Friends’ Meeting House in Alton, Hampshire on Friday 6 May.
Well-renowned professional singer Joanna Tomlinson performed two pieces on the night which Philip wrote especially for her. These included After The Winter, getting its very first performance.
The audience also had a chance to hear two movements from Philip’s celebrated Jane Austen Suite.
Jane Austen Suite was also performed at this year’s Jane Austen Regency Week in Alton, in late June.
‘Martin Read Foundation Concert’ – David Gibson conducting, St Lawrence Church, Alton, 2015
This concert in the historic St Lawrence Church in Alton, Hampshire was the venue for the first performance of My Peace I Give Unto You, a setting of a poem by GA Studdert Kennedy. It was part of a concert for the Martin Read Foundation, with a mixture of early and contemporary English music. David Gibson conducted the Martin Read Foundation choir.
Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy, MC (1883 – 1929) was an Anglican priest and poet. He was nicknamed ‘Woodbine Willie’ during World War I for giving Woodbine cigarettes (along with spiritual aid) to injured and dying soldiers.
‘Wren Choral Marathon’ – Constanza Chorus, St Mary-le-Bow Church, London, 2015
Constanza Chorus performed A Farewell in London on Saturday 27 June, as part of the Wren Choral Marathon at the City of London Festival.
The event involved a series of hour-long concerts by 17 different choirs in 17 churches designed by Sir Christopher Wren – all in a single day.
Constanza’s concert took place at St Mary-le-Bow in Cheapside at 10pm, as the marathon headed towards a climax.
‘Jane Austen Regency Week’ – Alton Chamber Ensemble, Alton, 2015
Philip’s Jane Austen-inspired Chawton Suite was one of the highlights of an annual celebration of the author in Chawton and nearby town Alton in Hampshire, UK.
The nine-day festival included a Regency Musical Evening on Friday 26 June – during which the Suite was performed by the newly-formed Alton Chamber Ensemble, in full Regency-style dress!
Chawton Suite was commissioned by Chawton House Library in 2012 and had its premiere at the adjacent St Nicholas Church in September 2013.
‘Concert: Sacred Music and Gospel Spirituals’ – Constanza Chorus, Basilica de Santa Maria del Popolo, Rome, 2015
London-based choir Constanza Chorus took Philip’s music to Italy, when they asked to perform his song setting of the Tennyson poem A Farewell.
It was featured in the well-known choir’s concert at the beautiful 15th Century Santa Maria del Popolo church in Rome in June 2015.
‘Alton Music Box’ – Alton Chamber Ensemble, Alton, 2015
This new composition based on Jane Austen characters had its premiere at Alton Music Box on Friday 5 June 2015 – to a rapturous reception from a sell-out audience. It was performed by Alton Chamber Ensemble and conducted by the composer, Philip.
The seven movements of Jane Austen Suite bring to life different heroines from each of her novels – including the unfinished Sanditon. The music is scored for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano – while a narrator introduces each character.
The Suite’s debut provided a stunning end to the first half of an eclectic programme filled out by local musicians and performers – on an informal and friendly evening which raised nearly £500 for East Hampshire Women’s Refuge.
Philip has already had interest in more performances for the Suite, potentially including next year’s Jane Austen Regency Week in Alton.
Philip said: “I was delighted with the first performance of this music and the playing of the Ensemble was excellent.
“The response of the audience and later comments were also very satisfying.”
The story was picked up by local newspaper The Alton Post Gazette, featuring in their 7 July edition. (Click on the image below to enlarge.)
Jane Austen’s House Museum also featured the concert on their blog, which you can read here.
‘The Friends Recital’ – Joanna Tomlinson, The Great Hall at the University of Reading, 2015
Three of Philip’s settings of poems by 19th Century English poet Christina Rossetti were performed by soprano Joanna Tomlinson at The Friends Recital in the Great Hall at the University of Reading.
Mirage, The First Day and What Would I Give? were all included, with the latter two written especially for Joanna. What Would I Give? was given its world premiere at the concert.
‘Jane Austen In London’ – Amanda Jacobs, St Paul’s Church, Covent Garden, 2014
Philip’s Chawton Suite received its first London performance at the famous St Paul’s Church in Covent Garden – known as ‘the actor’s church’.
Amanda Jacobs, having heard the Suite performed at Philip’s concert at Jane Austen House Museum, enjoyed it so much she asked if it could be included in her own upcoming concert.
Actress/singer Gemma Sutton took the role of narrator.
‘Music By Philip Andrews’ – Alton Music Box, Jane Austen’s House Museum in Chawton, 2014
Following the successful premiere of Philip’s Chawton Suite in September 2013, Alton Music Box decided to expand this to an entire concert dedicated to his music.
The evening – a mixture of his music for solo piano and songs, which are settings of romantic poems – was a sell-out, in the historic setting of Jane Austen’s home.
‘Great British Music’ – Constanza Chorus, London, 2013
In this concert celebrating 500 years of British choral music, Philip was chosen to represent the present day with his composition A Farewell.
It put him in esteemed company with established composers such as Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Walton.
Visit the Listen page to hear the performance of A Farewell.