The English conductor, Andrew-John Smith, has been variously described as “hugely talented” (The Observer), “mightily impressive” (Fanfare USA), and “a constant delight” (Gramophone). His ‘compelling artistry….commanding sense of architecture, breath-taking musicality and astonishing control of dynamics and nuance’ have contributed to his growing reputation as one his generation’s leading choral directors. In addition he also works with instrumentalists, period ensembles and chamber orchestras, performing regularly in Europe, and has recorded and broadcast both for the BBC and abroad.
He has worked with numerous distinguished musicians and ensembles; the Academy of Ancient Music, the King’s Consort, the Quintessential Sackbut and Cornett Ensemble, Concordia, Crispin Steele-Perkins, Robin Blaze, James Bowman, Mark Levy, Elizabeth Kenny, Christopher Glynn, Thomas Hobbs, Ben Hulett, Carolyn Sampson, Katy Watson, James Galway, Leslie Howard, Robert King and Christopher Hogwood among them. He is increasingly in demand as conductor of the much lauded chamber choir, Consortium, whose recordings of Brahms and Reger for Hyperion have been universally well received. The latter was awarded Classic FM magazine’s ‘recording of the month’ in January 2011 and prompted Gramophone Magazine to write that “one suspects this repertoire could have found no better exponents”. He has been Director of Music at the central London church of St. Peter’s, Eaton Square since 1997.
He studied as an organ scholar at New College, Oxford and the Amsterdam Conservatorium, and was a prize winner in the examinations of the Royal College of Organists. He has been a finalist for the Grand Prix de Chartres, and a prize-winner at both the Royal College of Organists’ ‘Performer of the Year’ and the St. Albans’ International Organ Festival. Concerto performances have included Rheinberger at St. John’s, Smith Square with the National Musicians’ Symphony Orchestra and Poulenc and Saint-Saëns with the English Chamber Orchestra. His series of Saint-Saëns organ works from La Madeleine, Paris, has been received to great critical acclaim in many countries and for which Smith was described by International Record Review as “in a class of his own”. In addition he has published several articles on aspects of organ repertoire and is increasingly engaged to give master classes.
“Andrew-John Smith draws from them an infinitely subtle dynamic range and some impeccably moulded phrasing” (Gramophone)
“The stylistic awareness, control of vocal colour and at times sheer intensity which Smith draws from his singers can be spellbinding….utterly compelling….” (The Classical Source)