Kerry Andrew

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Kerry Andrew
Background information
Born (1978-04-05) 5 April 1978 (age 46)
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England
Occupation(s)Composer, performer and author

Kerry Andrew (born 5 April 1978) is an English composer, performer and author.

Kerry has a PhD in Composition from the University of York and is the winner of four British Composer Awards. Andrew's debut novel, Swansong, was published by Vintage in January 2018[1] and a second, Skin, in 2021.[2] Andrew was shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2018 and again in 2022.[3]


From age 3 to age 6, Andrew lived in Canada with their family. The family subsequently returned to the UK and settled in the Buckinghamshire area. Andrew earned a BA in Music, MA and PhD in Composition, all from the University of York.

Andrew was Composer in Residence at Handel House Museum during 2010-12, and was Visiting Professor of Music at Leeds College of Music in 2015-16 and 2017-18. They won their first British Composer Award in the Making Music Category in 2010 for their choral work 'Fall', and won two awards in 2014, in the Stage Works category for their wild swimming chamber opera 'Dart's Love[4]' and in the Community or Educational category for their community chamber opera 'Woodwose,[5]' written for Wigmore Hall, and for which they also wrote the libretto. They won their fourth award, in the Music for Amateur Musicians category, for 'who we are', a piece for the massed National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, premiered at the Royal Albert Hall in 2016.

Andrew's 'No Place Like,' was written for the BBC Ten Pieces scheme, and received BBC Proms performances in both 2017 and 2018.[6] They have written large scale pieces for young and non-professional ensembles, including 400 Lewisham-based primary school children at the Royal Festival Hall; for Animate Orchestra, the Junior Trinity Symphony Orchestra and 500 singers of the South London Riverside Partnership at the Royal Albert Hall; and for the massed choirs of the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain at the Royal Albert Hall in their piece 'who we are.' They created a concept drawing and vocal EP A Lock Is A Gate for Art on the Underground in 2011,[7] and a work simultaneously performed by 25 community ensembles around the UK for the Landmark Trust. In 2015, they wrote a piece for the London Sinfonietta to fight for the National Health Service (featuring the recorded voices of 60 members of the public, including actor/campaigner Michael Sheen).

Andrew was a British Council/PRS for Music Foundation Musicians in Residence in China in Spring 2016, spending five weeks in the Henan Province in 2016. They made collaborative new rock/traditional-inspired songs based on foxes in folklore.[8]

Andrew's choral works have been published by Faber Music and by Oxford University Press, including in Carols for Choirs. Their vocal trio piece The Song of Doves concluded the national memorial service for the victims of the 7 July bombings, receiving national broadcast live on the BBC and other news outlets. Their composition Dusk Songs was commissioned and recorded by The Ebor Singers, and released by Boreas Music in 2007. Elsewhere, their work has been recorded on the Naxos and Nonclassical labels, and choral premieres have been given by the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, The Hilliard Ensemble, ORA Singers, the Joyful Company of Singers and Alamire.

Andrew performs with the vocal trio Juice Vocal Ensemble, who have released two albums on the Nonclassical label, which include their music, as well as a collaborative album with David Thomas Broughton. They have collaborated with the likes of Anna Meredith, Gavin Bryars, Shlomo, Errollyn Wallen and Mica Levi.

They perform alt-folk under the name You Are Wolf. Their debut album, Hawk to the Hunting Gone (2014, Stone Tape), explored British birds and folklore. Their second album, Keld (Firecrest, 2018) was awarded fRoots magazine's Editor's Choice! Album of the Year 2018 and chosen by the Guardian as a Top Ten Folk Album 2018. They have collaborated with Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris, setting texts from their book The Lost Words.

They are a multi-instrumentalist with the band DOLLYman.

From 2007-17, they sang with Laura Cole's jazz ensemble, Metamorphic.

Andrew has written libretto for their own music-theatre works and articles for The Guardian. They made her short story debut on BBC Radio 4's Stories from Songwriters Series in 2014, and Jonathan Cape published their debut novel, Swansong, in January 2018. They were shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award in 2018 for their story 'To Belong To', which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4, read by Tobias Menzies. Andrew occasionally appears as a presenter on BBC Radio 3's Hear and Now and has been a frequent guest on BBC Radio 3 and 4, including The Essay in 2018, and a guest mix for Late Junction in 2017. They were the Chair of the Judges on BBC Young Musician 2018.

Selected compositions[edit]

Choral Music[edit]

  • maranatha (2004) SATB choir
  • dusksongs (2005) compline mass for SATB choir and percussion
  • hevene quene (2006) SATB choir
  • Drop, Drop Slow Tears (2007) SATB choir and piano
  • York Mass (2008) SATB choir
  • the ivy and the holly (2008) SATB choir
  • The Cherry Tree Carol (2009) SATB choir
  • hexennacht (2009) SSAA choir
  • Fall (2010) SATB choir
  • Magnificat (2010) SATB choir
  • adam and the mother (2011) SATB choir
  • The Earth Hath Voice (2011) SATB choir
  • Out of the Orient Crystal Skies (2011) SATB choir
  • Rhymes and Charms for Fly-Away Things (2011) SATB choir and piano
  • A Still Roar (2012) SATB choir and organ
  • where the marsh plants grow (2012) SSAATTBB single voices
  • All Things Are Quite Silent, arr. (2012) SATB choir
  • The London Breed (2014) Large-scale young people's choir, symphony orchestra, experimental orchestra
  • The Dream of the Rood (fragments) (2015) SATB Choir
  • CoMAblues (2016) from 6 voices to any number of voices
  • who we are (2016) Large-scale choirs/ (or) SATB choir
  • Thy Flight Be Fleet! trainsongs (2016) SATB choir, children's chorus and symphony orchestra
  • Psalm 150 (2016) SATB choir
  • Two Bird Proverbs (2016) SSA single voices, SATB choir
  • Listen To Us (2017) children's chorus, rhythm trio
  • No Place Like (2017) children's chorus, SATB choir / children's chorus with optional piano and classroom percussion
  • By Any Other Name (2017) SSAATTBB
  • wave (2018) SSSAA (junior girls choir, senior girls choir)
  • Charm (2018) SSAA (youth voices)
  • Under The Same Sky (2018) SSAA (youth voices)

Other vocal music[edit]

  • fruit songs (2001) soprano and guitar (also arrangements for soprano and chamber ensemble, and soprano and piano)
  • luna-cy (2001) SSA single voices
  • lullaby for the witching hour (2004) SSA single voices
  • ojo (2004) SSA single voices
  • sundial songs (2005) counter-tenor and prepared piano
  • the song of doves (2006) SSA single voices
  • hammock (2008) soprano and 'cello
  • Goodnight Irene, arr. (2012) SSA single voices
  • Night-time Songs, arr. (2013) SSA single voices
  • apples, plums, cherries (The Cherry Tree Carol) (2015) SSA single voices
  • hollyberry song (2016) SSA single voices, wine glasses

Opera and music-theatre[edit]

  • sedna stories (2005) music-theatre work for SSA single voices and chamber ensemble with electronics by Paul J Abbott and visuals by Harriet Poole
  • Woodwose (2013) community chamber opera for tenor solo, children's choruses, adult community choir, older voices and chamber ensemble
  • Dart's Love: a wild swimming chamber opera (2013) for baritone, soprano, three female voices and chamber ensemble
  • Fox-Pop: A Snappy Opera (2017) for children's voices, bass clarinet, electric piano and trash drum kit
  • Butterfly Brain (2018) for narrator, soprano/instrumentalist, 'cellist/vocalist and percussionist/vocalist, words by Laura Dockrill

Chamber ensemble[edit]

  • I think you'll find that I'M the man (2007), chamber ensemble
  • Pollack (2010), chamber ensemble
  • bad-luck birds (2012) recorder quintet
  • NHS (2015) soprano and chamber ensemble, with recorded community voices
  • THE, WHAT IS IT? THE GOLDEN EAGLE? (2017) chamber ensemble
  • tInItUs sOnGs (2018) string quartet and recorded spoken word

Other educational and community work[edit]

  • beginning with blobs (2008) theatre work for actor-singers and recorded chamber ensemble
  • A Lock is a Gate (Art on the Underground) (2011) concept drawing and vocal album: children's spoken word, song and field recordings
  • Lines, Loops, Bones and Stones (2015) flexible ensembles
  • songchants (2016), children's voices and string quartet
  • The Sky Begins to Change (2017), for solo voice, early/folk chamber ensemble, recorded voices


Juice Vocal Ensemble[edit]

You Are Wolf[edit]

  • hunting little songs, EP (2010), Mulberry House
  • Hawk to the Hunting Gone, (2014), Stone Tape
  • Keld, (2018), Firecrest


  • Dusksongs, The Ebor Singers (2007), Boreas Music
  • York Mass, The Ebor Singers, (2009), Boreas Music


  • DOLLYman (2010), self-release
  • Have Yourself a DOLLY DOLLY Christmas (2013), self-release
  • Ponderous Skiffle Rubbish (2015), self-release


  • The Rock Between (2011), F-ire
  • Coalescence (2013), F-ire

Selected publications[edit]

  • Skin. London: Jonathan Cape. 2021. ISBN 978-1787331648.
  • Swansong. Vintage. 2019. ISBN 978-1784704926.


  1. ^ Swansong by Kerry Andrew. 31 January 2019.
  2. ^ Skin: Kerry Andrew. 10 February 2022.
  3. ^ "BBC Radio 4 - Short Story, To Belong To by Kerry Andrew". BBC. 17 September 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  4. ^ "BRITISH COMPOSER AWARDS". Archived from the original on 19 January 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  5. ^ "BRITISH COMPOSER AWARDS". Archived from the original on 20 January 2017. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Ten Pieces - No Place Like by Kerry Andrew - BBC - CBBC". BBC. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  7. ^ "A LOCK IS A GATE - Art on the Underground". Art on the Underground. Retrieved 23 October 2017.
  8. ^, Music. "Musicians in Residence, China 2015". British Council Music. Retrieved 23 October 2017.

External links[edit]