Vores studied composition at Lancaster University in Lancaster, England. He initially focused on playing drums and keyboards in local rock bands, but his studies under the tutelage of composer Edward Cowie switched his focus to writing classical music. He received first prize in the Kucyna International Composition Competition at Boston University in 1985, and the following year he returned to Massachusetts as a Fellow in Composition at Tanglewood. His work Hammer and Darkness, Mirror and Knife, written in the summer of 1986, won the Tanglewood Prize for Composition. Also in 1986, he met pianist Patricia Thom, whom he later married, and decided to take up residence in the U.S.
In 1992, Vores became Composer-in-Residence at Bemidji State University in Bemidji, Minnesota. In this one-year position, he was first person to receive the Interdisciplinary Fellowship established by the American Composers Forum and the Minnesota State University System. In 1999, Vores was named Composer-in-Residence to the FleetBoston Celebrity Series: Emerging Artists in Boston. In 2001, he became Chairman of Composition and Theory at The Boston Conservatory. In 2002, he was named Composer-in-Residence to the New England Philharmonic.
On December 2, 1994, Vores presented his first opera, an adaptation of the Virginia Woolf play Freshwater, at Boston University. Vores first came across the Woolf text while browsing the shelves of the Boston University bookstore. Vores received assistance in the opera’s creation from Woolf's nephew and executor, Quentin Bell, who provided Vores with a rarely seen earlier version of the text that served as the inspiration for several passages of his libretto.
Vores' classical compositions include Wonder Wheel, Umberhulk and Dark Mother. His first CD, Urban Affair, a classical work consisting of nine movements, was released on the Vera label in 2005. Urban Affair was commissioned as part of the Bank of America Celebrity Series and was performed for the CD by the Boston Trio.
- "Vores's 'World Wheel' is 'Big, Exciting Noise,' Boston Globe, January 16, 2000 (fee required for access)
- “Andy Vores,” Collage New Music
- “If You’re Writing a First Opera, Why Be Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” Boston Globe, November 27, 1994 (fee required for access)
- “On (and off) Track,” Boston Phoenix, April 29, 2008
- Amazon.com page for Urban Affair