Andrew is an experienced arts professional who has been involved with programming in New York and Australia for more than two decades. From 2014 to 2018, he was Artistic Director of Symphony Space on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and before that Director of Festivals at Carnegie Hall for eight years. He has also worked as a programmer, curator, producer, and music adviser at Chamber Made Opera (Melbourne), Synagogue Space Music Series (New York), Speculum Musicae (New York), Sony Classical Music (New York), and Annenberg Center Live (Philadelphia).
Andrew’s programming has ranged across many artistic fields. At Carnegie Hall, he directed annual multi-disciplinary festivals that explored such themes as Berlin today, the experimental American maverick tradition, the artistic legacy of Leonard Bernstein, twenty years of democracy in South Africa music, and more. Most recently, as Artistic Director of Symphony Space, he was responsible for all programming of this multi-disciplinary venue, which includes music, performing arts, family programming, film, and literature-in-performance series, as well as education programs for New York City school students.
Over this career he has worked with such legendary figures as Jessye Norman, Steve Reich, Gilberto Gil, John Luther Adams, Bela Fleck, and others, and has commissioned and programmed first performances of new works by composers David Lang, Donnacha Dennehy, Kate Moore, William Brittelle, among others.
Born in Melbourne, Andrew attended La Trobe University, before moving to New York on a Fulbright Scholarship to study for a doctorate in music composition at Columbia University.
Andrew Byrne is composer for film, art installations, contemporary dance, and the concert hall whose work has been described as “beautifully constructed, tautly focused music“ (Fanfare Magazine), “a delirious swoon: somehow lush and minimal, soothing and ominous” (Studio 360, WNYC Radio) and “Imagine Ligeti’s Etudes having had a little too much to drink with Conlon Nancarrow as the designated driver” (Gramophone Magazine).
Andrew’s music has been performed in the US, Asia, and Europe as well as his native Australia. Recent performances include 3Body at the Vail Dance Festival, Colorado, with choreographers Rashaun Mitchell + Silas Riener; world premiere of The Othersiders, a Potter Foundation commission) by Astra Music; a portrait concert in Melbourne, broadcast nationally on ABC radio (Whispers and Cries and Creeping Shadows); Toward a Monument to the Great Strike, Carriageworks Museum, Sydney; as well as performances at New York venues such as Bargemusic (Tracks), the Kitchen (Striking), the Stone (Book of Actions), Le Poisson Rouge (White Bone Country); in Treviso, Italy (Bach in the Barrio); in Edinburgh, Treviso, Padua, and Trieste (Ascension).
In recent years, Andrew has increasingly interested in creating sound installations in collaboration with visual artists, most notably with Tom Nicholson. Museums and galleries featuring Andrew’s work include the Auckland Triennale, Galerie Zimmermann Kratochwill, Graz; Museo Storico Nazionale dell’Arte Sanitaria in Rome; the Shanghai Biennale, China; Holburne Museum, Bath; Parco delle Rimembranze, Venice.
White Bone Country, a recording of Byrne’s music for piano and percussion, was released by New World Records in New York in 2009 to widespread critical praise.
Other CDs featuring his music include Striking (featuring Either/Or Ensemble and Astra and Speak Percussion), Wildfire (Brake Drum Ensemble), Broadway Boogie (Move Records) by pianist Michael Kieran Harvey, and In These Great Times (the ByrneBand).
Musicians and organizations to have commissioned music from Andrew include Ensemble L’Arsenale, (Treviso, Italy), Either/Or Ensemble (New York), Speak Percussion (Melbourne), Astra Chamber Music (Melbourne), Ethos Percussion and the Lark Quartet (New York), Ian Potter Foundation (Melbourne), Australia Council for the Arts, and others