A ‘tremendous young conductor’ (The Observer), John Andrews was recently appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, and is Conductor-in-Assocation with the English Symphony Orchestra, whom he conducts regularly at the English Music Festival, and Principal Conductor of the 2018 International Composers Festival. He has conducted the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and is currently making a series of world-premiere recordings with the BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC Singers and BBC Symphony Chorus for Dutton Epoch. The first of these – Arthur Sullivan’s incidental Music for Macbeth and The Tempest – was named a Disc of the Year in The Sunday Times, described by Hugh Canning as ‘pure delight.’
As well as championing English music of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, John is known particularly as a tireless champion of the Italian bel canto. Describing his conducting of the British stage premiere of Donizetti’s Pia de’ Tolomei for English Touring Opera, Robert Thicknesse in Opera Now noted his ‘highly cultured, shapely and pressing direction’ adding ‘I’ve rarely heard ETO’s orchestra sound so compelling.’ Praising his conducting of the award-winning production of Don Giovanni one reviewer commented: ‘Conductor John Andrews kept it racing along, finding the light, shade and sexiness of Mozart’s score – I’ve never heard an orchestra sound quite so hot-to-trot in Zerlina’s Batti, batty.’ Significant recent opera credits also include Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel with the Young Artists of Garsington Opera, and a hugely successful Die Entführung aus dem Serail for the Rostock Volkstheater.
His gift for combining empathy and feel for both music and musicians with an ability to directly and powerfully communicate his ideas, together with his passion for locating music in its social and historical context, brings dynamism and warmth to his interpretations of both rare and classic repertoire.