Andrew Byrne is an Australian composer based in New York. His music 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).
Born in Melbourne, Andrew attended La Trobe University, before moving to New York on a Fulbright Scholarship to study composition at Columbia University with Fred Lerdahl and Jonathan Kramer.
Andrew’s concert music has been performed in the US, Asia, and Europe as well as his native Australia. Recent performances include a portrait concert at Iwaki Auditorium, Melbourne, broadcast nationally on ABC radio (Whispers and Cries and Creeping Shadows); 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).
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.
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, England, Parco delle Rimembranze in Venice.
Andrew is also involved with concert programming. He is currently Artistic Director of Symphony Space, a performing arts center on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Past experience includes working at Carnegie Hall as Director of Festivals and Special Projects (2006-2014); organizing the Synagogue Space Music Series in New York with John Zorn, the Michael Gordon Ensemble among others; Opera Raw for Chamber Made Opera in Melbourne; Speculum Musicae in New York.