Andrew Gant

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Andrew Gant is a British composer, singer, author, teacher and Liberal Democrat politician. He was organist, choirmaster and composer at Her Majesty's Chapel Royal from 2000 to 2013, and has published three books on musical subjects.

Gant is leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Oxford City Council and was the party's parliamentary candidate for The Cotswolds constituency at the 2017 general election.


Gant attended Radley College before going on to read Music and English at St John's College, Cambridge. He was a choral scholar and sang in the College Choir under George Guest. He subsequently studied composition with Paul Patterson at the Royal Academy of Music and completed his PhD at Goldsmiths College, University of London.

Musical career[edit]

Gant is Stipendiary Lecturer in Music at St Peter's College, University of Oxford, and held the same position at St Edmund Hall until 2014. He is an experienced singer, having sung with most of the United Kingdom's leading choirs and vocal ensembles including The Sixteen, the Monteverdi Choir, the Cambridge Singers and the Tallis Scholars. He has held posts as a church musician at Westminster Abbey, Selwyn College, Cambridge, The Royal Military Chapel (the Guards' Chapel), and Worcester College, Oxford. In September 2000 he was appointed Organist, Choirmaster and Composer at Her Majesty's Chapels Royal. He has led the Chapel Royal choir at, among many other events, the funeral of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, the Golden Jubilee service in St Paul's Cathedral in 2002, the 10th anniversary service for the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, the wedding of H.R.H. Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, the annual Remembrance Day parade at the Cenotaph and the annual Royal Maundy service. During the Summer of 2002 he was featured in a BBC Radio 4 documentary.

Gant set the text of the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion to music, creating A Hymn for the Golden Jubilee as part of the 2002 jubilee celebrations, at the request of the Lord Chamberlain's Office at Buckingham Palace. This piece was sung at many places across the world, including at the National Cathedral of Canada, by the RSCM in Australia, and to Queen Elizabeth II in a concert at Windsor Castle. It was also featured on the official Jubilee CD produced by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the Choir of St Paul's Cathedral. This recording was broadcast on BBC Radio 2, 3, and 4, and on Classic fM, where it featured high in the Classical Music Charts.

Other compositions include "The Vision of Piers Plowman", an oratorio for the 2002 Three Choirs Festival, "A British Symphony", premiered by the Philharmonia in 2007, "May we borrow your husband?" an a cappella opera, "Don't go down the Elephant after midnight", an opera for soprano Patricia Rozario, a song-cycle for counter-tenor James Bowman, and several works for choir.

2013 saw the beginning of an association with Profile Books. Gant's first title for the publisher was "Christmas Carols: from village green to church choir", published in 2014. A US edition, "The carols of Christmas", was published by Thomas Nelson in 2015. A second title for Profile, "O Sing unto the Lord: a history of English Church Music" followed in 2015, receiving favourable notices across the national media. A US edition was published by University of Chicago Press in 2017, receiving favourable reviews in, among other publications, The New York Times. His contribution to Profile's series "Ideas in Profile", called simply "Music", was published in early 2017. Gant is currently working on a book about the sources and reception of Handel's "Messiah" for the Bodleian Press, Oxford, and a major one-volume history of music for Profile, due for publication in 2019. Gant's "Johann Sebastian Bach: A Very Brief History" was published by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK), London, in 2018. Gant has appeared at literary festivals across the UK and further afield, and on national TV and radio.

Political career[edit]

At the May 2014 Oxford City Council election, Gant was elected as Liberal Democrat councillor for the Summertown ward.[1] He was re-elected at the May 2016 election,[2] and took over as leader of the Lib Dem group and leader of the opposition.[3] He stood unsuccessfully for the parliamentary constituency of The Cotswolds at the 2017 general election.[4][5]


  1. ^ "Election of city councillors for the wards of Oxford City Council: summary of results" (PDF). Oxford: the Returning Officer. 19 June 2014. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Election of city councillors for the wards of [sic]: summary of results" (PDF). Oxford: Elections Office. 28 June 2016. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  3. ^ Oliver, Matt (10 May 2016). "Lib Dems elect Andrew Gant as new group leader on Oxford City Council". Oxford Mail. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  4. ^ Tabor, Andrew (24 March 2019). "Declaration of result of poll: UK parliamentary election, The Cotswolds constituency, Thursday 8 June 2017" (PDF). Cirencester: the Acting Returning Officer. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  5. ^ Merrifield, Ryan (25 May 2016). "Lib Dem Cotswold parliamentary hopeful Andrew Gant promises to be 'realistic and practical' if elected". Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
Cultural offices
Preceded by
Richard Popplewell
Organist, Composer and Master of the Children of the Chapel Royal
Succeeded by
Huw Williams